Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Fortunately, unfortunately

This little curiosity of a story is about Horrie, a mascot for an Australian Battalion during WW2. From Australian War Memorial:

Horrie the Wog Dog was a white Egyptian terrier cross puppy who was found in the Ikingi Mariut area of the Western Desert by VX13091 Private James 'Jim' Bell Moody, a dispatch rider attached to 2/1 Machine Gun Battalion. Jim took him back to his signals platoon but Horrie was soon adopted by the entire battalion.

Horrie went on to survive many adventures and became a bit of a canine hero for the battalion working as a messenger and an early warning system for enemy aircraft.

Fortunately, the little dog was eventually smuggled back to Australia and sent to live with Private Moody's father.

Unfortunately, due to strict protocols about bringing animals back from the front, Horrie was shot by quarantine officials. These events were reported in the press resulting in some public outrage, as evidenced by this letter ...

click on image to enlarge

... and other letters as well (here and here).

There was even an investigation about the people who wrote the letters and whether or not they should be charged for libel.

60 years later, though, the real story was revealed.

Fortunately, Horrie wasn't shot.

Unfortunately, Moody had found an abandoned, look-a-like dog from the local pound and presented that one to the executioner in place of Horrie.

The real Horrie was sent to live out his life near Corryong in northern Victoria where he is said to have sired many puppies.

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