"Typo? - you ask, - proper names must be written with a capital letter!" No typo; we are not writing about Yorick, with whose skull Prince Hamlet of Denmark spoke. Shakespeare's Yorick was, as you remember, poor, not brave, but the one who will be discussed below was a real daredevil. This was a female dog, her name was Smokey, and she was a brave soldier, one of the heroes of World War II. Moreover, she was an actress and the first therapy dog in history. Well, yes, Smokey was a tiny (1.8 kg and 18 cm tall) Yorkshire Terrier dog. Do you now understand why yorick? Then let's move on.
An American military man named Ed Downey discovered the dog in the brushwood of South Guinea in 1944. Ed was not a dog lover, so he quickly gave the found dog to his fellow soldiers. The soldiers thought that the dog had previously belonged to Japanese soldiers, but it turned out that she understood no commands in Japanese. In English, however, as well. However, Corporal William Wynn began to train the dog, having mastered the basics of training at home in Cleveland. He bought the dog for two Australian pounds and started teaching her simple commands like sit, stay and heel. It was he who gave the new friend the name Smokey, which later became famous.
So the little yorick became a "fighter" of the 26th Reconnaissance Aviation Regiment of the 5th US Air Force: Smokey was officially enlisted in this unit, participated in 12 military operations and received 8 military awards. She even jumped with a tiny parachute.
And then Smokey became a military mascot. The military magazine "Yankee" announced a photo contest, and William Wynn sent a picture to the editor, where his favorite dog was resting in a soldier's helmet. By the way, they won the competition, and the photo is considered almost legendary.
Will was informed about his success while being in the hospital, and, of course, shared the news with his roommates and nurses. They asked to show the dog to the other wounded soldiers. And then it turned out that just a glance on the cute yorick helped the soldiers to recover faster - so Smokey became a founder of dog therapy, recognized as the first therapy dog in history.
They say that a talented person is talented in everything - the same can be obviously said about dogs. After the war, Smokey and her friend became... famous actors. Wynn taught the dog to walk on a tightrope, ride a small scooter, and even make her name out of pieces of paper. They participated in shows, appeared on television and were even to Hollywood.
Smokey went to the rainbow on February 21, 1957, she was 14 years old. Wynn buried his pet in Lakewood, Ohio, in a 30 caliber ammo box from the times of World War II. And almost half a century later, on November 11, 2005, on the Veterans Day, a monument was erected on the dog's grave - a life-size bronze statue. The monument reads "Smoky Yorkie Doodle Dandy and Dogs of All Wars".