Horrie the Hero War Dog
Since World War I the armed forces have benefited from the exceptional skills of our canine companions during times of conflict. Dogs were used in many ways they were messengers, casualty dogs were sent out to find and assist the wounded, sentry dogs patrolled secure sites, whilst scout dogs explored trenches, sniffed out gas and detected approaching planes. They also had the role of mascots providing companionship and comfort to many soldiers in warfare.
One such dog was Horrie who was found starved and abandoned in 1940 in the Libyan desert by members of the 2/1st Machine Gun Battalion. He was taken in and cared for by Private Jim Moody and ended up saving the lives of countless Diggers from the Australian 6th Division. He had a strong aversion to Luftwaffe and would forewarn soldiers by pointing his ears and producing a low guttural growl before anyone even knew the planes were approaching. His loyalty, survival instincts and mateship were well appreciated by the Diggers with many a soldier attesting to "take a bullet" for the dog. He travelled through Libya, Egypt, Greece, Crete, Palestine, Syria and finally made it to Australia in 1942.
He was accepted as an honorary member of the Returned and Services League of Melbourne for the countless lives he saved in 1945. He became well recognised for his astounding war efforts however like many a soldier before him he had a fateful ending. He was in hiding for a few years whilst the war raged until he was requested for inspection and assessment by Quarantine. Despite being found to be in good health he was impounded and destroyed to reinforce the risks of pet smuggling and it's potential for spreading deadly diseases like Rabies.
A wreath was laid for Horrie every Anzac day for twenty years at the Cenotaph in Martin Place, Sydney. Horrie was remembered fondly by many Australians for his loyalty and mateship through the trials of wartime. Some even believe that Horrie was saved by his Battalion brotherhood and sent deeper into hiding to live out his days in peace like the well deserved war hero that he was.