Dogs are adorable. That’s a fact. Regardless of their breed, coming home and being welcomed by their wet noses and wagging tails could definitely cheer one up after a long tiring day. They are also proof that true love and loyalty need no words, only kind and loving gestures and maybe some kibbles. Dogs have always been part of our lives, whether civilian or military. Just recently, dogs are making headlines in the ongoing Russo-Ukrainian War. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky decorated Ukraine’s bomb-sniffing dog named Patron for detecting around 250-260 Russian explosives in Chernihiv. There’s also this Belgian Malinois military working dog (MWD) named Max who defected to Ukraine.

In the past wars, especially during World War II, there were quite a number of MWDs that became famous, and for good reasons. One of them was a four-pound Yorkshire terrier named Smoky.

Finding Smoky

William “Bill” Wyne was raised during the Great Depression in Cleveland, Ohio. His father left them, and his mother could no longer raise him, so he was sent to an orphanage for a while. A portion of his life was spent on the streets, where he bonded with stray dogs. He was fresh out of high school and working at a steel mill when he was drafted into the US Army Air Corps near the end of WWII.

Fast forward to March 1944, Wynne and the USAAC were stationed in Nadzab, New Guinea, and that’s where he would meet someone who would change his life forever: a four-pound, seven-inch tall, thin, and scrawny Yorkshire terrier. One of his tentmates found her in an abandoned foxhole on the side of the road. Another soldier thought the dog’s small body was too hot under all her fur. They sheared her and left her once long and silky hair sticking out like a cactus with its thorns.