Library to host talk on Dogs from World War II

Library to host talk on Dogs from World War II

By James Krause

DeKALB — The DeKalb Public Library will host an event Saturday meant to tell the story of a war hero and entertainer of the furry variety. 

Public speaker and storyteller Adrian Brigham will be joined by his wife, recording artist Denise Brigham, to tell the story of Smoky the War Dog. The event will run from 2 to 3 p.m.

“[Adrian] contacted us and we were open to do it,” Head of Adult Services Teresa Iverson said. “World War II history is always perennially interesting to our patrons.”

Smoky, a four pound female Yorkie, is said to have been discovered by American solders at the bottom of a fox hole in Papua New Guinea during World War II. Smoky is credited as having been in 12 battles during the war, earning eight battle stars.

Smoky has also been identified as the world’s first therapy dog on record, accommodating nurses at 233rd Station Hospital in July 1944.

After the war, Smoky appeared on various television shows in Cleveland, where Smoky lived with his owner William Wynne.

Smoky died in 1957 and was buried in the Cleveland Metroparks in an ammunition box. In 2005, a statue paying tribute to Smoky was unveiled at her resting spot.

Joining the Brighams will be their own dog, another four pound Yorkie named Hairy Pawter, to play the role of Smokey. Together, the group will play out the life of Smoky as well as pay tribute to the “Yorkie Doodle Dandy.”

The event is free, open to attendees of all ages and registration is not required. More information can be found on the DeKalb Public Library website.