Soldiers in Fur and Feathers: The Animals That Served in WWI Allied Forces

Soldiers in Fur and Feathers

“There goes Little Jim!” the soldiers would call outfrom the trenches as an unusual messenger dog flew across the fields. Little Jim was a small black Pomeranian mix who was so fast that soldiers described him as a black streak.

In December of 1915 the soldiers of A Battery, 52nd Brigade, RFA, purchased a goose and gander to be fattened for Christmas dinner. However, some of the soldiers decided that they were too cute to eat. So a trial was held to determine their fate. It was decided that they should be mascots for the duration of the war. They traveled in the mess cart with their heads hanging out for the rest of the war. What a comical sight they made.

Pitoutchi the cat is credited for saving his masters life inthe trenches. How could a cat save a man’s life from the Germans?

One of England’s largest seaplanes went down in bad weather. The only hope for survival depended on a pigeon, one pigeon out of three that survived the crash. Did he make it?

The variety of animals and birds were involved in WWI is amazing. Any type of animal or bird could be a mascot. Some mascots went to battle and some stayed behind to cheer the wounded or relieve stress for the newly arrived soldiers.

Read these accounts and many others in the book Soldiers in Fur and Feathers: The Animals that Served in WWI- Allied Forces. An autographed copy of the book is available at www.sbulanda.com you can also purchase it on Amazon or at www.alpinepub.com

K-9 SAR Novel – ‘The Canine Handler Payback’ by M.C. Hillegas

The Canine Handler PaybackCCF12172015

By M.C. Hillegas, ISBN: 9781942430360; 273 pgs. $14.99; Publisher: Year of the Book.

This was an interesting and a surprising novel about Sarah, a volunteer canine SAR handler. The book is written from the three main character’s points of view which provided an interesting perspective for the story.

While this story is fiction, it did give the reader an inside look at what K9 SAR is like, the stresses and the problems that we all face. Ms. Hillegas is a real-life K9 handler which gave the story it’s realism. I found the story interesting because I am familiar with Codorus State Park, the setting for the searches.

The story weaves the life of Sarah, a woman who lived most of her youth being abused in the foster child care program, her efforts to leave her past behind and make a new life for herself. The searches are connected to each other and turn out to involve Sarah’s past. They are both homicides which require police investigation and surprisingly are also connected to a cold case.

The ending was a real twist and leaves the reader waiting for the continuation of the story which will be Ms. Hillegas’s next book.

Although this is a self-published book, the quality of the soft cover and pages are good. The font is clear and easy to read and for a first novel, Ms. Hillegas did very well.