On Veteran’s Day we honor the brave men and women who fight for their country, their people, and their families. The sacrifices they make to defend our freedom is astounding.

But it is less common that we examine the sacrifices of our canine friends, and what they have done for us in times of war. Here we present an excerpt from our $2.99 ebook, A Brief History of Dogs, which charts the rise of dogs from prehistoric times to modern day, and even conjecture as to the future of our relationship with our canine best friends.

“War dogs went bravely to battle with us. Some dogs were bred to knock men off horses, guard camps, hunt convicts, or retrieve arrows. Dogs became mascots to troop units in many cases, bringing good cheer and playful antics to wounded soldiers or frightened and homesick men on the front lines. Mastiffs from Brittania outmatched Romes prized Mollossian dogs of Epirus, Irish Wolfhounds fended off invading Norman knights.

As time went on, dogs continued to multiply in their security and military usefulness. During the Civil War and World War I, for example, dogs often guarded prisoners and served as sentries for their less sight and sound sensitive human companions. Dogs could carry messages, medicine, and search battlefields for the wounded, which they might then evacuate through the use of a small ambulance cart made specifically for the purpose.

Scout dogs were used in World War II and Vietnam. There were mine detector dogs, tunnel dogs, tracking dogs, and guard dogs. In many ways, these dogs are truly modern canine super soldiers, capable of feats of endurance, hyper-senses, and agility that no man could accomplish.

Police dogs began to come into popularity for sniffing out narcotics and explosives, tracking fugitives, and bringing down violent criminals. They became partners in law enforcement, true officers of the law, highly trained and dangerous only when necessary.”

To everyone who has put his life on the line for noble ideals, both man and beast, we salute you!