Helping to heal

The Animals in War Dedication in Ottawa includes a beautiful bronze statue of a medical service dog
Photo: Veterans Affairs Canada

Ellie

Animals not only helped soldiers fight battles, they sometimes also helped them when they got hurt. During the First World War, medical service dogs carried special packs on their backs and were sent across dangerous battlefields to deliver first aid supplies. Horses often pulled ambulance wagons to transport the wounded men to the doctors and nurses who could treat them.

Did you know, though, that animal pals have given special help even after soldiers return home? People serving in uniform often have to go through very hard situations. They may get hurt physically, but their minds can also be affected by their experiences. Seeing friends around them get hurt can leave even the toughest person feeling sad, scared or angry.

Support to help these people heal comes from many sources: doctors, family, friends or fellow Veterans. Some Veterans feel that animals play an important role in making them feel better. Lots of children, maybe even you, have animals at home that can be of comfort when they are having a bad day. A hug to your pet can go a long way. We Remembrance Clubhouse members think it is very important to continue to learn and explore ways our Veterans can receive the support they need. Now that is good work worth trumpeting!

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