NEWS FROM HARRY THOMAS
Without Mr. Harry Thomas, Chicagoland Shepherd Rescue probably would not exist. Besides being instrumental in the formation of our Rescue, Harry, who is the manager of the Pet Supplies Plus store on Elston Avenue here in Chicago, donates the lion's share of the food our dogs consume while they are in foster care. He has also sponsored years of CSR Saturday adoption events. Many of our adopters have met Harry, many have asked for his advice on the care of their shepherds ....... he is always generous with the knowledge he has accumulated over the years about our magnificent breed. Here are his most recent thoughts about his life with the shepherds, particularly his time spent with the Working Dogs of the U.S. Military during this country's involvement in Vietnam. And for those of you who would like to support the store that supports the shepherds, Pet Supplies Plus is just 8 blocks east of the Addison Exit of the Kennedy Expressway at 3640 N. Elston at Kedzie & Addison. The store is open on weekdays until 9 pm, Saturday until 7 pm and Sundays until 6. The phone number is 773-583-2288. Stop by and meet Mr. Thomas.
"A little while ago I was asked to do an interview for Chicagoland Shepherd Rescue's website. At that time, I thought the interview and the story that came from it were fairly good. As with everything, time tends to change opinions.
The story should have focussed on the brave, heroic dogs that served in Southeast Asia rather than myself. For this, I apologize to all handlers and our former K-9 partners.
To those who read this letter who do not know the War Dog story, I would encourage you to either watch the video "War Dogs, America's Forgotten Heroes" at the website: (http://www.war-dogs.com/index-2.html), or read the book, A Soldier's Best Friend. Both the video and the book tell the overall story of the dogs and the thousands of lives they saved.
Fritz and Max, the two dogs I handled in Southeast Asia, have always held a special place in my heart. As I have aged and become more sentimental, I find myself thinking more about them and unable to speak of them without becoming emotional. In talking with other former handlers, they report feeling the same way. I guess as we have gotten older, we are realizing just how fortunate we were to have such loving, devoted partners.
It is my hope and prayer that some day in the very near future that the Military Working Dogs will receive the recognition they earned and deserve. I would like to ask for everyone's support in making a national War Dog Memorial in Washington, D.C. a reality. Please let your opinions about creating this Memorial be known to your elected officials.
On a final note to all former, current and future dog handlers, no matter where life's journey may lead, you can always be proud that you were a Military Working Dog Handler.
In Dogs We Trust