Smoky was a four pound Yorkshire Terrier lap dog. Lap dogs are mostly stay at home family pets. In 2003 in the U.S., 35% of all pure bred AKC registered dogs were toy dogs. These are recognized AKC dog breeds weighing generally under ten pounds. The standard for some toys weigh less for showing. For example, the Yorkie standard states 31/2 to 7 pounds.
But Smoky broke the lap dog tradition and became what the foremost dog historian found over a 70 year period of study, that no dog of the past or present is as great as Smoky. Astounding considering the many great dogs and heroes there have been in the world. However most of the breeds doing work in warfare are working breeds. Those that have been bred for inherited natural talents to serving mankind. They are generally highly trainable as guard / attack dogs, sentries, and trained to use natural scenting abilities great for alerting handlers of possible danger. There is no standard for measuring this type of record. Many become heroes in performing these assignments. It is expected that working dogs in warfare do what they are bred and trained to do. Maxwell Riddle, a world renown Dog Show Judge, Author of 14 breed books, Associate Editor of DOG WORLD and having many other credentials took the lap dog Smoky’s accomplishments to set a standard.
She lived under adverse conditions, in the New Guinea jungles, and coral rock Islands, weathered typhoons, kamikaze attacks on board ship, ate W.W.II poor quality food and suffered the primitive living conditions of tents in equatorial heat and humidity for over a year. Most men lost weight over time with the W.W.II Army food provided in the tropics. Smoky thrived on this food, The modern toy dog would not survive long on this type of nourishment. In contrast “official” W.W.II war dogs as would be expected had medical care and balanced food diets especially formulated for dogs, just as we able to purchase in stores today. Smoky was never ill, She survived birthing without care. Even breeding tiny bitches is something never advised for a four pound dog under the most ideal conditions as the risk birthing problems, hemorrhaging and infections is too great for tiny dogs. (Her breeding was a complete surprise to me and happened when we were temporarily separated.) She ran on coral for four months without any paw ailments, a problem among some war dogs.
She survived 18 months straight in combat with her buddies. At the same time she was trained under these conditions. Riddle said many times, “Smoky is the greatest trained dog I have ever seen.” Training can be receptive by all breeds, but working dogs have been bred for ages to provide service to man. Smoky’s records, things that just happened day to day, just totalled up to an impressive overall record.
1) YANK MAGAZINE” Champion Mascot in the SWPA 1944″
2) Early in the Luzon campaign, Smoky pulled a string with vital phone wires attached under a taxi strip preventing the need to place 40 US fighter and recon planes in peril of destruction by enemy bombings. The three day digging task to place the wires was instead completed by this little dog in two minutes. The pipe was 70′ long and 8 “in diameter with four inch high sand piles that filtered down at each four feet segment in the drainage culvert. She had never done this before. She came through the pipe because she was asked to.
3) Smoky is the first therapy dog of record. (Animal Planet)
This began at the 233rd Station Hospital to battlefield casualties coming in from the Biak Is. invasion in 1944. This continued for 12 years.
4) “Smoky is the Yorkie that began the interest in the then obscure breed.” — POPULAR DOG, 2001 and DOG FANCY, 2003 magazines
5) Smoky performed 42 weeks on live Television without repeating a trick. This was before there was the technology of taping. Everything was live.
6) Her stories appear in over 50 publications.
The Yorkshire Terrier
Generally, most breeds are established with a specific purpose in mind. Bird dogs, retievers, pointers, to ground dogs, hunters of small game, and others such as large game hunters. Some toys have backgrounds of larger dogs such as the yorkie which was developed by crossing of multiple breeds, particularly skilled in ratting. These all weighed about 20 pounds. The yorkie was further developed by humbler folks in England, the weavers. Starting about 160 years ago its beauty of brilliant colors and long silken hair, belies the fact this is a very game little dog with a bright mind and captivating personality. It soon attracted members of high society. Today the breed ranks in the top ten among the most popular dogs in America.