Ask a Terrier: Semper Canis!

Professional Advice from a Licensed Dog

Dear Budleigh,

How cool is it that a new line of postage stamps will honor the military’s working canines? Have you seen them? They feature four breeds often used as military working dogs: German shepherd, Dutch shepherd, Labrador retriever, and Belgian Malinois.

(Courtesy U.S. Postal Service/Released)
Sadly, no Chihuahua mix like my Loki. Has the military considered training and deploying Chihuahua mixes? Loki would be ideal for covert missions where concealment and stealth are imperative. Unless it’s against field mice near a bird feeder. Loki gets very emotional.

And what about terriers? Are you jealous?

Stay frosty!

Kevin B. and West Point Cadet hopeful Loki

Budleigh responds:

Dear Kevin and Loki,

Jealous? More like envious. Proud, brave, and uncomplaining despite having to wear harnesses, our fearless military warriors are trained in narcotics and explosives detection, search and rescue, security, and tracking.

I can steal socks from the laundry basket, but there seems little call for that skill set. Nonetheless, when I was young, I seriously considered a career in the military. As a shelter dog, I yearned to belong to something bigger than myself. Or at least bigger than my cage.

But while I demonstrated to the recruiter what I thought was appropriate aggressiveness, I lacked the stature, the sheer physical size required. I mean, I was in good shape. But look at those stamps! I’d never be as huge as a German or Dutch shepherd, Labrador retriever, or Belgian Malinois—a breed that is less a canine than a large piece of earthmoving equipment.

Also, I failed the psych tests. Twice.

Military canine recruits deemed unfit for service rarely are honored on stamps.

Though humbled, I’m a steadfast supporter of military working dogs. And surprisingly, so is the U.S. Postal Service whose angry mail carriers would be within their rights to stuff dog-stamped mail down a sewer rather than deliver.

Respect, mail carriers! For now…

Loki, I won’t dissuade you from pursuing a military career. War is unpredictable. Someday enemy skies might be filled with paratrooper Chihuahua peacekeeping forces. I hope world conflict never comes to that. But if it does, post on YouTube!

Meanwhile, take solace and pride in defending the home front. Field mice are implacable adversaries. As are cicadas, voles, and, under certain conditions, sprinkler heads.

And while we must admire the U.S. Postal Service, their actions might just be a feint. Keep your eyes on the mail slot!



Are you troubled in ways that only a dog would understand? Budleigh welcomes the opportunity to straighten out your life. Write him at Sleeping between Giants: Ask a Terrier.

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