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What Dogs, War, and Life Can Teach You About Celebrating the Holiday Season

I learned a lot from my yorkie Smoky during my 18 months of combat in the SWPA and the Far Pacific during World War II. She made me grateful for all the Christmases after. In the unforgiving jungles of New Guinea, the coral rock Biak Island at the equator, the semi-tropical Luzon, and just after the war on Okinawa during Typhoon Louise, my tiny dog taught me a lot about giving and receiving--although I would only realize it later. Here are a few simple truths that wartime with my Yorkshire terrier taught me:

Friendships must be honored and celebrated.
I saw many of my fellow comrades keep a silent shield around their emotions. Yet there is no denying that in the heat of combat friendships can be formed. Not only between men, but between animals and men. Smoky became my best friend during many active days and lonely nights. She also calmed many a sick and lonely soldier. Her unconditional love--love that only a dog can give--taught me to value, honor, and work hard at maintaining my friendships.

Read the rest at Huffington Post Healthy Living.

Thanks as usual to Gina Misiroglu of Red Room for putting me in touch with the Huffington Post people. It’s just one of the great ways she's bringing traffic to Red Room and getting attention for Red Room's authors.