Linn County


Private Duke, of the Doberman Dukes,
Volunteers for Duration

DUKE IS now a private in the WAGS.

A year-old Doberman pinscher, Duke reported for duty Saturday at a Davenport induction center for dogs who are going to war for Uncle Sam. There he was accepted by J. H. Schuffman, representing the Dogs for Defense organization, which has army recognition.

Duke, who has been King around the Clymer home since his puppy days, will be just a private and just another dog in the army, but he'll have important duties as a guardian of life and property, after a special course of training.

Old Stuff to Duke.
Guarding is right up Duke's kennel alley. It's a specialty of his breed. You couldn't get within a block of Ralph Clymer's house, if Duke didn't want you there.

Even before Duke joined the army he was trained to obey the command "Heel," which will be one of the first lessons he gets in the service. He will be taught also to recognize uniforms of America's armed men and will be trained to work under all kinds of conditions.

Probably today, Duke will be taking a physical examination at Davenport. There isn't much doubt about his health. He's had the best of care all of his life. About 32 inches long, Duke weighed in at 70 pounds.

Duke has ruled the Clymer roost, front porch, living room, back yard and all. He will be missed. But the Clymers believed that if they dog could qualify, he should work for Uncle Sam.

Hard to Give Up.
Once before the Clymers sent Duke away. When he was still a puppy he was sold to a Des Moines woman. Before the week was out the Clymers changed their mind, drove to Des Moines and bought Duke back. This time they can't change their minds, and that made the parting more sad.

Probably Duke will be taught to work as a guardian, but he might end up in combat work. At least one branch of the armed forces today is using Dobermans for combat. They're good at it.

Will Duke ever come back to Cedar Rapids?

That depends on the fortunes of war. Duke is running his chances along with the men in the infantry, the artillery and the air force.

If Duke survives his wartime stint and there is no need for his services when the war is over, the Clymers may get the dog back. There is no promise to return him. There is no obligation on the part of the recruiting organization or the government. There is no pay.

Duke doesn't know it, but he's a volunteer for keeps.

Source: Cedar Rapids Gazette, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, February 28, 1943