The bond between human and dog is so strong, it strengthens in the face of adversity. This sentiment rings true for soldiers and their canine counterparts in times of peace and times of war. The American Kennel Club (AKC) Museum of the Dog, Manhattan, celebrates this bond beyond the battlefield in its new exhibit, Dogs of War and Peace: Wounded Warrior Dogs, opening March 16.
The exhibit highlights military dogs from World War II to Afghanistan who were wounded in battle or sacrificed their lives. It features 10 life-sized, carved-wood allegorical memorials by sculptor, James Mellick. The artifacts are from the artist’s Wounded Warrior Dogs and Over the Rainbow Bridge collections, along with the museum’s permanent collection, which includes sculptures, paintings, collars, vests, photographs and more.
What to Expect at Dogs of War and Peace: Wounded Warrior Dogs at the Museum of the Dog
Mellick says that the exhibit of wounded and rehabilitated dogs aims to draw attention to the service and heroism of dogs in the military.
“I wanted to pay tribute to the members of the military who served with great sacrifice by creating this sculptural allegory of wounded warrior dogs who were their handlers’ best friends and companions in battle,” said Mellick.
The Wounded Warrior Dog statues are carved from cedar, walnut, sycamore, cherry, poplar, maple and more. They are laminated and painted to showcase life-size dogs who fought alongside veterans and often aided in the completion of successful missions.
There are approximately 1,600 working military dogs in the United States, according to the U.S. Department of Defense. As adorable and lovable as they are, these canines are highly skilled warriors, just like the humans who train them. Their missions span land, air and sea.
The AKC Library and Archives will also feature photographs and documents on display of the World War II U.S. Marine Corps “Devil Dogs.”
The museum’s executive director Alan Fausel, said that the exhibit found its natural place among military events and holidays.
“Dogs of War and Peace:The Wounded Warrior Dogs exhibition coincides with Fleet Week, Memorial Day, D-Day and the 4th of July. The exhibition will not only explore the human-canine relationship on the battlefield, but more importantly, how it continues after their return.”
The museum will host events throughout the course of the installation, which runs through July 19, 2022. Veterans will speak on their experiences and the history of dogs in the military.
What You Need to Know About Visiting the American Kennel Club Museum of the Dog
Where is the American Kennel Club Museum of the Dog located?
The American Kennel Club Museum of the Dog is located at 101 Park Ave., Manhattan.
When is Dogs of War and Peace: Wounded Warrior Dogs open?
The exhibit is open during regular museum hours: Wednesday-Sunday, 11am-6pm.
How much are tickets to Dogs of War and Peace: Wounded Warrior Dogs exhibit?
The exhibit is free with museum admission: $15; $10, seniors; $5 children 12 and younger; $10 active military and veterans and students ages 13-24.