Sunday, January 28, 2018

Chips is our January 28 2018 Pup of the Week

All dogs come to Rainbow Bridge to wait for their loved ones.  When their parents arrive, they can either move to the land of Happily Ever After or stay until their children arrive.  Most parents prefer to wait for their kids.  When they arrive, the family retires to the quiet land of Happily Ever After while their children can await their own offspring.

Sometimes dogs can be at the Bridge for decades.  We have a pup in the Fourth District, named Chips, who has been here nearly seventy years.  His parents joined him here years ago, but they are waiting for their son before they leave for Happily Ever After.

Chips is a wise, brave, smart dog who saved many humans and even bit the hand of a President.  This is his story.

Chips is a Siberian Husky, Shepherd, Collie mix whose Dad is named Edward Wren.  When World War II began, Wren volunteered his eager dogs to join the army.  Chips went to boot camp at War Dog Training Center in Fort Royal, Virginia. There were 40,000 pups who volunteered to fight for the Allies.  Chips was one of the 10,000 who were chosen.   He served in the 3rd Infantry Division in North Africa, Sicily, Italy, France, and Germany.  He bonded with his handler, Pvt John P. Rowell.

Chips met every important soldier who fought for the allies.  He served as a sentry dog during the 1943 Casablanca summit between Franklin D. Roosevelt and Winston Churchill.  When General Dwight Eisenhower entered the conference, he stopped to pet Chips who promptly bit the Supreme Allied Commander on the hand.  It was the only injury the future President suffered during the war.  When one of the Angels asked Chips, years later, why he bit Ike Chips said he was trying to warn him about Nixon.

Later in 1943, during the battle of Sicily, Chips, Rowell, and their fellow soldiers were pinned down on a beach by an Italian machine gun team.  Chips broke away from Rowell ready to give his life to save his men.   He dodged his way through the machine gun fire and jumped into the nest.  He grabbed one of the enemies by the throat and wrestled him outside.  Rowell called Chips off.  The injured man’s fellow shooters surrendered.   Chips suffered a scalp laceration and powder burns, but he continued his duty.  Later that day he helped capture ten more enemy fighters.

Chips was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross, the Silver Star, and the Purple Heart, but, as everyone who has served in the military knows, the military is FUBAR and Chips was stripped of the medals because unlike bullets the medals were for humans only.

Chips was discharged in 1945 and returned to the Wren family where he quietly lived out the rest of his days.

45 years after his discharge Disney immortalize Chips when they released the movie “Chips, the War Dog.”

This week two important ceremonies occurred simultaneously.  On the mortal side of the Bridge Chips’ human brother John Wren, now 75 years old, accepted Britain’s highest honor for animal bravery, the Dicken Medal, which is the animal equivalent of the Victoria Cross.  Chips has rightfully taken his place as one of the most heroic dogs to serve in the US Army.  Maybe someday the US Army will recognize him too  
And, while that was happening, I watched as Queen Victoria (the Jenna Coleman version not the Judi Dench version) herself presented a very proud Chips with the actual Victoria medal while Edward Wren, his family, and John Rowell applauded Chips and then gave him scratches and hugs.

The Angels then howled and applauded this almost forgotten dog.  Even Ike approached him to hug him but Chips growled at him because he was still upset about Nixon.  

Afterwards, at the reception, attended by FDR, and a tipsy Churchill, I personally got the thank Chips.  He told me to remember all dogs are heroes, which is very true.

We were all just happy that one of us finally got recognized for it.


  1. Chips was a really special hero indeed!

  2. What an amazing dog Chips was!!! We are happy he finally got his well-earned award.

    Woos - Lightning, Misty, and Timber

  3. What a fantastic life. Too bad Ike didn't get the message about Nixon.

  4. Wow! That's a great story that I never knew about before! What a brave doggie!

  5. Thank you for telling us Chip's story
    Hazel & Mabel

  6. hugs to chips I bow my head with honor... a real one and only and a wonderful friend what is in our hearts furever now...


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