Shipley dog therapy business pays its respects in Belgium for Remembrance Sunday

Molly at the wreath in Ypres (submitted).
Molly at the wreath in Ypres (submitted).

A canine representative of a Shipley dog therapy businesses headed to Belgium to commemorate Remembrance Sunday at the weekend.

Molly was the only dog there in an official capacity as she joined Julia Robertson, Galen Canine Therapy Centre’s founder, to lay wreaths in memory of all war dogs at the Menin Gate Memorial to the Missing in Ypres.

The Duke of Edinburgh and Prince Laurent of Belgium were some of the dignitaries to attend.

Molly wore a coat saying ‘Pet dogs like me saved thousands of soldiers’ lives’.

Ms Robertson said: “I have been overwhelmed by the reception Molly has had in Ypres. It has been lovely to talk to so many people from different countries who are interested in learning about war dogs past and present.

“And we feel very honoured to have been invited to take part in some WWI centenary celebrations of remembrance next year.”

While dogs are now selected and trained for jobs in the military, during the First World War people donated their pets to help with the war effort, carrying orders, sniffing for explosives, or acting as guard or patrol dogs.

One woman congratulated Julia saying: “I am moved - I had absolutely no idea that dogs were so involved in the wars. It is fantastic to see Molly here flying their flag. I will look at my dogs at home with renewed admiration.”

Galen is a specialist centre that provides treatment and training to dogs with muscle pain and other complications.