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|03-24-2005, 09:26 AM||#1|
YT 6000 Club Member
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Seattle, WA
[News] Smoky Memorial in Cleveland in Planning Stages
If all goes according to plan, a Yorkshire terrier named Smoky will be honored with a memorial in the Cleveland Metroparks.
It's not like the terrier hasn't seen his share of honors already: Other monuments have been dedicated to Smoky in Eastlake, Columbus, Tennessee, Missouri and Hawaii.
This one, however, would be the first in her adopted hometown of Cleveland.
The 4-pound terrier became famous when she carried a line through a 70-foot-long drainpipe beneath an airplane runway in the South Pacific in World War II. She also flew 12 combat missions with former Plain Dealer photographer Bill Wynne, was one of the first therapy dogs and starred in a postwar television show.
The monument, to be located in the Rocky River Reservation, is a bronze sculpture of the small dog wearing a soldier's helmet. It is dedicated to "Smoky and Dogs of All Wars."
This memorial is in conjunction with one dedicated to the men and women who served in the U.S. armed forces. Both memorials will be dedicated on Veterans Day, Friday, Nov. 11.
Susan Bahary, a California artist, has already started drawings of the sculpture, Wynne said. The monument should be completed by mid-September.
The Monument for Smoky committee, consisting of Pat Aufdenberg, Don Esmond and Jim Strand, has raised $10,000 of the total cost of $32,000.
Donations may be sent to Veterans/Smoky Memorial Fund 5541, c/o Cleveland Metroparks, Attention: Treasurer's office, 4101 Fulton Parkway, Cleveland, OH 44144. For details, call 216-635-3231.
Sled dog update
Balto was not the only one of the seven Alaskan sled dogs who lived his final days at the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo to be preserved.
After seeing a recent column about the Cleveland Museum of Natural History's Balto exhibition, Marcella Huber, 81, of Medina, called. She said her father, the late John J. Koza, was a taxidermist who mounted the body of Balto's teammate Sye.
Zoo residents Balto, Sye and teammates were among 150 sled dogs who carried serum to Nome during a 1925 diphtheria outbreak.
Balto died in 1933. Sye, the last survivor, in 1934 or 1936. Reports differ on the dates.
It is believed that the bodies of the other sled dogs were buried on zoo grounds, but it is not known what happened to the graves when other buildings were constructed on the site, said JoAnn Coburn, school programming coordinator at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History.
Sye - spelled "Si" in some newspaper accounts - was special to Capt. Curley Wilson, zoo superintendent from 1931 to 1942, said Huber. Wilson took the dog's body to Koza, who was experienced in mounting everything from grizzly bears to fish.
Sye was mounted and displayed over the door of the zoo's tiger building, Huber remembered.
However, the main zoo building was razed after the Primate Cat and Aquatics building was completed in the mid 1970s, said Sarah Bartash, a marketing specialist at the zoo.
"It is not believed that taxidermied animals were on display in the building in the 1970s," Bartash said. "Being in a building with live animals, humidity, insects and the like, the taxidermied animals would not have great longevity. Balto's remains have benefited from being cared for in a museum setting and kept in cold storage."
Next mystery: What happened to Sye's body and other mounted wild animals on display in the zoo building?
Koza wondered about that, too. In a 1965 newspaper clipping, Koza, then 75, was quoted as saying, "I'd kind of like to see [Sye] again. He should still be in perfect condition. I wonder what could have happened to him. I did such a good job on him."
Koza, a master taxidermist, brought in a live German shepherd dog to model so he could get Sye's muscles positioned correctly.
The body of another sled dog, Togo, who lived his final years in Maine with musher Leonhard Seppala's partner in a dog breeding program, was mounted and is displayed in the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race Museum in Wasilla, Alaska.
The most popular dogs in Cleveland and in the nation are Labrador retrievers, followed by golden retrievers, says the American Kennel Club of the canines in its registry.
From there, the list differs. Here, Nos. 3 through 10 are boxer, German shepherd dog, poodles (all sizes), Yorkshire terrier, pug, bulldog, miniature pinscher and Rottweiler.
Three through 10 nationally are the German shepherd dog, beagle, Yorkshire terrier, dachshund, boxer, poodles, shih tzu and Chihuahua.
The Rottweiler, a newcomer to Cleveland's top 10, hasn't been one of the national top 10 since 1999. The miniature pinscher, ninth here, is 21st in the nation.
The least registered here are the field spaniel, Irish water spaniel, standard schnauzer and Tibetan spaniel.
More info on Smoky