A Dog’s Story

Written By: Jesse  Skinner

My father was Charlie Mulligan, a gentle man with a soft heart and a love of family, fishing and trains. We lived and grew up on the western end of Long Island.

Dad’s favorite fishing locale was Montauk Point. It was a double gift to take the train out and board a party boat and fish for the day.

The following occurred during WWII just before I was born.

Dad had driven out with a friend to Montauk Point and gone out fishing. On his return trip home he would usually stop by a roadside farm stand on the east end and buy potatoes or whatever was in season.

On this particular day, Dad stopped at a farm stand and arrived home with a sack of potatoes and a stray dog.

My brother and sister were thrilled with the dog that was named King Fish and affectionately called King.

One morning after walking my siblings to school, Dad returned home and upon opening the door, King bolted out of the house into the street, where hewas struck by a bus and killed. Knowing that my brother and sister would be heartbroken by this tragedy, Dad  {with Mom’s approval } told the following story.


Soon after arriving home that morning, the doorbell rand and two soldiers in uniform appeared asking Dad, would our family give up King for the duration of the war to be trained for use on the battlefront as a messenger and scout. They explained that King would be treated with the utmost respect and care. As time was important, they asked Dad for a decision so that they could return to camp that evening.

My sibling’s grief was definitely offset by the fact that King would be part of the war effort.

A short time later a progress letter arrived, looking quite official, stating that King’s training had ended and he would be on the next ship overseas. A month later a small box arrived with a medal and a commendation telling of King’s heroism. Tales at school were told with a children’s excitement of their dogs adventure.

King’s was ended as a final citation arrived with another medal for receiving a wound while saving an infantryman’s life during combat. Soon after King Died from his wounds and was buried on the battlefield. A tearful service was held in a yard with dad, mom, brother and sister saying a prayer and placing a marker coincidently over the spot where King truly was buried.