With his large build and goofy, friendly demeanor, the Canadian Newfoundland dog Pal was loved by the local children. They would wrestle him and have him tow their sleds, until one day Pal accidentally gave one of the kids a scratch from his paw.
His owners feared that the authorities would take action against their beloved gentle giant, so they donated Pal to a local rifle regiment. The soldiers, who already knew Pal and recognized the potential of having a dog the size of a small car on the team, renamed him Gander, "promoted" him to sergeant and made him their official mascot.
Gander adapted to military life well enough, and the next thing he knew, the unit was sent overseas to assist in the battle for Hong Kong in 1941.Knowing retrievers, I'm pretty sure he was just bringing back the grenade to whoever had thrown it.
In December 1941, the Japanese found that attacking a unit under the cover of night is only a good idea when the enemy doesn't happen to have a giant black hellhound guarding their camp. Gander noticed the impending sneak attack, decided to drop the silly puppy act and switched his Hound of the Baskervilles knob up to 11. And that's when things got fucking metal.
The first wave of the attack was stopped by a gaping, furiously barking maw followed by 170 pounds of pitch-black, furry battering ram, mowing down the terrified Japanese at thigh height.
After doing away with them, Gander roared down on a second Japanese unit he spotted advancing on a group of injured Royal Rifles, this time adding biting to his already impressive "invincible night demon" repertoire. Again, the enemy fled, because who wouldn't?
When Gander sat down to guard the injured soldiers, the Japanese finally collected themselves enough to remember that they were a fighting unit, with weaponry and all that jazz. So they opened fire and chucked a grenade at the terrified group.
Gander took a calm look at the grenade, seconds away from exploding. Then, almost nonchalantly, he picked the thing up and charged right the fuck again, at the terrified Japanese troops that had just enough time to realize how badly karma was about to bite their ass about that whole "kamikaze" thing.
Gander went out in an explosive blaze of glory, later receiving a posthumous medal for his unbelievable bravery and becoming the only nonhuman soldier whose name is included in the Hong Kong memorial wall in Ottawa. And while there are many reasons as to why Japan and Canada enjoy a healthy relationship based on mutual respect, we can't help thinking that the several thousand Newfoundlands drooling about in Canada don't exactly hurt Japan's motivation to stay on friendly terms.