Apparently hoping to capitalize on the success of the shrine of St. John Neumann, Philadelphia’s underrated Atwater Kent Museum has brought in its own preserved body for watchers to gawk at: Philly The Doggy.
The museum’s website explains (emphasis, underlining and bolding all mine):
Philly, World War I mascot of “Philadelphia’s own,” 315th Infantry Regiment, U.S. Army, 1932. See Philly in the exhibition, Wartime: Illustrations by Norman Rockwell, May 24-October 6, 2006. The dog Philly was a good luck charm and decorated veteran with the 315th Infantry Regiment, known as “Philadelphia’s own,” when it fought in France during World War I. Philly was enlisted as a stray when a member of the 315th picked her up while the troops were training in Maryland, named her Philly, and smuggled her on a troop transport to France. Philly lived in the trenches and on sentinel duty barked at night whenever German troops began their attacks. A German commander went so far as to place a bounty on her head. Philly received two honorary Bronze stars, one for a mustard gas attack and one for a shrapnel wound. At war’s end she returned to the United States with the troops and marched in the victory parade in Washington, D.C., in front of President Woodrow Wilson. Philly lived until 1932 in Philadelphia and attended annual regimental reunions, where her favorite foods were liver and cake. In 1998, when the 315th was eliminated in military downsizing, Philly was donated by the regiment to the Philadelphia City History Collection at AKMP.
Move over, Snoopy: This guy is the coolest effing dog ever. Could you see any of today’s prissy, yip-yip dogs getting Bronze stars or warning the troops of oncoming
Germans insurgents? I think not. You’re our hero, Philly.
Featured Philadelphians [Atwater Kent Museum]
Saint’s Body/Relics [Shine of St. John Neumann]