ARTIST'S STATEMENT

THE PILL BOX is a contemporary ghost story written by Jean Maple about a pill box used during World War II that is situated in the middle of her horse pasture. Jeanís story is woven around the beliefs of those residents of Essex England who believe Jeanís pill box is haunted. At first I thought this was a bit superstitious, then Jean started sending photos of the pill box. She kept talking about the ghosts in the pictures. I saw none. Then when I began to format the story for web presentation I saw it. I had to put the story into a graphics program to enlarge it. There in one of the turret windows of the pill box is the head of what appears to be a dog. Could this be Bob, or is it just my imagination?

The illustrations of THE PILL BOX that relate to the world wars required a great deal of research into the era. I would especially like to thank those who contributed information to me to research the dogs and their gear. There will be a bibliography at the end of THE PILL BOX for those interested in further reading or internet browsing.

The Airedale Terrier was one of the more versatile war dogs used by the British, French, Germans, Russians, and others during World War I for guard or sentry, messengers, red cross or ambulance, draft dogs for hauling or packing supplies, etc. Often dogs would be used for multiple purposes. One can not really study war dogs without coming across the name of Colonel Richardson who single handedly set up the entire British war dog program and influenced other countries as well. He worked primarily with Airedale Terriers, and had a kennel full of Airedales that he had been training for police work. Colonel Richardsonís documented work with war dogs is a primary tool in researching the gear utilized by these war dogs. The dogs were fitted with special gas masks. They had collars fitted with pouches for messages. Saddles with packs were used to haul supplies for red cross ambulance work. The dogs were a significant tool used by both sides during the war. War dogs have been also used in the Vietnam conflict by the United States, and memorials have been created to honor the war dog.

Although this story is a Halloween ghost story the topic is also befitting a memorial to our veterans of foreign wars.