Find Josephine’s mascot - could it be your dog?
Many Allied Air Force crews kept dogs as their companions during the war years or had dog mascots for the squadron. *Flash was stationed with a Spitfire Squadron in the UK. Later this year we will be setting out to find Josephine's own mascot - a special dog to represent Josephine at Pro Jo events on the ground.
Could it your dog? Meet Bumble …..
Bumble is a regular flyer with Mandy and Tom, who live in British Columbia. They live on an island, so Bumble's transport is a seaplane and he has his own custom-made life jacket.
Your dog doesn't have to be an experienced flyer like Bumble, but the right dog for Josephine will definitely have an outgoing, confident, happy personality and be comfortable in noisy, crowded places (we know the magical dog for Josephine is out there somewhere...)
Josephine's mascot won't be going flying - and won't need a life-jacket - but we are in contact with the company who made parachutes for dogs during WW2 and the chosen dog will be fitted with a special one-off custom-made parachute of his/her own (no jumping out of aircraft required!).
The search will be widespread - dogs of all types and lifestyles will be considered! We'll be scouting the streets of Britain too. The mail-dog which appears in Josephine's animation film is based on the smallest puppy in the litter of puppies Yoseph rescued whilst he was working in Ghana. He found homes for all five puppies and named the smallest puppy 'Ahomfa' and she now stars in Josephine's animation film as the mail-dog.
Bruan the Brave - never forgotten.
Meet Bruan the Harry-Potter Cocker, with his white lightening bolt stripe and passion for cuddles. Bruan belonged to Keith and Rebecca (Tom’s great-niece) and he was Josephine’s first mascot.
Bruan became unwell with a mystery illness not long after settling in to his new home with Rebecca and Keith. They took him to the vet where he was tested for Parvovirus, but the results came back negative (twice). He had abdominal surgery to check for foreign bodies and obstructions. Nothing was found. He battled secondary pneumonia after inhaling some vomit and spent 4 days and nights in an oxygen kennel to help him breathe. He had a feeding tube inserted to keep his food levels up, but he continued to be sick.
He melted hearts in the ICU at the veterinary hospital in Edinburgh where he was treated. He put up a brave fight to survive, but he was a tiny pup and his tummy couldn’t cope with the illness. It became increasingly clear he wasn’t going to get better, despite the best efforts of his vets.
On 11 Dec 2017 he died peacefully in Rebecca’s arms with Keith right beside giving him nose strokes.
In his short life Bruan made a big impact on everyone around him, so we want him to be remembered as Josephine’s first mascot.
Josephine will be carrying a scroll listing the names of over 20,000 missing airmen and women, who are recorded on the Runnymede Memorial in Surrey. The scroll will be accompanied by a photograph of Bruan, who will be their special dog mascot in spirit for the flight - he will represent the many faithful dog companions of WW2.
You don't have to wait until we make the official announcement describing our search for Josephine's mascot. If you are reading this now - and think your dog would fit this role beautifully - please send us a photograph. We are all dog-lovers here and would love to see them.
*Photo Imperial War Museums