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Allen & Endal - The Dogs Of War

The Animals' War Exhibition runs until April 22, 2007 in London,
after which it will transfer to IWM North in Manchester in summer 2007.
Adults £6.00, concessions £5.00, children and groups £4.00, family ticket £18.00

A NEW EXHIBITION named The Animals’ War was launched last year to pay tribute to the part played by many animals during times of war. Now into its seventh month, currently housed at the imposing Imperial War museum in London it is still attracting large numbers of visitors.

The exhibition team invited two of its ‘living relics’ to spend some days sharing their story with the visitors during the schools’ half term last week, namely the indomitable due of Allen Parton and his Assistance dog, Labrador Endal. Endal renowned for his care, in the aftermath of war, of his human partner Royal Navy Gulf war veteran Allen, enthralled the visitors young and old with their story about their personal journey together over the last ten years.

Allen said: ‘I never know if it is something that we should boast about, being an actual museum's relic… but personally to see Endal's major role in my rehabilitation recognised in this way is very, very emotional.

‘The exhibition also tells the story of animals that have lost their lives in the service of mankind so to be part of such a prestigious exhibition is such an honour.’

It was very reminiscent of the typical Christmas scene where children end up having more enjoyment playing with the box then the actual gift inside. Endal became a massive attraction, despite the huge collection of military hardware and hands-on displays in the museum.

Allen commented that it was heart warming to see Endal so alive with the children and the grown up visitors, a situation where his gentle nature just shone through. He certainly made a many new friends and won a lot of hearts during his time at the museum.

‘Sadly with the media recently reporting only the negative aspect of dogs, it was nice to be doing something that promotes the dog in our lives and at the same time remind folk of what scarifies dogs and animals have made for man over the years’ added Allen. ‘Endal truly is such a great ambassador for the canine world’.

Allen confessed: "On our second day we were a little tired because our London hotel was positioned between a fire, Police and ambulance station. During the night various sirens would sound to which Endal alerted me too with such enthusiasm.

By four o'clock in the morning and the twentieth awaking by my faithful hound. I could only but laugh at the situation. After each alert, Endal quickly settled back to sleep but not so in my case. Though I was a little tired on the last day, Endal seemed to draw on an endless supply of energy to wow his audience as is the norm and this kept me going too.’

In conjunction with the AW exhibition a children's book has been published and the author Isabel George of PDSA press relations office attended and read chapters to a spellbound audience (Allen and Endal included). She also signed copies of the book that were on sale in the museum bookshop.