The American Watch-Dog
In analyzing the post card, “The American Watch-Dog”, one could obviously notice its essence of patriotism. The red, white and blue attire worn by the dog is mostly recognized as a representation of our country’s unification as those colors symbolize our nation’s freedom. Further enforcing our notion and idea of patriotism is the U.S.N. hat worn by the dog. The initials, U.S.N., standing for the United States Navy. Over the years, our nation has taken great pride in its military, granting the recognition of military with patriotism, as the United States military has been seen as the layer of its foundation and protector of its freedom.
The postmark date found on the post card is 1918, which coincides with the time of the First World War. It is during this time, in which Americans are truly coming together and displaying our freedom colors as the country is involved with the war. The words on the front of the post card read, “We’re not looking for trouble. But we’re ready for it.” This could translate to the Navy being prepared for battle or on a larger scale; it could translate to the United States as a whole, being ready to defend our freedom. Either way, it is a powerful statement, one that it is peaceful yet, gives a “don’t mess with us”, attitude. In times of war, this statement seems best suitable for any country, yet alone, the United States where we pride ourselves in taking on challenges and overcoming the worst of situations.
One of the most intriguing aspects of this post card is the image of the dog and more specifically, the image of the American Pit Bull Terrier. It’s interesting to think that the pit bull was the dog chosen to be placed on the post card as a patriotic representative figure for America. In terms of today, the pit bull would most likely be the last breed chosen to be placed on a post card, considering the overwhelming negative connotations associated with the breed, while also including the fact that they are banned in over 650 U.S. cities, including U.S. military bases. The perception of these dogs, as shown in the post card, has most certainly changed over time. During past times of war, pit bulls were exceptionally useful and appreciated. At times, these dogs were even crucial and greatly essential to the battlefield. Their duties varied and included: messengers, sentries, guardians, trackers, carriers, and rescuers. Recognized for their bravery, many pit bulls have even received medals of Honor. Once, prevailed and held in high regard as war heroes, pit bulls are now viewed as lesser of the sort. As this post card might argue, pit bulls are not the ones to blame for their negative associations; it is however, the perception of the viewer who makes those associations.
The last aspect of this post card takes us to the post mark location. Sent from Almond, North Carolina to the destination of Deweese Flats, North Carolina, separating these two locations is a distance of about 100 miles.
(Point A is representative of Deweese Mountain, as the more specific, Deweese Flats, is no longer found on the map)
It goes to show that the prominent form, possibly only form of communication during the early 1900’s, was communication through mail. Differentiating from today, it has been known that mail carriers would visit houses, businesses, and military bases more than once a day, possibly even reaching up to three times a day. Short and simple messages would be relayed between relatives and friends via post card and letter, whereas today, they are rarely sent, as most people only send letters and cards for special occasions such as birthdays and holidays. It’s unfortunate to say communication through the mail, especially via post card, is dying out, as technologies, such as texting, e-mail, and Facebook have begun to take their place.