Short story dog

Escaped from the Czech border troops

Behind the village of Guglwald there had been a border guard force of about 100 soldiers on Czech territory since 1948. At the beginning of May 1978 a farmer in our village of Schönegg found an exhausted shepherd dog lying in his garage. This completely distressed animal did not move an inch. Because this happened on a Sunday and the municipal office was closed, the farmer phoned the head of the Schönegg primary school, Ingeborg Winkler. She came and brought some sausages. She used them to lure the dog out, which ate the sausages completely starving. Finally she lured him into her car with the last cracker and drove him home. The foundling, who had become trusting in the meantime, spent the night in the bedroom of his rescuer’s sons. The next day, our family was preoccupied with the strange but now trusting sheepdog: Where did he come from? Who could he belong to? What should we do with him? In addition, the obligatory dog tag was missing. Instead, he was wearing a small bag attached to his collar, but it was empty. As people began to puzzle over this, the dog became more and more suspicious. Is he perhaps one of the Czech guard dogs we had already encountered at the border, which wear a command device on their collar and are controlled by radio commands?

Security Directorate clarified

Now it became clear that the gendarmerie should be contacted for this reason. An officer came and agreed with the dog custodians. Again two days passed before officers of the Security Directorate from Linz took care of the “dog story”. They photographed the collar with the bag and found that the dog had torn open the bag on the collar after its “stalk” in the undergrowth and had lost its control device. Now he could not find his way back to his master and got lost in the border area. Because the dog felt comfortable with us, we were allowed to keep him until further measures would be announced. Again the day passed and our Czech guest had neither barked nor growled so far. He whimpered when he wanted to go to the toilet. But only the boys were allowed to accompany him. He stayed at the house and did not turn to flee.

Bernhard and his mother Ingeborg Winkler

After another two days we received the news that our four-legged guest was to be handed over to the Czechs at border stone 2/11 the following day. Our children were moved to tears, they had taken him to their hearts. On the day in question, we drove with the dog in the car to the designated border stone at the state border. At the Iron Curtain we could see a gate opening and a military jeep turning across the field to the designated border stone. When we arrived at the border stone, a soldier got out, saluted wordlessly and called out “Harro!” With a joyful leap, the shepherd detached himself from us and disappeared into the jeep. The engine howled and the vehicle drove back to the barbed wire fence.

After the fall of the Iron Curtain, we visited the Czech barracks and the dog pound. The commander told us that there were five and often more well-trained dogs that were used very successfully to pursue fugitives.