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Memento : Issue 25
WHEN YOU THINK OF PUBLIC SERVANTS, you don't usually imagine them barking, braying, neighing or cooing! Yet over the years, thousands of dogs, horses, camels, cats, donkeys, pigeons, bullocks, beetles and even tiny worms have been employed by the government. They have carried the mail, delivered messages, served in war, saved lives, sniffed out contraband, hauled heavy loads, devoured noxious plants, killed pests and pulled sleds in the snow. From the largest beast of burden to the tiniest nematode, they have selflessly con- tributed to the Australian economy, never once agitating for better conditions! Currently on exhibition in our Canberra gallery, It's a Dog's Life! Animals in the Public Service celebrates the daily duties and admirable deeds of the many animals that have worked for the government. The exhibition has four main themes -- animals in war, animals that pull their weight, animals on guard, and animals engaged in biological control. Some stories recount sad tales of the relationship between humans and animals, like the pain of leaving horses and dogs behind after war service. Others recall the joy of close partnerships such as the Antarctic expeditioners and their huskies, outback workers and their camels, and even entomologists and their industrious little worms. The exhibition appeals to young and old -- sit on a full-size replica of a camel saddle, view live worms through a microscope or play an interactive game about husky sledding in Antarctica. And read the stories of animals that have helped shape our history! Peter Haran and Tracker Dog Caesar, Vietnam. Photo courtesy of Peter Haran Salvation Jane, photographed with permission by Pat Emmett. Animals are always crowd pleasers and Nelson the Quarantine beagle was a big hit at the opening of our latest exhibition. Pictured with Nelson are detector dog handler Christine Alexander and exhibition opener Richard Morecroft. 10 MEMENTO News from the National Archives