408 East Main Street
Eagle Lake, TX 77434
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If you’ve seen the gripping new movie “War Horse,” you’ve taken an emotional journey through a story about a young boy and his beloved horse, trained and deployed to France as the mount for an officer in the cavalry in WWI. The military service of horses was critical, and deservedly they became the unsung heroes of battle.

As tanks, machines, and technology replaced the battlefield horse in the Second World War, dogs became the soldier’s best friend, and were trained for military service for use as scouts, sentries, messengers, guards, trackers, and pack dogs. Such was the story of “Tar,” Eagle Lake’s own “War Dog.”

According to the Headlight, January 22, 1943, old Tar was the first dog to join the military colors from Eagle Lake in WW II.

Tar was a large, black Newfoundland dog, the pet dog of his masters, Corporal Leonard Seaholm and his brother, Sailor Gardner Seaholm, both of whom were deployed. “Characteristic of man’s best friend, Tar was left desolate at home in the absence of his masters. The few days that the boys could be at home from college and the service were always happy ones for Tar.” But when the boys left, Tar listened in vain for their familiar steps.

The boys’ father, Mr. G.A. (Gus) Seaholm had given them their beloved dog, Tar, as a puppy years before, at Christmas, and was keenly aware of the pain of absence on both sides. One day he decided that it was “meet and proper for the dog to volunteer and follow his country’s flag, as his young masters had done.” Knowing that Tar might not be serving in the same company as his masters, he, nonetheless, would be serving his country and doing his duty. And, “who could be sure that Tar and his masters’ paths wouldn’t cross while overseas.” It seemed only fitting that their beautiful dog should follow the boys, and serve their country, too.

Knowing that Tar was a fine dog, registered, strong, and healthy, Mr. Seaholm enlisted him, and saw him pass his physical and other requirements, and prepare to ship out. Mr. Gus added a third star to his “service flag,” and Eagle Lake saluted its first War Dog.

By Sandra C. Thomas

Our Mission

To preserve and share the history and culture of Eagle Lake, Texas and surrounding areas through our collections, publications, archives, artifacts, and educational programs.

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