Gunner (Trained Canine) Loki is new mascot for artillery school

Article / January 30, 2018 / Project number: 17-0369

By Captain Nicholas Kaempffer, Royal Regiment of Canadian Artillery School

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Oromocto, New Brunswick — The Royal Regiment of Canadian Artillery School (RCAS) is proud to announce their selection of Gunner (Canine) Loki, an 8-year-old Vizsla, as their official mascot.

This handsome Hungarian pointer-retriever has joined the illustrious ranks of past Royal Regiment of Canadian Artillery (RCA) mascots as part of the proud canine history of Gunners and dogs.

Proposed as a potential RCAS mascot during a Commandant’s Hour on October 5, 2017, following a compelling pitch that involved history, morale, cost-efficiency and a show of obedience, all Gunners in attendance acclaimed this handsome beast into his present position as unit mascot. Subsequently, on December 11, 2017, he was promoted to the rank of Gunner (Trained Canine).

Gnr (TC) Loki’s duties will include his presence at parades, physical training, inspections and morale-building visits to the loyal Batteries at the RCAS. The following is an abridged biography of Gnr (TC) Loki.

Gnr (TC) Loki was born as Onpoint Vizsla’s Man in the Mirror to Rowdy (sire) and Hotty (dam) on the 2nd of June, 2009, under the expert supervision of kennel owners Kim and John Reid.

Renamed Loki by Captain (then Officer Cadet) Nicholas Kaempffer and Captain (Retired) Sarah Kaempffer, he quickly assumed his canine duties within their household, where his affable and social soul was soon evident.

A graduate of Beginner, Novice and Intermediate training at the Kingston Canine Center, Gnr (TC) Loki distinguished himself with top marks for his obedience and gentle nature.

Relocating to Oromocto following the family’s posting to Base Gagetown, Gnr (TC) Loki quickly marked his territory (both figuratively and literally) within the great province of New Brunswick.

Described as an “old man” following the celebration of his 56th dog year, Gnr (TC) Loki still enjoys long walks, although extended naps feature more prominently within his daily routine.

Gnr (TC) Loki’s noble stature and appearance is evident, with his now greying features adding to a distinguished bearing.

Proud to assume his duties as the RCAS mascot, Gnr (TC) Loki looks forward to building esprit de corps as he wags himself into the hearts of soldiers both young and old, wearing his distinctive canine uniform.

As a “huge fan” of the history of both the Canadian Army and The Royal Regiment of Canadian Artillery, Capt Kaempffer noted that dogs were often pictured with Gunners, including Lieutenant-Colonel John McCrae, famous for writing In Flanders Fields.

Armies across the globe have been known to have animal mascots as far back as records show to bring luck and strengthen morale. Goats are a British favourite, while the Norwegian King’s Guard has had a King Penguin as its mascot since 1972. Other mascots from around the world have included dogs, eagles, tigers, sheep, horses, ponies, a kangaroo and an elephant. 

Since he was a lieutenant in 2011, Capt Kaempffer worked on having his family dog Loki officially named as the RCAS mascot. Even before he became the unit mascot, Loki has been a fixture in many events at the RCAS.

“Every time I would bring Loki to work, the instant smiles he would bring out in soldiers was fantastic. To be frank, the Artillery is a serious business by its very nature, and there was something fun about pursuing a relatively irrelevant side project during the few spare moments in the day,” he said.

This article was originally published in the Oromocto Post-Gazette on November 2, 2017.

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