Between the Covers / Shhhh... we're reading.   Photo of reading after bedtime
RSS this blog



+ Fiction

+ Nonfiction


+ Fiction



+ Fiction

+ Nonfiction

Author Interviews


In the News



A Doughboy's Best Friend

posted by: July 7, 2014 - 8:00am

Cover art for Stubby the War DogCover art for Sergeant StubbyTo commemorate the centennial of the outbreak of World War I this summer, many new books have been and will continue to be released. They range from new analyses of battles, biographies of personalities of the era and wide-ranging assessments of how the ‘War to End All Wars’ set the history of the 20th and 21st century and its continuing conflicts in motion. A furry character study for young readers comes in Ann Bausum’s Stubby the War Dog: The True Story of World War I’s Bravest Dog. As the United States was at last pulled into the war in 1917, a stray, brindle-colored Boston Bull Terrier wandered onto a soldiers’ training ground at Yale University. The soldiers all took a liking to this sweet, short-tailed dog, but none more than enlisted man James Conroy.


Training complete (for both men and dog), the soldiers were sent to sea, and Conroy smuggled the pup onto the ship bound for France. Now considered a mascot, Stubby had been taught to stand on his rear legs and lift his right paw to salute high-ranking officers. This endeared Stubby to all he met, including women of the French resistance, who sewed him a natty uniform. The dog turned out to be a valiant and useful addition to the men in the trenches, as he aided with rat removal, alerted the men to enemies approaching and was even temporarily wounded in action while helping to discover landmines. Bausum illustrates the history of the four-legged hero with plenty of period photographs from the Conroy family collection and other ephemera of the WWI era. Her impeccable research is outlined in endnotes and an extensive bibliography. She also tells of this famous dog in Sergeant Stubby: How a Stray Dog and His Best Friend Helped Win World War I and Stole the Heart of a Nation, written for adult readers. This title covers even more of Stubby’s exploits during and after the war. Both books are published by National Geographic, and are excellent avenues into this period. They will be enjoyed by dog lovers as well as by history buffs.


It was always my understanding that Sgt. Stubby was a pit bull...

I believe Sergeant Stubby was a pit bull.

Thanks for the catch! It has been rectified.

* all fields are required. Your email is kept private and will not be shown.

The discussion on this blog is monitored, and inappropriate content will be removed. BCPL reserves the right to delete submissions that contain vulgar language, personal attacks of any kind, or offensive comments that target or disparage any group or individual. Further, BCPL also reserves the right to delete comments that:

(i) Are spam, or include links to other sites;
(ii) Are unrelated to the library and its mission;
(iii) Advocate illegal activity;
(iv) Promote particular services, products, or political organizations;
(v) Infringe on copyrights or trademarks;
(vi) Contain confidential information.

Revised: November 18, 2015