My rating: 5 of 5 stars
"Never forgotten!" These words, or similar ones, are often printed and spoken with regard to those who have valiantly served in our armed forces. But in reality many are forgotten, especially as time grinds on. And even more specifically if the war veteran wasn't human but an animal. Yet author Grant Hayter-Menzies has sought to be faithful to these words by recalling the story of Rags in his new 216 page hardback, "From Stray Dog to World War I Hero: The Paris Terrier Who Joined the First Division." It's a perfect book for dog lovers and World War I buffs alike.
This twelve chapter book easily recounts the feats of Rags in the final months of World War I after having been found around Paris and adopted by two Doughboys. Hayter-Menzies weeds through news stories, biographies and other accounts to piece together when Rags arrived on the scene, how he courageously and helpfully served with Sgt Donovan, and was wounded with him just before the war came to a close. The rest of the book chronicles the secretive and circuitous route Rags took to end up on U.S. soil, sought to remain by Donovan's hospital bed as he lay dying, and how his life remained adventurous until his own passing in the mid-1930s. The story has highs and lows; it is filled with life, and touches the edges of death. The author also weaves in stories of other War animals in brief re-tellings of their courageous exploits.
"From Stray Dog to World War I Hero" is an enjoyable work well worth the cost and time invested to read it. The author has made Rags' life accessible so that he will never be forgotten. I highly recommend the book, whether you're a dog lover or not!
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