Sergeant Stubby War Dog
Today I wanted to take a walk back in time to World War One and pay tribute to a famous and heroic War Dog called Sergeant Stubby. I found his story fascinating and hope you enjoy reading about this brave little dog.
Stubby was know as the most decorated war dog of The Great War and the only dog to achieve the rank of Sergeant through combat.
Boston Terrier/ Pit Bull Stubby was found wandering around the grounds of Yale University, Connecticut in July 1917. At the time, 102nd Infantry were training on the campus and Corporal James Robert Conroy took a liking to the dog. He called him Stubby due to his short tail.
Corporal Conroy smuggled the dog aboard the troop ship to France, hiding him inside his coat. When his commanding officer found Stubby, he lifted his right paw in salute to the officer, and was allowed to stay.
Stubby began his service in France in 1918. Over the following eighteen months he was under constant fire throughout the day and night. He participated in seventeen battles throughout that time .After suffering from the effects of mustard gas he returned to action with a specially designed gas mask of his own.
Whilst serving with 102nd Infantry his role was to warn his unit of mustard gas attacks and locate wounded soldiers. Due to his amazing hearing, he could alert the troops to incoming artillery shells before they were audible to the human ear. When he was recovering from injuries he kept up the morale of hospitalised servicemen and sat patiently by the side of dying soldiers.
He was promoted to Sergeant when he located a German spy and became the most decorated dog of World War One. A chamois coat was made for Sergeant Stubby by the local French women to display his medals. It featured Allied flags and his name sewn in gold thread.
Stubby sustained many injuries from grenades, but returned home with Corporal Conroy when the war was over. He was given a heroes welcome and took part in many victory parades throughout the United States. He was given many medals and met three US Presidents. Even the Grand Hotel Majestic in New York City lifted it’s ban on dogs so that Stubby could stay there en-route to Washington.
He became a mascot for Georgetown Law University where he attended with his owner Robert Conroy. Stubby would entertain the crowds at football matches by showing off his ball skills during the half-time break.
Stubby passed away from old age in 1926, but his legacy lives on today with monuments and statues standing in his honour throughout the United States.
He has portraits, books and films all made in his memory. An animated movie called Sgt Stubby, An American Hero was made in 2018 and won various awards.
I wanted to share Sergeant Stubby’s story and keep his memory alive almost a century after he passed away. The amazing bond he shared with Corporal Conroy demonstrates how perfectly human and canine can work in unison. His shining example of trust, loyalty and bravery deserves to be remembered forever.
Here is my review of Hero Dogs by Wilma Melville and Paul Lobo. It is the true story of the National Disaster Search Dog Foundation.
This is a book for anyone who loves rescue dogs, especially Staffordshire Bull Terriers. Get the tissues ready!
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