Rags: Hero Dog of WWI, A True Story
Published by Sleeping Bear Press on August 2, 2014
Genres: Biographies and Memoirs, Unit Histories
Mascots were some of the most beloved members of military units during World War 1. A statue of the German shepherd who served with the Marines in France is on proud display at the Marine Corps University in Quantico, Virginia.
This book for children is the story of Rags, a mangy stray rescued from the streets in Paris by an American Army enlisted man named James Donovan serving in the 1st Division. Rags served with distinction, delivering messages and endearing himself to the unit. He won citations and was wounded.
Near the end of the war, both Rags and his owner were wounded in a gas attack. Rags was treated at an aid station and then smuggled on board the ship returning his owner to the U.S. for treatment. Private Donovan did not recover. Rags continued to serve in the division until his death in 1936. His long life and contributions are included at the end of story enabling the reader to answer the “What happened after that?“ question. The story is an endearing one and the illustrations well done.
Reviewed by Anne Merritt