No Better Friend

One Man, One Dog, and Their Extraordinary Story of Courage and Survival in WWII


By Robert Weintraub

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The extraordinary tale of survival and friendship between a man and a dog in World War II.

Flight technician Frank Williams and Judy, a purebred pointer, met in the most unlikely of places: an internment camp in the Pacific. Judy was a fiercely loyal dog, with a keen sense for who was friend and who was foe, and the pair’s relationship deepened throughout their captivity. When the prisoners suffered beatings, Judy would repeatedly risk her life to intervene. She survived bombings and other near-death experiences and became a beacon not only for Frank but for all the men, who saw in her survival a flicker of hope for their own.

Judy’s devotion to those she was interned with was matched by their love for her, which helped keep the men and their dog alive despite the ever-present threat of death by disease or the rifles of the guards. At one point, deep in despair and starvation, Frank contemplated killing himself and the dog to prevent either from watching the other die. But both were rescued, and Judy spent the rest of her life with Frank.

She became the war’s only official canine POW, and after she died at age fourteen, Frank couldn’t bring himself to ever have another dog. Their story — of an unbreakable bond forged in the worst circumstances — is one of the great undiscovered sagas of World War II.


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A Note to the Reader

Multiple place-names are referred to or spelled the way they were during World War II, and have changed since. This is the case for some large places on the maps, such as Siam (now Thailand), as well as several small ones, such as the cities, towns, and villages in Sumatra, most of which are spelled slightly differently today.

   CHAPTER 1   


In September of 1936, two British sailors went looking for a dog. They were sailors on the HMS Gnat, one of the flotilla of gunboats that flew the Union Jack up and down the Yangtze River, protecting shipping, repelling pirates, and serving the interests of the crown, in whatever capacity that might take. The boat was in Shanghai for its annual refit and repair, but the job was mostly finished. The two officers had time to squeeze in one last important shore activity before resuming their patrol.

The men of the Gnat were in a quandary. Several other gunboats had animals on board as mascots—two cats on the Bee, a parrot on the Ladybird, even a monkey on the Cicala. Recently, the Gnat had encountered another gunboat, the Cricket, on the river, and their mascot, a large boxer-terrier mix named Bonzo, had put on such a show of barking and bristling that the men of the Gnat felt at a loss without a mascot of their own to answer in kind.

After much discussion, the officers of the boat decided to get a dog of their own. So the two gunboatmen, Lieutenant Commander J. M. G. Waldegrave, who was skipper of the Gnat, and Chief Petty Officer Charles Jeffery, the ship's bosun, meandered over to the Shanghai Dog Kennels in the British settlement, looking for a proper specimen to represent their ship.

They fell in love with Judy straightaway, especially when she leapt into Jeffery's arms when he whistled a hello in her direction. She wasn't a puppy anymore, but neither was she fully grown. A short time later, she officially belonged to the Royal Navy, having been legally adopted by the service rather than by any one member of it. Her new home would not be one of the grand houses or apartments that dotted the British settlement. She would not have a yard to romp in, trees in which to hone her natural instinct to hunt and "point out" game, or children to play with. Instead, Judy would become the mascot and best friend of a group of hardened sailors on board a steel warship.

Before the sailors left, an Englishwoman, Miss Jones, who ran the kennels, gave the sailors some background about their new and remarkable dog.

For the first few months of her life, she didn't even have a name.

The puppy was all warm fur and cold nose, one of a litter of seven wriggling, mewling pups born to a regal purebred English pointer. She lived—for the moment, anyway—in the Shanghai Dog Kennels, boarder of pets and unclaimed pups for the bustling Chinese city's British denizens. It was February 1936. Shanghai shivered under a damp cold, and an icy wind whipped through the streets that separated the city's eclectic combination of modernized western buildings and ramshackle slums.

There were five thousand British residents in Shanghai, and it seemed as though each had a dog to call his or her own. Breeds capable of large litters were favored, which accounted for the many pointers in the city. Miss Jones was present when one of her beautiful English pointers gave birth. The pups were kept at the kennels until they could be given away, generally an easy process in the English settlement.

One of the puppies, her coat a sparkling white dotted with liver-colored spots and splotches, her head, ears, and snout entirely brown, continually scraped about the perimeter of the fenced-in area where the newborns played. While the others stuck close to their mother, rolling happily in the dirt, this restless bundle of energy was already trying to escape.

Which she did, three weeks into her young life.

Lee Sung, a woman who lived and worked at the kennels, had a daughter, Ming, who often helped with the dogs after school. She was the first to notice the pup was missing, a fact confirmed by her mother, who carefully cleared the other dogs from the area in an attempt to find the escapee. What she discovered instead was a hole under the fence, dug by this restless dog. The pup had then jumped over a short wall and was now at large on the streets of Shanghai, one of the largest, busiest, noisiest cities in the world.

The horns of the motorcars, the buzzing of the horseflies, the alternately high and guttural notes of Shanghainese, the extremely tonal language spoken in the city—so many sights and sounds would have overloaded the senses of any visitor to the city. The blurring of the bicycles, the bamboo construction platforms climbing dizzyingly into the air, the endless stream of people, and the smells, in particular, were surely overwhelming. Dogs smell the world in much the same manner that humans see it, and a journey onto the streets of Old Shanghai was an olfactory wonderland. Smoke emanating from various storefronts, chimneys, and mouths. Soot flowing from the numerous factories that lined the area. The outpouring of petroleum distillates, cooking and heating oil, burning rubber, charcoal embers—the very air itself textured and subdivided into zones of precise aromas.

But in short order the pup would have lost interest in the incredible sensory overload in favor of zeroing in on the all-important job of foraging for food. Shanghai is historically one of the world's best eating cities, but famine had swept the land in 1936, and the great metropolis was feeling the lack of food. Shanghai in the 1930s was, far more than today, a leafy place full of greenswards, but the pup instinctively headed for places where there were people—and where there weren't other, larger animals.

At such a young age she would have been desperate for her mother, for guidance, warmth, and, most of all, milk. Newborn dogs in general are wanderers by nature, eager from the first to explore their surroundings, but their innate tendency is to return to mama. Why this curious pup made such an effort to escape and leave the bosom of family and shelter is unknown. But she would prove to be a most unusual dog, so it is only fitting that her first action was to push the envelope. She was lucky it didn't cost her her life. Too small and inexperienced to kill anything herself, she managed to survive on scraps pulled from garbage dumps and the odd handout from passersby. Her liver-and-white coloring dulled, and her ribs protruded from her body.

Food was difficult to come by, but in a stroke of great fortune, the young pointer was given a lifeline. She stumbled upon the back door of a general store run by a man known only as Mr. Soo. There were plenty of such shops on the western side of Shanghai, where the Brits, Americans, and Germans maintained their "quarters." They sold a hodgepodge of items to westerners and locals, including herbal remedies, birdcages, soups of various flavors, religious artifacts, household knickknacks, and good luck charms. Soo sold whatever he came across that would turn a profit, however small. He didn't make much money, but it was better than hauling lumber or pulling whites across the city on a rickshaw.

It was early spring by now, but the city remained chilly. One bitter afternoon, Soo went behind his shop to discard some trash in the alley. His attention was caught by the sound of high-pitched crying, and he noticed movement among the cardboard detritus. There was a small dog, only several weeks old at the most, whimpering and looking at Soo with huge, watery brown eyes. It was clear that the dog was very hungry and quite cold. So Soo went back inside and brought the dog some scraps of food, which she downed immediately.

For the next few weeks, perhaps as long as three months (precise details aren't known), Soo kept the dog alive by providing her with food and a place inside the shop to safely bed down at night. Here, the pup could hide from the nocturnal predators who were desperate for something to eat—a group that included many citizens of Shanghai. A Chinese proverb, born of the nation's long, sad history of famine, states, "If its back faces the sun, it can be eaten." That surely included dogs.

But when the first calamity of many in this particular canine's life fell upon her, it wasn't the result of attempted predation. Instead, it was plain cruelty. And it came courtesy of an enemy she and her friends would grow to know all too well.

Japan was at the end of a period of intense military growth and shipbuilding, and the country was ready to flex her regional muscle. Having already occupied Manchuria and cowed Korea into subjugation, Japan now set her sights on the Chinese mainland. The Imperial Navy had shelled Shanghai in 1932; it was the most critical city in the country from a military perspective, due to its strategic control of the Yangtze River. The two countries brokered a tentative peace shortly thereafter, but Japanese warships were a frequent sight on Chinese waterways, and their sailors were often found in Shanghai bars, drinking Tsingtao beer or the local rice wine. The western nations patrolled the river as well, and United States and Royal Marines and sailors were also regular visitors to these establishments. The uneasy peace between the powers often exploded into drunken brawls of east against west, with the burly, fist-fighting westerners taking on the more agile Japanese, who countered with karate moves known by all in military service.

On a rainy day in May, a group of Japanese sailors from a gunboat that had anchored in the Yangtze participated in a pub crawl up and down the Bund, Shanghai's riverside carnival. They wandered into Mr. Soo's nearby shop, perhaps to find some light food to go, perhaps to purchase a prophylactic for the rest of the night's frivolity, or perhaps to obtain some painkillers in anticipation of the next day's hangover.

The sailors, dressed in full uniforms, began squabbling over something with Soo. In short order, voices were raised, tempers flared, and the Japanese men began to beat Soo, who was in no condition to battle a group of young men primed for combat. When Soo was broken and bleeding, the sailors lost interest in him and began to demolish his shop. They were in the final stages of destruction when the pup, frightened by the noise yet curious when she heard the yells of her benefactor, wandered in through the back door.

If this were a Hollywood story, the dog would bare its teeth, snarl menacingly, and scare away the bad men, then attract medical help for the old man. But in reality, the frail little beast could barely summon the agility to scamper away from the kick of one sailor, and the missile hurled by a second. A third Japanese sailor managed to snag her by the neck, and he brought the pup out the front door and onto the street.

The dog was crying madly, scared and in pain, but the sailor ignored her yelps. He held her, arms outstretched, then punted her like a football across the street and into a pile of debris. The group of funanori (Japanese sailors) then resumed their drunken revelry and disappeared.

They could not know that the dog they had treated so barbarously would survive many more travels and travails, and even become a minor thorn in the side of the Japanese war machine. As it was, the free kick left the sad little pointer near an abandoned doorway, where she crawled and collapsed, too hurt and frightened to move any farther. She merely sat and whimpered.

But her placement was fortuitous, for after a time her soft mewls were heard by a little girl walking past the doorway. It was none other than Lee Ming, the daughter of the Shanghai Dog Kennels employee Lee Sung. Ming recognized the wayward pointer immediately, even though weeks of street life had left the little dog in poor shape.

"Oh little one, where have you been?" she asked the dog, who clearly remembered the little girl as well, though she could barely summon the energy to wag her tail.

Ming picked up the dog carefully, buried her in the folds of her raincoat, and took her back to the kennels, which were only a few blocks away.

Miss Jones was there, tending to several animals in the courtyard.

"Look who I found!" Ming displayed the prodigal puppy with pride.

"Goodness! Is that our missing pointer?" Miss Jones exclaimed. After looking at her closely, she confirmed it was the same pup whose interest in the outside world had nearly killed her. "It really is the one that ran away. I think we should give her a bath and a good dinner, don't you?" she asked Ming.

They examined the dog, cleaned her, and gave her some much-needed food. The little dog lay peacefully while she was poked, prodded, and gently scolded by the women for being too curious and adventurous for her own good.

At one point, Ming murmured to her, "You're okay; there, there little Shudi."

"Why did you call her Shudi, Ming?" Miss Jones asked.

The little girl lifted the pup and wrapped her in a blanket, where she promptly closed her eyes and fell asleep in Ming's arms.

"I've always called her that. Shudi means peaceful. Look at her." The exhausted pup realized she was being talked about, opened a lone eye to ensure all was well, and went back to sleep.

"Doesn't she look peaceful?"

"Indeed she does," said Miss Jones. "And that shall be her name—Judy."

For the first time since she had slipped out of her cage perhaps months before, the little pointer was at last safe once more, complete with a new name. It is somewhat surprising that she was so quick to embrace humans—even well-meaning ones—after her treatment at the hands of the Japanese sailors, but as the noted dog trainer Jennifer Arnold has said, "The only indication of lack of intelligence in dogs I've ever seen is their willingness to forgive us for so much."

Her mother and siblings were gone by now, but she no longer had to worry about scrounging for her next meal. Ordinarily, she could look forward to adoption and a comfortable life with a loving family. She found instead a life full of adventure, dangers, and wonderment, and more friends who thought of her as family than she ever would have met in the backyard of a Shanghai manse.

By the time Judy came aboard the Gnat in 1936, China had been mostly reunited under the banner of General Chiang Kai-shek and his Kuomintang (KMT); only the ragtag Communist army led by Mao Tse-tung remained to combat Chiang. But the larger threat stemmed from the Japanese. The Land of the Rising Sun had augmented its naval presence on the Yangtze while sending thousands of troops and much of its airpower to recently conquered Manchuria. The Japanese were clearly spoiling for a fight. When they weren't fighting in bars, relations on the river between sailors of east and west remained mostly cordial, but tensions were mounting. And the Chinese were caught in the middle, often resenting the westerners but abjectly fearing the Japanese.

Despite the growing sense that war was coming, service in China was not high profile by Royal and U.S. Navy standards—there was little of the esprit of the mainline battleships and destroyers that ruled the oceans elsewhere. Discipline wasn't as severe on the gunboats, and the sailors' relationships with the local Chinese, the crew of other ships, and each other was more relaxed and humane than it was in other quarters of the globe.

This less stringent attitude allowed Judy to flourish as a beloved member of the crew aboard the Gnat, a status she would repay with her service.

Thirteen gunboats served in the Yangtze Flotilla under Rear Admiral Lewis G. E. Crabbe. The Gnat was part of the Insect class of gunboats, small and maneuverable in order to navigate the varying widths and depths of the river, but potent as well, armed with several big guns, including antiaircraft cannons. Originally designed to show the flag and intimidate the Austro-Hungarian Navy on the Danube, the gunboats proved especially well-suited for action on the powerful currents of the Yangtze.

Western gunboats had been sailing on Chinese waterways since the late 1850s. The Treaty of Tientsin, which ended the Second Opium War in 1858, lifted commercial restrictions on western traders in China (which was the war's main aim, despite the narcotic title). The foreign merchants, operating deep in the Chinese interior, needed protection, so the treaty contained a clause permitting western warships to ply the Yangtze, which reached a thousand miles into the heart of the Middle Kingdom. The Brits were the pioneers, but American and French boats swiftly followed.

The turn of the century saw an explosion in the presence of western fleets in China. The British sent a pair of brand-new ships, Woodlark and Woodcock, designed for river piloting and fighting. Along with the American and French vessels, there were ships guarding German, Italian, and Japanese interests. They added to the immense commercial traffic floating up and down the crucial artery, turning the Yangtze into a picturesque riot of colorful sails and masts, darkened only by the black coal smoke from the more modern ships. From elegant junks to rickety sampans to creaky steam-driven paddleboats to the intimidating iron hulks of the gunboats, a pleasant afternoon could be passed lying on the riverbank and watching the regatta cruise past.

By the 1920s, China was riven by internecine fighting among potent warlords, each of whom carved out a fiefdom and held on to it tenaciously. Merchant steamers passing through their territories were expected to pay tribute, and they were often pirated and looted regardless of whether they complied. The warships were kept busy protecting the merchants and were often confrontational (the movie The Sand Pebbles, starring Steve McQueen as a sailor on an American gunboat on the Yangtze, centers on this period). In one notable incident, several British steamers were captured by troops belonging to the powerful warlord Yang Sen. The gunboats shelled Yang's base in the city of Wanhsien, killing up to five thousand Chinese in the process of freeing their merchant marines. In the wake of the fighting, there were major riots in multiple cities, and the gunboats had to come to the rescue of harassed westerners until matters eased late in the summer of 1926.

On Judy's first afternoon in the Royal Navy, many of the Gnat's men were killing time in the mess belowdecks when the upside-down head of the coxswain appeared through the hatch. He was grinning like a demented imp.

"All hands on deck in ten minutes!" he boomed.

Once assembled, the crew was introduced to their newest member.

According to Charles Jeffery, the bosun, Lieutenant Commander Waldegrave stepped forward. "As you know," he began, "the ship's canteen committee recently voted for us to take on a pet. I have studied your very interesting suggestions, most of which I have had to disregard as either impractical or perverse, and decided our ship's pet should have three qualifications.

"Because we can do with some female companionship, the first qualification is that it be a female. Second, she would be attractive, and third, she should have to earn her keep.

"From this point on, future shooting parties going ashore to hunt will no longer be able to return aboard with just one duckling while stoutly averring they shot down twenty-three, only to have lost them in the brush!"

At that, the quartermaster led Judy out to the men. She was on a lead, and in the memory of most of those present, she looked a bit apprehensive. But when a mighty cheer went up in her honor, she broke out in a grin—tongue out, jowls up, tail wagging furiously—that would become a familiar sight aboard the Gnat in the years to come.

"Here she is, gentlemen," Waldegrave said. "Meet the first lady of the gunboats—Judy of the Royal Navy."

Because her mother, Kelly, had been owned by a family from the Sussex region of England, she was known in the official kennel records as "Kelly of Sussex." Her litter was referred to this way as well, so in the Royal Navy archives, Judy was officially called "Judy of Sussex."

Jeffery, who served as a "buffer" between deck officers and crew, called her just that in his diary entry from that first day of Judy's embarkation on the Gnat: "Judy of Sussex is a thoroughbred pointer coloured brown and white. She is the most lovable creature. As the Captain and I had been the ones to buy her for the ship's company, he decided I should keep her forward so that she would not get too familiar with the men and so spoil our chances to train her for the gun."

Alas, this quickly proved impossible, as a later diary entry notes:

"The ship's company love and treat Judy as a pet, and I am delighted that the men share her. But of course our chances of making her a trained gun dog are very small."

Pointers are a hunting breed, commonly known as a "gun dog." The English varietal descends from the Spanish pointer, a dog that is the result of the fusing of hounds and spaniels. Specifically, the pointer was bred to stiffen and train its gaze and posture directly at hidden game (mainly birds). Previous hunting dogs had bounded into the bush to flush out game, but the act of pointing allowed the hunter to get his bearings, check his weapon, and ready himself before the dog went tearing into the trees to send the poor quail or duck scurrying into the air. Naturally, hunters using pointers saw their success rate skyrocket and their bellies fill as a result. The breed's aptitude as a hunting companion was enhanced by its friendly disposition and clear intelligence.

The Spanish pointers were bred into existence sometime in the seventeenth century by members of the Hidalgo aristocracy, proud and masterful sportsmen and landowners who created the dog in their image, according to Ernest Hart's history of the breed. "Sleek but powerful, noble and fleet in the field, the Spanish dog on point was like a statue of mottled marble, a piece of sculpted beauty molded by the hands of a master who produced the ultimate in balance and clean-cut muscular elegance."

The English version was crossbred with foxhounds to be much lighter and of greater stamina than their powerful sprinter cousins from Spain. It took some doing, and for a long while the resulting English pointers lost the easygoing personality and turned "ferocious," according to many sporting guides of the eighteenth century. Eventually, the sharp tinge was bred out of the English pointer, and the breed regained its pleasantness to man. But one remnant of the fiercer early pointers remained in the new version—a tremendous drive and competitiveness. On the hunting ground, this was shown by the animal's intensity and attention to detail in doing the job of pointing out game. Owners were dazzled by the breed's focus and determination when "on duty."

In Judy's case, that natural ability to point out birds and other game would never be developed. But that drive and determination would be the compelling characteristic of her life. This was particularly noticeable in her eyes, a deep liquid brown that shone with intensity. Dogs, unlike most animals, actually look humans in the eye when interacting. When Judy gazed upon her two-legged friends, the look radiated intelligence and fervor.

As a hunting companion, though, she was a failure. Pointers mature early, and Judy's crucial first experiences were spent not at the side of a hunter who taught her to point, but on the streets of Shanghai, alone, constantly searching for food to keep her alive. The officer's head mess boy, a Chinese lad, noted this instinct at an early stage of Judy's time on board the Gnat. He told the officers that the only time Judy went rigid and "pointed" in the proper manner was when she smelled dinner cooking. Judy would then stiffen and turn her attention toward the galley.

   CHAPTER 2   

Dog Overboard

Before Judy could save anyone aboard the Gnat, she required saving herself.

The still-growing pointer had been aboard the vessel for about six weeks, happily exploring every nook and cranny. There were a few areas, like the wardroom and the bridge, that were off-limits except by special invitation, and she quickly learned to avoid those. She also learned very early on that the Chinese cooks and mess boys didn't welcome her in the galley—they thought her unclean, but also saw her as potential dinner.

Perhaps there was a bit of prejudice in Jeffery's diary entry of October 14, when he wrote that "Judy, the lovely lass, just barely tolerates the Chinese crewmen on board," but the opinion was based in truth. The kitchen workers and the dog agreed to give one another a wide berth.

Otherwise, Judy roamed freely, without a leash. She had been given an official ship's book number, allowing her full status as a member of the crew, and she could be found at any given time with the gun crews while they were at work, high up in the foredeck with the lookouts, or below with resting crewmen—just about anywhere she could find company. Pointers are very sociable animals, and Judy in particular, after her lonely hardship on the streets of Shanghai, seemed to welcome companionship.

Her "quarters" were an open box and a ship's blanket, which at first were outside Jeffery's quarters but soon were moved all over, both by sailors and by Judy herself when the mood struck. The crew would stop and laugh when their dog would pull her box with her teeth across companionways and up and down gangways—even pushing it down ladders when the need arose.

Life on the gunships was unusual for the crew. It was an out-of-the-way posting, utterly without glamor, and, even by naval standards, short on comfort. The gunboats usually patrolled alone or in pairs, but due to the contour of the river, they never patrolled in large groups or as a combined fleet. That meant a refreshing lack of signals and semaphore emanating from the flagship. For the most part, the men who served aboard the gunboats relished this bit of freedom from ordinary naval operations. These men loved the ships and the job—and this was due in no small part to the outsourcing of menial duties, such as cooking, cleaning, and scrubbing the decks, to Chinese contractors who were paid a small fortune by local standards to keep the gunboats crisp and sparkling. As such, the men, while frequently bored, seldom developed the resentments of the average tar, who bristled at being told to "swab the poop deck, sharpish."

The total crew on board was roughly three dozen at any given time, made up of two or three officers, six or so petty officers, and twenty rank-and-file seamen. Six full-time Chinese workers were part of the official crew, with as many day laborers on board to assist.


  • One of NPR's Maureen Corrigan's Best Books of 2015

    New York Times Bestseller

    "Weintraub... combines a gritty war story with a warm dog story -- readers who like both will think they have gone to heaven.... Where he truly excels, though, is in finding the human dramas, some painful and some inspiring, that figured in Judy's saga."—Kate Tuttle, Boston Globe
  • "The most inspiring true life account I've ever read of a human-animal bond.... I know this summary makes No Better Friend sound like a canine version of Unbroken. And as a dog lover, I say what could be better than that?"—Maureen Corrigan, NPR
  • "This is the best dog book since the uber best-selling Marley and Me. But this is no fluffy little dog story. This is a book that will appeal to history buffs -- even those who don't love dogs."—Linda Wilson Fuoco, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
  • "No Better Friend personifies the relationship we all aspire to have with our dogs, and takes us on a harrowing journey to a place and time lost in the history books. A must read for every dog or animal lover."—Robin Hutton, author of Sgt. Reckless: America's War Horse
  • "In his new book, masterful storyteller Robert Weintraub delivers a spellbinding narrative that reclaims the lost history of two most unlikely heroes: a dog named Judy and fellow soldier Frank. Not only a testament to animal intelligence and a much overdue account of canine sacrifice and service, No Better Friend is also an unforgettable read. Soaring and graceful--like Hillenbrand's Unbroken and Seabiscuit--Weintraub's latest is the stuff of which Hollywood blockbusters are built."—Mim Eichler Rivas, author of Beautiful Jim Key: The Lost History of a Horse and a Man Who Changed the World
  • "We may have a best-seller on our hands with this carefully reported saga... The narrative of their survival thoroughly won over both readers who ordinarily shun animal stories and those who generally prefer to avoid reading books about war."—The Elle's Lettres 2015 Readers' Prize
  • "Exceptionally well researched and engaging... NO BETTER FRIEND is an inspiring story, and one that both dog lovers and history buffs will embrace."—Deborah Hopkinson, BookPage
  • "From Shanghai and the Yangtze River to the prison camps of Sumatra, the indomitable English pointer Judy proves to be more than just a survivor, but an inspiration to those who knew her during the ravages of the War in the Pacific. Robert Weintraub provides a meticulous chronicle of the strength and will to survive of both man and dog."—Lisa Rogak, author of Angry Optimist and Dogs of War
  • An "incredible saga.... Weintraub's paean to a remarkable dog will be seen by animal lovers as affirmation that all pets deserve our respect, because any one of them might save a life (or many lives) and inspire a nation, as Judy did --- given the chance."—Barbara Bamberger Scott, BookReporter
  • "By turns harrowing and heartwarming."—William Hageman, Chicago Tribune
  • "Robert Weintraub captures the beauty and power of friendship and loyalty between man and animal in this captivating narrative. We'd all be lucky to have a dog like Judy by our sides in our darkest times."—Cate Lineberry, author of The Secret Rescue: An Untold Story of American Nurses and Medics Behind Nazi Lines
  • "An unusual and moving story of a singular hero among fellow POWs of the Japanese during World War II: a loyal British pointer named Judy. With bite and substance, Slate columnist Weintraub chronicles Judy's incredible life.... Weintraub's research on the prisoners' experiences in the camps is remarkable as he narrates Judy and Frank's heroic tale."—Kirkus

On Sale
May 5, 2015
Page Count
400 pages

Robert Weintraub

About the Author

Robert Weintraub is a frequent contributor to the New York Times and Slate and the author of the acclaimed books The House That Ruth Built, The Victory Season, and No Better Friend.

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