Saturday, May 24, 2014

The Dog Who Could Fly by Damien Lewis

What caught my attention was the subtitle:  The Incredible True Story of a WWII Airman and the Four-Legged Hero Who Flew At His Side.  I had read about dogs who had been in the war but not any that had learned to fly.  This intrigued me.

Atria Books and Edelweiss allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published June 10th, so grab a copy then.

My Grandfather fought for the US in WWI and got his citzenship.  His two sons fought in WW1 and the Korean War.  I have a sense of history for those wars and know it was no piece of cake for anyone fighting there.  Having a dog involved was very unusual.

This story is written mostly from Robert Bozdech's diary, where he talked about his days, the dog, and the war.  I found it fascinating and I don't read a lot of non-fiction.  This one gathered me in and kept me glued to the pages.  I think it was the dog that did it; the dog and the men who loved him.

Robert found the puppy in an abandoned farm house in the middle of a war zone.  The plane had gone down, the pilot was injured and they were trying to sneak out of the trouble they were in.  It's hard to do with a whining puppy.  Robert goes to silence the dog, but returns with it in his jacket.  That's just the start of a long relationship of love with a man and his dog.

He had to fight regulations, hide the dog from the authorities, share oxygen with him when he stowed away on the plane, and take him to the doctor when the dog got his share of shrapnel and bullets, too.  The story made me cry when the dog got hurt.  The dedication of the dog can't shaken or stopped.  That's why other men started covering for Robert and the dog and working on keeping him safe.

This story has been told before but not with Bozdech's words.  Previously the story was altered.  This is the real story, and Ant (the dog) gets his due.  He does get to come home with Robert at the end of the war.  That's another adventure that you'll have to read the book to find out about.  Life with Robert and Ant was not boring!

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