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Cry Havoc And Let Slip The Dog of War
September 1, 2007 1:25 PM   Subscribe

The story of Sgt Stubby of the 102nd Infantry, the most decorated dog of WWI, is an amazing tale. As a stray he wandered onto a troop barracks in the U.S. & was adopted by one of the young recruits. Barely a pup when he was smuggled aboard a troop transport to the front lines, he served in over 17 battles, providing morale boost up & down the trenches, early warning (through his enhanced sense of smell) for gas attacks, and even uncovering & capturing a german spy in the trenches. Though largely forgotten today, upon his return to the U.S., Stubby was met with a hero's welcome, and went on to become the original mascot for the Georgetown Hoyas. After his passing in 1926, his preserved remains were put on display by the Smithsonian, wearing the special coat he was given to hold the large number of medals & awards he received for his service in the Great War.
posted by jonson (29 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite

 
There's a more detailed page of his exploits here, but I didn't want to link it in the main post, as it autoplays a horrible midi file.
posted by jonson at 1:26 PM on September 1, 2007 [1 favorite]


I wonder if future wars will have Rat Things as mascots.
posted by anthill at 1:37 PM on September 1, 2007 [1 favorite]


Awww! He's such a little cutie! (Another good post, jonson, thank you.)
posted by marxchivist at 1:51 PM on September 1, 2007 [1 favorite]


Diesel. Just diesel.
posted by Tullius at 2:14 PM on September 1, 2007


I'm still partial to Barney the Army Dog
posted by matteo at 2:17 PM on September 1, 2007


the main link in the old post expired, but the story from the Independent has been preserved here
posted by matteo at 2:19 PM on September 1, 2007


Aww. That's sweet.
posted by notsnot at 2:20 PM on September 1, 2007


Heart of a champion!
posted by furtive at 2:28 PM on September 1, 2007


Dogs are the greatest. Way better than people.
posted by Eekacat at 2:43 PM on September 1, 2007 [1 favorite]


> special coat he was given to hold the large number of medals & awards he received for his service in the Great War.

can trade for cheeseburger and bellyrub?
posted by jfuller at 2:52 PM on September 1, 2007 [1 favorite]


I love dogs anyway, but that's a great story.
posted by snsranch at 3:18 PM on September 1, 2007


I imagine in the enemy trenches there was a cat that played the same roll. And thus the ancient enmity was born.
posted by quin at 3:22 PM on September 1, 2007


Plus je voir les hommes, plus j'admire les chiens.

Or something like that.
posted by kuujjuarapik at 3:33 PM on September 1, 2007


is that wierd that they give him all those medals of honor, and then stuff him and put him on display in a museum after he dies?
posted by fuzzypantalones at 3:36 PM on September 1, 2007


No weirder than when they did it to Lenin.
posted by arruns at 3:46 PM on September 1, 2007


This solves a little mystery for me. A couple weeks ago TCM played The Courage of Lassie, wherein Lassie, 'playing' a male dog*, is lost by his young owner and 'drafted' into the army. The plot seemed outlandish enough that I began to wonder if it had been inspired by actual events. Liberties were taken by the busload, but now I see it was. Thanks for the post, jonson!

* Yeah, I know Lassie was a male dog. He's right up there with Divine for gender-bending a 360.
posted by maryh at 3:57 PM on September 1, 2007


Many "pitbull" terrier owners (such as myself) have known this story for awhile. When people try to tell me about the latest dog attack news story on Fox or that they support breed-specific legislation, this is one of the stories with which I inform them. Sometimes I tell them about other amstaff/englishstaff/pittie owners they may have heard of... Laura Ingels Wilder, Helen Keller, Teddy Roosevelt, Fred Astaire, Thomas Edison, Humphrey Bogart, Woodrow Wilson. It's best though when they meet Grendel, and he licks their face, and tries to sit all 70 lbs in their lap.
posted by asfuller at 4:04 PM on September 1, 2007 [1 favorite]


Good post title!

asfuller, your dog is SO CUTE.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 4:59 PM on September 1, 2007


Awww....good boy! GOOOOOD BOY!!!
posted by malocchio at 6:28 PM on September 1, 2007


Many "pitbull" terrier owners (such as myself) have known this story for awhile. When people try to tell me about the latest dog attack news story on Fox or that they support breed-specific legislation, this is one of the stories with which I inform them. Sometimes I tell them about other amstaff/englishstaff/pittie owners they may have heard of... Laura Ingels Wilder, Helen Keller, Teddy Roosevelt, Fred Astaire, Thomas Edison, Humphrey Bogart, Woodrow Wilson. It's best though when they meet Grendel, and he licks their face, and tries to sit all 70 lbs in their lap.

Sorry, but that logic just doesn't fly. The existence of truly excellent pitbulls doesn't change the fact that there have been a worrying number of maulings.

Of course, we as a society have decided largely against profiling and any kind of punishment before a crime has taken place. That said, I'm not sure that we will, or should give such affordances to animals.

It does make sense to me that some discrimination is appropriate here. A chihuahua is clearly a very different kind of responsibility with regard for others' safety that a great dane or pit bull is.
posted by Rictic at 11:09 PM on September 1, 2007


Cite one example of a Great Dane mauling anyone.
posted by Henry C. Mabuse at 12:30 AM on September 2, 2007


So are there any dog stories like this from the current quagmire conflict? You'd think the military would love the good p.r.
posted by gottabefunky at 1:51 AM on September 2, 2007


Well, according to this Army Times article there are 578 army dog teams in Iraq, so I'm sure there are some interesting stories. Oh yeah, and there's this.
posted by furtive at 5:57 AM on September 2, 2007


Cite one example of a Great Dane mauling anyone.

I've never heard of such a thing. It was a poor example.

That said, I imagine that if a great dane could easily fatally injure an infant just by falling on one. Hell, a sufficiently clumsy specimen could put my life in danger, no question.

I think I've strayed from my original point.
posted by Rictic at 7:02 AM on September 2, 2007



Cite one example of a Great Dane mauling anyone.

Well, Pit Bulls are a common breed often raised to be guard dogs and to fight. Dobermans get a bad rap too, but they can also be incredibly gentle and intelligent (I know because one was my best friend as a boy). Great Danes are pretty much a luxury breed, like Greyhounds. They're too expensive to be trained to kill. Pit bulls are more common. They're the dog of choice of street kids and homeless people in San Francisco, a status symbol in their culture, and for obvious reasons are not taken care of and let go. They wander the streets as strays and attack strangers who come near them. So, don't blame the breed, blame the people who abuse them and don't take care of them. There's nothing about Pit Bulls that inherently predisposes them to that behavior.
posted by bukharin at 8:16 AM on September 2, 2007


the most decorated dog of WWI

That's for sure. They made a plaster cast of his corpse, skinned him like a rabbit, cremated the rest, draped the skin on the plaster cast, stuck black beads in his eye sockets, stuffed the ashes in a compartment somewhere inside, glued the whole thing to a wooden stand, and draped it all with his old jingling goat skin. I wonder where they put his Y.M.C.A. lifetime membership card?

(By the way: I keep a pet lion. Gentle as a lamb. But there's always plenty of room on the sidewalk when we go out for a stroll. Don't know why. Gentle as a lamb.)
posted by pracowity at 10:01 AM on September 2, 2007


pracowity: do you have some photo's of your pet lion ? I would love to see that.
posted by Pendragon at 11:03 AM on September 2, 2007


Sorry, but that logic just doesn't fly. The existence of truly excellent pitbulls doesn't change the fact that there have been a worrying number of maulings.

Of course, we as a society have decided largely against profiling and any kind of punishment before a crime has taken place. That said, I'm not sure that we will, or should give such affordances to animals.

It does make sense to me that some discrimination is appropriate here. A chihuahua is clearly a very different kind of responsibility with regard for others' safety that a great dane or pit bull is.


Of course owning an amstaff or english staffie is an increased responsibility, compared to a smaller dog. Of course there have been awful cases in the news (This breed has been sensationalized, as rotweillers and dobermans in past decades. And how many constitutes a worrying numbe, I wonder?) Just like a car or a gun, there are owners who apply varying levels of responsibility, and uses with their dog. Breed aside, there are good and bad dog owners. Good progressive thoughtful effective lawmaking holds the owners responsible, as opposed to profiling breed-specific legislation that seeks to eradicate a species.

I talk about historic owners and the goodness of the breed to inform people like yourself who blame the dog, and worse, the dog breed.

There is no such breed as a pitbull by the way, they are a dog type, and a few breeds are included.
posted by asfuller at 1:20 PM on September 2, 2007


Ok, well we both agree that there exist some excellent and admirable pit bulls. We also agree that pit bulls can be dangerous in a way that some other dog breeds/types can not. I think we also agree that pit bull owners have an increased responsibility when compared to owners of some other kinds of dogs.

That's pretty much all of the points that I care about in this debate.
posted by Rictic at 5:12 PM on September 2, 2007


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