Sergeant Stubby The War Dog Who Participated In 17 Battles During World War 1
In July 1917, Stubby was strolling on the grounds of the Yale University campus in New Haven, Connecticut, where soldiers were training before going to France during World War I.
- The breed of Stubby is unknown and is still debated among experts.
- Stubby was taken to France by Corporal James Robert Conroy.
- Stubby once single-handedly captured a German spy during the war.
In the ‘Mahaprasthanika Parva’ of the ‘Mahabharata‘, when the Pandavas begin their journey towards heaven on Mount Sumeru, a dog joins them. In the long and arduous journey, Draupadi dies first, and four of the Pandava brothers also die midway. In the end, only Yudhishthira and the dog reach Mount Sumeru. When Yudhishthira is about to enter heaven, Lord Indra tells him that the dog cannot go with them. But Yudhishthira refuses to leave behind the one who has been with him throughout the journey. It amazes Indra, and it is revealed that the dog is actually Dharma.
Dogs have been the best friend of mankind since time immemorial, and have always been at our side, witnessing the evolution of our civilization. Dogs can feel our emotions, they can understand our words, and they can comfort and support us when the going gets tough. Over the centuries, they have helped us in numerous ways, and today, we will read about a dog who participated in 17 battles during World War I, helped the soldiers, and became the hero of a nation. For those uninitiated, today we will know about Sergeant Stubby the war dog, the pride of the United States.
About Sergeant Stubby
According to some reports, Stubby was a Boston Terrier or “American bull terrier” mutt, even though that claim has been contested by many, and hence, his breed remains unknown. How Stubby met the US Army is a tale of pure coincidence. In July 1917, Stubby was strolling on the grounds of the Yale University campus in New Haven, Connecticut, where soldiers were training before going to France during World War I. The soldiers liked the cute dog with his stubby little tail, and they took him to France.
Even though the exact details are unknown, it is said that Corporal James Robert Conroy became fond of Stubby. As the ship carrying the troops was preparing to leave for France, he hid Stubby under his overcoat. According to the legends, when other members onboard the ship found out about Stubby, especially when Conroy’s commanding officer discovered him, Stubby saluted him. It was a gesture that made Stubby a permanent passenger of the ship.
Stubby during the war
During World War I, Stubby served with the 102nd Infantry Regiment in the trenches in France for 18 months and participated in four offensives and 17 battles. According to the New York Times obituary on Stubby, he did not come out of the war unscathed. He was wounded and gassed, and once, he received an injury in the foreleg when the retreating Germans threw hand grenades. But Stubby came back in high spirits. On another occasion, he was injured by mustard gas, which lead him to wear a specially designed gas mask.
That experience taught Stubby how to warn his unit of mustard gas attacks. He also located wounded soldiers in no man’s land, and since the hearing ability of a dog is much greater than a human being, Stubby became an expert in alerting his unit when to duck for cover in face of incoming artillery shells. He once single-handedly captured a German spy and was elevated to the rank of sergeant. He suffered injuries later as well, in the chest and leg by a grenade. Because of his heroics, he was adored by soldiers and also the common people.
After Stubby returned to the United States, he was hailed as a hero nationwide. He met Presidents Woodrow Wilson, Calvin Coolidge, and Warren G. Harding, marched in front of parades, and was a darling of the crowd. In 1921, General John Pershing presented Stubby with a gold medal from the Humane Education Society, and it has become a famous photograph since then.
Stubby died on March 16, 1926, and incidentally, in the arms of Conroy, the one who took him to France. After his death, the New York Times published an obituary about Stubby, and it was much longer than the obituaries of many well-known and famous people of that time.