Dog lovers are falling head over paws for
A Man of His Own by Susan Wilson. It's a standout in the overcrowded field of animal books. 19 out of 21 BookBrowse readers gave it a rating of 4 or 5. Here are some reasons why this heart-wrenching World War II novel is a favorite:
Let me say right up front that I loved this book. Pax, an abandoned puppy, is the center of the story. Rick finds him. Pax then has to make room in his heart for Rick's wife Francesca. When Rick goes off to war (WWII) Pax is sent to war too, as part of the Dogs for Defense program (see Beyond the Book). He fights alongside Keller who has never known love until he meets Pax. After the war is over Keller reluctantly returns Pax to his owners. But Rick has been severely injured in the war and Francesca needs help caring for him, so Keller takes a job being Rick's caregiver. The chapters bounce...
Beyond the Book
On December 7, 1941, Pearl Harbor was attacked and the USA entered the war. The value of dogs in the military had been proven many times, particularly during WWI, as they were used by the European armies as sentries, message-carriers and fox-hole clearers (of rats before the soldiers entered.). Although there were relatively few military dogs in the USA at the time, the need for them was clear.
A private citizen came to the rescue. Mrs. Alene Erlanger, a well-known, highly respected poodle breeder based in New York, created the Dogs for Defense program. The American Kennel Club supported her idea. For the...