Cover

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Title page, Copyright, Dedication

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Contents

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pp. vii-viii

List of Illustrations

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pp. ix-x

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Foreword

Pen Farthing

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pp. xi-xii

There is no stronger bond than that between a man and his dog. Any dog owner will tell you of the loyalty and companionship shown by his or her canine counterpart. Throughout history there have been many tales of the courageous and brave acts of selfless hounds to protect their human companions— the guide dog leading its owner out of the burning World Trade Center, the faithful pet leaping...

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Introduction

Paul E. Funk II

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pp. xiii-xiv

The cost of war has always been measured in lives lost, as well as in the economic impact to the greater society. However, movies such as War Horse enlighten us to the tight bond formed between human and animal as they both suffer the ravages of war together. History has seen this reflected since the beginning of time. Hannibal and...

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Acknowledgments

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pp. xv-xviii

Writing the life of an animal is a bit like writing the life of a medieval saint, one who left no records, only remembered actions. The spirit the writer attempts to conjure is remote, almost inaccessible, undefined except insofar as he made an impression on those around him whose later memories of him, handed on to successive...

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Prologue: Aspin Hill, March 1936

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pp. xix-xxiv

At the advent of spring, they are burying an old soldier. Born in France, he died in a suburb of the U.S. capital in the deep winter of his days. From the vantage point of this March afternoon in 1936, the war in which he had fought eighteen years earlier seems both an immeasurably long time ago and reassuringly distant, a...

PART 1. Gutter Pup

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1. The Hill of Mars

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pp. 3-12

If numerous guesses add up to one true sum, the dog who would be known to history as First Division Rags— a scruffy, taffy- colored terrier of about twenty- five pounds, with floppy ears, fluffy arching tail, and perhaps more than a dollop of poodle in his blood— was born sometime in 1916. By that year, Europe had been convulsed by war...

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2. A Dog’s Life

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pp. 13-20

Efforts to reconstruct the circumstances of Rags’s whereabouts before he entered the lives of two American soldiers are complicated by radically different versions of how and when his rescue occurred. One of the soldiers died without leaving a written account. The surviving soldier was never quoted verbatim by journalists...

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3. War Dog

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pp. 21-26

At the outbreak of hostilities, the German army’s military dog program had the jump on Britain, with several thousand carefully trained canines to the United Kingdom’s single one. But by 1917, Col. Edwin Richardson had been given permission to establish a training center for war dogs at Shoeburyness in Sussex, and the imbalance was...

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4. A Match Made in Hell

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pp. 27-40

The typical Hollywood film makes it all too easy to stereotype, and misrepresent, warfare. From safe seats in dark cinemas redolent of popcorn and bubblegum, we observe a series of scenes filled with closely packed explosions, diving planes, hand- to- hand combat, and soldiers advancing through bullet- shattered forests, during which men become superhuman beings who never sleep, video game heroes who don’t...

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5. Last Battle

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pp. 41-54

Second Lt. (later Gen.) George Catlett Marshall, famous for reorganizing war- torn Europe after World War II, was given a small taste in the battlefields of 1918 France of what was to come a quarter century into his future. Before the Saint- Mihiel offensive had even started, Marshall was given the monumental task of transporting troops from the Saint- Mihiel sector to the Meuse- Argonne, a region held by the...

PART 2. Days of Peace

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6. New World

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pp. 57-66

Unlike many who sailed into New York Harbor as immigrants or visitors or returning citizens, Rags— still homeless and tempest tossed below Colonel Dorey’s bed— did not enjoy a first glimpse of the gray- green statue holding her torch beside the golden door. While the hospital ship lay at anchor for some hours, waiting for a berth, Dorey’s orderly had some organizing...

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7. Family

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pp. 67-72

On May 16, 1903, almost seventeen years before Rags arrived in Illinois and thirteen years before his birth, a young American couple, Lt. Raymond Waite Hardenbergh and Miss Helen Wolcott Stewart Johnson, whose lives were to be intimately entwined with his, were married in a lavish Chicago church ceremony.1 Both Raymond and Helen came...

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8. Governors Island

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pp. 73-86

Whether Rags ever ventured to the Gare du Nord in Paris, not far from his haunt in Montmartre, or was nearby when the station came close to being hit by a German shell in 1917, we will never know. But it was at that other French train station, the Gare de Brest, where he was almost parted from Sergeant Donovan. And the...

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9. Fame

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pp. 87-106

Despite a formal order from Governors Island forbidding Rags to be allowed to board the New York ferry, the terrier found other means and occasions for travel. For instance, when a mine- planter from Fort Hancock at Sandy Hook, New Jersey, put in at Governors Island, Rags jumped at...

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10. Old Warrior

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pp. 107-116

We can guess why, but we don’t know just when Jack Rohan was moved to write his biography of Rags. Rohan was in the area around Chicago in 1920, when Rags was the mascot of Fort Sheridan (some eighty miles northeast of Morris); he could well have heard of the dog through the...

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11. The Dog That Had a Soul

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pp. 117-130

In 1920 a couple named Richard and Bertha Birney purchased a tenacre parcel in Montgomery County, Maryland, not quite five miles east of Rockville. The land had once formed a small part of a seventeenthcentury tract called Hermitage, a word for retreat or sanctuary that would be most fitting for what the Birneys...

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12. War Hero

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pp. 131-142

Almost eighty years to the blustery March day when Rags had been buried there, I stood at his grave in Aspin Hill Memorial Park, watching a little American flag rise and fall in the breeze, thinking of the faithfulness of dogs. A day earlier, I had driven to Maryland from Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire. The morning of my departure...

Notes

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pp. 143-158

Bibliography

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pp. 159-164

Index

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pp. 165-173

Image plates

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