Sgt Stubby is said to be the only dog in history to be promoted to the rank of sergeant. He was our nation’s first war dog hero and served for a year and a half on the western front during WWI.
Stubby’s accomplishments in battle are legendary and would rival most medal of honor recipients. His deeds included saving his fellow soldiers from mustard gas attacks, providing early warning of artillery shelling, and locating wounded soldiers in no man’s land. He is credited with capturing a German spy by the seat of his pants and holding him at bay until help arrived. This battle hardened Pit not only showed his valor in combat but performed the role of therapy dog with the injured and shell shocked troops in convalescence.
According to Wikipedia which is the source for much of this article, Stubby was found wandering the streets of New Haven, Conn by soldiers there in training. He became friendly with the troops and stayed near by while they drilled. Corporal Conroy bonded with the Pit and when the outfit shipped out he was smuggled onboard.
It seems that Stubby was a quick study and was easily trained by Conroy to give a salute with his right paw. When the commanding officer discovered the stowaway, Stubby saluted him. The C.O. was so impressed stubby was allowed to stay and eventually became the unit’s mascot.
While serving in the trenches of the Western Front Stubby became adapt at sniffing out mustard gas in time for troops to don their gas masks. With his keen hearing he could hear the launch of artillery shells and provide an early warning for troops to take cover.
After the war Sgt Stubby gave audience to three Presidents: Wilson, Coolidge and Harding. He was treated as the war hero that he was and led many parades. He attended Georgetown University with his owner, Mr Conroy and became the Hoya’s team mascot.
Sgt Stubby’s awards and medals include the following: Yankee Division Patch, French Medal of Verdum, three Service Stripes, French Grande War Medal, Purple Heart (wound stripe), Two American Legion medals. St Mihiel Medal, Chateau Thierry Medal, and Humane Education Society Gold Medal (taken from Wikipedia)
As Pit Bulls are systematically banned from community dog parks and euthanized because of breed stereotyping we should strive to remind others that without bad owners there are no bad dogs. Sgt Stubby was the product of a good owner.