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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
Judy was indeed a most extraordinary dog by whatever standards - even by human standards - that one cares to judge. Born in the mid-thirties, she spent most of her life among troops aboard ships. In the West, we think of WW 2 as starting in 1939, but it seems that Japan started aggression against China a little earlier - and Judy was on board from quite early on.

I learned a lot of things from this book. I didn't know that troop ships habitually had animals (not always dogs) on board, partly to keep up morale but also because some animals could perform other useful tasks. Those other tasks mean that dogs are often chosen as the on-board animal, but other animals have sometimes been chosen instead. It seems that the people who selected Judy were particularly fortunate in their choice. As I know from following horse racing, a potential owner can choose from young animals on whatever criteria they like, but it's no guarantee that the chosen animal lives up to expectations. Judy far exceeded expectations, ending up as a champion, with a medal equivalent to the Victoria Cross to prove it.

The author tells Judy's story and how effective she was at warning troops of impending danger, discussing various incidents in which risked her life for them, as well as other incidents in which the troops risked their lives for her, It seems that both dog and troops were willing to take these risks because each was heavily dependent on the other. The troops quickly leaned to take Judy's barking seriously, especially when it was incessant. She even fooled the enemy once after realizing that her own men were in danger from the Japanese. In a desperate effort to distract the enemy, she resorted to incessant barking, perhaps implying that a tiger was nearby. However, Judy was lying just to cause a distraction. I didn't think dogs were clever enough to think that way.

Through it all, Judy came through to have a peaceful retirement with her master in Tanganyika (now Tanzania), after saving many lives by alerting troops to danger or diverting enemy attention. Yes, Judy helped above and beyond the call of duty - many times over.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on 1 July 2014
When I was about five, I was taken to London by my Mother and walking down Oxford Street we were stopped by the PDSA and asked if they could take a photograph of me with this dog, , which happened to be Judy, I have always wanted to get more details of her as I knew only that she was a war dog .
I still have that Photograph and I am very proud of it ,Judy was an old lady by this time but she still had a sparkle in her eyes
Thank you Mr Lewis for for this most memorable book.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on 26 May 2014
A brilliant book, telling a poignant story of hope and courage and the unique bond between man and dog under extreme conditions.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on 21 June 2014
A wonderful book. Judy certainly deserved her medal. She definitely was a dog in a million.
Once in a lifetime a dog comes into your life that is special and unforgettable. Judy saved so many lives because of her courage in a horrendous situation. Loyalty is an amazing thing. God bless you beautiful girl.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 31 October 2014
This is an amazing story off what must be the bravest dog to ever live, not only does she survive the horrors of Japan's prison camps she protects and helps feed the men who risk their lives to save her. A MUST read not only for animal lovers but to ensure that this is never allow to happen again. Man's inhumanity to man. What a brave loyal dog.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 18 December 2014
Just finished reading this (true) story and can only endorse what has already been said. Having been born in Shanghai at the outbreak of the war in China, I must have been very close to where Judy and the men of the gunboats were operating. The inclusion of the story about of the gunboat HMS Liwo after it was sent from Shanghai to Singapore is another tale of remarkable courage. This little ship was sunk in heroic circumstances, but the memory of it remained after the war was over. The harbour launch owned by the company Jardine Matheson &Co (Incorporating the Indo-China Steam Navigational Company who operated the original Liwo before becoming a Royal Navy ship) was christened Liwo.
The bravery and dedication of 'Judy' in any of the (many) incidents recounted in this story would merit a Dicken Medal for each act. So perhaps Judy would have won a cupboard full of medals ...she certainly deserved it. However her devoted friends came through unspeakable torment too. I would love to know what became of their tormentors after the defeat of Japan.
This book is a MUST read for anyone who knows about dogs and essential to many who do not fully appreciate what a dog is capable of, given the right training and attention.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 22 June 2014
A Wonderful and incredible story. Couldn't put the book down until I had finished reading it. Excellent reading. Highly recommended.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 20 June 2014
Still reading it but it is so inspirational I love it, very worth buying and I will probably read it a few times over.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on 16 June 2014
I have just finished reading this harrowing yet at times uplifting story of trust, faith and camaraderie between a wonderful dog and so many men. Damien Lewis has done a thorough job researching, in fact I have ordered one of the books he used to find out more about what these poor POW's endured at the hands of the Japanese during WWll. A wonderful book, as good as his other best seller, War Dog.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 12 April 2015
Thoroughly enjoyed this book. It shows just how intelligent dogs are and the capacity of love and loyalty they can give.This book also shows the absolute horror of the Japanese POW camps. The utter degradation of the lives of the inmates, the cruelty, and the treatment they endured. They weren't treated as humans at all. It was made about tolerable by the prescence of Judy that raised the morale of those inmates when she was able to snatch fruit etc from the graves of the Japanese( that was the tradition).to help provide a bit of nourishment, also small wild animals.I don't want to spoil it by giving anymore away, but I did enjoy this book very much and was disappointed when it had to end.
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