“The Dog Who Could Fly” by Damien Lewis

dogwhocouldflyThis is a heart-warming, unsentimental story of a German shepherd dog who stuck with his master through some of the most dangerous years of World War ll.

The dog was called Ant, after a dive-bomber used by men of the Czech Air Force before they escaped Czechoslovakia for England and flew with the RAF Bomber Command. Robert Bozdech came across the puppy when he was escaping from a crash-landing in France. It had been abandoned by its owners and left in an old farm-house. Bozdech tucked it into his jacket and from then on managed to keep the handsome, intelligent animal beside him. The most amazing part of this story is the number of commanders¬† who one way or another allowed this to happen. It is also true that on a number of occasions the dog saved his master’s life.

There are a number of vintage black-and-white photos of Robert and Ant. By the end of the war they had become British war heroes. Ant won the Dickin Medal, the “Animal Victoria Cross” for his bravery.

The author, Damien Lewis, has spent twenty years reporting from war and conflict zones for the BBC, CNN  and other news organizations. He is also a lifelong dog lover and has written two earlier books on military working dogs.

Review by Anne McDougall