Only a Dog: A Story of the Great War
Only a Dog: A Story of the Great War


Select options

Only a Dog: A Story of the Great War

(4 customer reviews)


A retelling of a true story from World War I. Appropriate for younger children as well as older. Introduces aspects of the war from the eyes of a loyal Irish terrier who is rescued from No Man’s Land. (Grades 1–6) See full description

Download a Free Sample

SKU: VAR-onlydog Categories: , Tag:

Product Description

World War I through the gentle eyes of a faithful dog.

Snuggle up with your children and read this touching true story of the faithfulness of an Irish Terrier. When Germans invade his home, the dog runs off to look for his young master. He soon finds himself trapped in No Man’s Land, injured by a bullet. British Private Pete Rice comes to his rescue, and thereafter Army (as the soldiers name him) follows Pete to the end, staying faithfully at his side until death.

  • Appropriate for young children—Young students will have main aspects of the Great War introduced to them in small bits, learning about them along with the friendly dog.
  • Real yet tender—Army the dog encounters saddened civilians, enemy fire, life in the trenches, hand-to-hand combat, medical care, and soldiers’ camaraderie—all described from his innocent point of view.
  • Encourages good character—Faithfulness is emphasized and illustrated through the soldiers’ sacrifices and the dog’s loyalty to the end.
  • Based on a true story—Bertha Smith wrote this book in 1917 based on an account a British soldier described to her. Private Rice and Army are buried side by side near Armentières in Flanders.

Additional Information

Weight.25 lbs
Dimensions8.5 × 5.5 × 0.25 in




E-book, Stapled


Grade 1, Grade 2, Grade 3, Grade 4, Grade 5, Grade 6

Lesson Plan

Modern Times & Epistles, Revelation


4 reviews for Only a Dog: A Story of the Great War

  1. Lindsey

    I am very interested in this book. I know my boys will love it. I usually shy away from dog books because they are always so darn sad. Since I will be reading it aloud I need to know sad it is. If Where the Red Fern Grows is a 10, where does this book fall? This is a serious question. I cried when “Good Dog Jack” died in the Little House series.


    • Sonya Shafer

      Oh, I know exactly what you mean. I would rank this about the same place as Jack on the sad scale in terms of how it is written. However, keep in mind that you won’t have multiple books ahead of the event to become so attached to the dog as you did with Jack, so the emotion might not be as strong. I teared up when I read it, but I didn’t out-and-out cry like I did with Jack (if that helps any).

      • Lindsey

        Thanks, that does help. When I read Little House the second time through I had forgotten about Jack’s death. My boys looked at me like I was crazy when I started crying. My main concern is that it is not like Where the Red Fern Grows. I was a soggy mess when I finished that book. BTW I refuse to read that aloud. My older son read it on his own and admitted to crying a little.

        Thanks again.

  2. Wings2fly

    Great WWI story through the eyes of man’s faithful friend, a dog. This was so exciting, my kids, ages 7 and 10, were begging me to read more, but I read only one or two chapters at a time to make it last. It is a short book, but well worth it.

  3. Jackie

    I am starting up a list of all books and curriculum needed for our oldest two boys ages 5 and 7. Everything I’ve researched on your website has me so excited! They’re going to love these books! Also, I am opening a small preschool and want to keep it simple with the various ages and I think CM will help us do that.

  4. Linsey

    My kids loved this book. 8 and 11. We used it as a read aloud. It captured their attention and imaginations. It had some sad parts, but showed them the reality of war in a gentle way.

Add a review

If you have a question, contact us and we will be happy to help.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may also like…