Have you heard of Sgt Stubby?
Sgt Stubby was a Boston Terrier mixed breed stray dog who became friends with a soldier.
He was named a hero during World War I.
The dog has been called the “most decorated war dog of World War I.”
According to StubbyMovie.com:
In New Haven, Connecticut, the 102nd Infantry Regiment – part of the 26th “Yankee” Division – was drilling on the grounds of Yale University. Private First Class Robert Conroy noticed a small brindle mutt wandering around the field, watching the Soldiers and searching for scraps of food. He and his fellow doughboys developed a fondness for the dog, giving him a name that matched his unassuming personality and short, constantly-wagging tail: Stubby.
When the Yankee Division got orders to ship to France, Stubby somehow managed to find his way aboard. When he was discovered, the scrappy little stray demonstrated his military training by saluting the commanding officer. THAT’S WHEN STUBBY BECAME THE OFFICIAL DIVISION MASCOT. Stubby saw action in 17 different battles and received critical wounds during a chemical attack.
Slate.com goes on to tell us:
[Stubby] met three sitting presidents, traveled the nation to veterans’ commemorations, and performed in vaudeville shows, earning $62.50 for three days of theatrical appearances, more than twice the weekly salary of the average American. For nearly a decade after the war until his death in 1926, Stubby was the most famous animal in the United States.
And, now there is a movie about Sergeant Stubby (which will make a great theme lesson)!
Where is Sergeant Stubby buried?
The dog died in his sleep in 1926.
He was around 10 years old.
Sergeant Stubby Facts: The dog actually had an obituary in The New York Times upon his passing!
Today, Sgt Stubby is part of an exhibit in the National Museum of American History at the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C.
While he isn’t exactly “stuffed,” apparently his skin is over a cast of the dog, with Stubby’s cremated remains inside.
(Gross. I know.)
Sgt Stubby: An American Hero Movie
Sgt Stubby’s story is now a movie . . . and it’s a wonderful movie to use for learning!
The animated film Sgt Stubby: An American Hero Movie is based on this true story of a World War I soldier, Private First Class Robert Conroy, who found a stray dog and adopted him.
From the movie description:
With World War I looming, a young Army Pvt. Robert Conroy is adopted by a stray, stump-tailed terrier. Conroy names his new friend Stubby and gives him a home, a family, and a chance to embark on the adventure that would define a century. The two quickly find themselves in the trenches of France and on the path to history. French soldier Gaston Baptiste befriends the duo and accompanies them along their epic journey through harsh conditions and incredible acts of courage.
Sgt Stubby: An American Hero Movie Trailer
Sgt Stubby Lesson Plans, Activities, and Projects
The movie about Sergeant Stubby is great to pair up with your learning because there are so many different learning aspects — history, military, animals, compassion, and more!
Check out some of these ways to create a unit study to go with Sgt Stubby: An American Hero movie:
Read books about Sgt Stubby:
Read books about World War I:
Do an “America and World War I” Lesson Plan (Grades 9-12)
Design medals like those given to Stubby for his service