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No Better Friend: One Man, One Dog, and Their Extraordinary Story of Courage and Survival in WWII

4.04  ·  Rating details ·  687 Ratings  ·  140 Reviews
The extraordinary tale of survival and friendship between a man and a dog in war

Flight technician Frank Williams and Judy, a purebred pointer, met in the most unlikely of places: a World War II internment camp in the Pacific. Judy was a fiercely loyal dog, with a keen sense for who was friend and who was foe, and the pair's relationship deepened throughout their captivity.
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Hardcover, 387 pages
Published May 5th 2015 by Little, Brown and Company
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Sandy Brehl
Remarkable in the quality of the narrative, but even more so in the fact that it is all true. When I think nothing will ever surprise me about a dog's brilliance, loyalty, endurance, problem-solving, strength, and any other favorable trait you can imagine, an impossibly amazing dog story comes to my attention.
Don't let it miss yours.
I say this as someone who AVOIDS reading dog stories, due to the heartache they are likely to cause. In this case we know at the start that this is war time, it's
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Alger
Oct 09, 2015 rated it it was ok
Almost unreadable. This book is like being cornered at a dinner by your slightly unhinged aunt who has replaced her children with a labradoodle, and has pictures and daily anecdotes. Weintraub is that aunt with a research budget.

The feel of the book is an upbeat piece of WWII era propaganda, and the structure of the book once the Japanese assault begins is to describe some appalling act of brutality then follow it with a heartwarming anecdote about that beloved dog Judy. Not only are we given a
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Anne Maesaka
May 30, 2015 rated it really liked it
Just finished reading this wonderful book. Judy is a true inspiration to the men and women that she survived with in WWII. The books gives lots of information about the battles in the Pacific region during the war and insights into the prisoner of war camps . There is quite a lot of information about the actual war so if you do not enjoy reading about the hardships of war I would not recommend this book. But it is a very inspiring story and well worth the read.
Miriam
Mar 10, 2015 rated it it was amazing
What an amazing story! Judy was the only canine POW in WWII. She was so brave and a natural soldier. From her role as a nurse to injured soldiers to notifying when bombers were approaching, to her role in the POW camp and her friendship with Frank Williams.

Everyone who loves history or loves dogs (or both!) must read this book.
Jill Griset
Sep 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book is fantastic. It tells an amazing story of Judy, a dog with seemingly 9 lives, who is a war dog with the british navy in WWII. It tells about her life and the lives of the men who fought next to her. It is very well written and a really incredible story. Highly recommended.
Phillip
Oct 12, 2015 rated it it was amazing
A beautiful story about the true love found between a man and a dog. This book tells hilarious stories of this dog's adventures during World War II. The book also tells a few stories of other dogs used by other ships, those stories don't end so well for the dogs. The main dog, Judy, that the story is about had spunk and personality. As a dog lover, This book has been awesome. Judy was the only P.O.W. in World War II that was a dog. The Japanese could have killed her, but for some reason didn't. ...more
Steve
Jun 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing
An amazing and inspiring story of the first dog to become a POW in a Japanese prison camp during World War II. The owner was a Flight Technician in the British Royal Navy and was stationed in Shanghai. Judy was a pointer and a loyal dog who survived the bombings and later with the owner was in a POW camp. She was the war's only canine to receive official POW status and faced hardships but survived.She later passed away at age fourteen but received military honors.
Michelle
Aug 17, 2015 rated it it was amazing
What an amazing story! The author so astutely captures Judy's personality that your mind's eye has no difficulty in imagining her grinning, assessing her many stressful situations, and acting with incredible intelligence and selflessness. In addition to telling the story of Judy and Frank, Weintraub also gives a compelling narrative of the POW camps on Sumatra. Really, really good.
Chad
Jan 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
Let me start of by saying I really enjoyed reading this book. There were some stories added in that I didn’t think tied in with the main story but it still turned out to be a good book. A good read for history and dog lovers alike. Judy, what a amazing dog.
Carol
No Better Friend by Robert Weintraub is a well-documented story of English pointer named Judy and her life as a war dog and the service men she took care of, especially, Frank Williams. A purebred born in Shanghai and adopted as a mascot of a Royal Navy Gunboat.

Before war had started, Judy had already amazed her shipmates by moving her sleeping box with blanket near the current group of people that she wanted to sleep near. She pushed, pulled and even pulled it down a ladder. She was friends wi
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Cary
Jun 12, 2015 rated it really liked it
This is as amazing a story of survival as there is. Captured at the beginning of WWII in the Pacific, Judy (the dog) and the men captured along side her endured years of brutal imprisonment, force labor, malnutrition, disease, and more.

One can understand why some Pacific POWs doubt the veracity of Judy's story - that a dog, viewed as food by many in the area (including her captors), could have survived where so many men did not.

To say that this story is heart-wrenching for man and dog, puts it m
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Dottie Resnick
Jul 15, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a wonderful story for dog lovers, but also for history lovers and is a great read on World War II and the Pacific theater. I learned so much about the early phases of the Japanese aggression in the region as well as components for bringing America into the war. Although Japan, Italy and German were allies, the motivations and reasons for their alliance were not.

Judy, a Pointer, was a ship mascot dog who eventually ended up as a Japanese POW. She not only was helped to survive by the men
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Dave Hoff
Aug 27, 2016 rated it really liked it
A YA book put in the Adult section and a Plus for me. A must read for middle schoolers to give them the WW2 history all should have. And a book all dog lovers would appreciate. An English Pointer and an English Airman meet up in a Japanese POW camp where both suffer the most brutal inhuman conditions, Unbelievable. Starving they barely find enough to survive on, many POW didn't or were killed other ways . The Airman trained the Pointer, Judy, to hid when the guards were looking, find snakes, rat ...more
Lesley
Well I am honored to read this book (thanks goodreads!) My honest review is this is such a story of survival and courage and loyalty. I didn't expect to really like this book but Judy was as the title says NO BETTER FRIEND in the time of need for Frank as well as the other men. I did not know there was a dog that was a prisoner of war so I read with a lot of interest. I can say if one likes reading of history and animals then they will find compassion in this book! This book talks about PTSD of ...more
Janis
May 13, 2015 rated it really liked it
Weintraub recounts the story of Judy, a dog who started her life as a mascot on board a British Royal Navy gunboat and spent the years of WWII in a Japanese POW camp. She survived bombings, led men safely through deep jungles, and repeatedly risked her life to save others. Loved by many, she eventually became one lucky man’s dog, and gave him reason to live when all seemed dark. An amazing account of an incredible animal, and an eye-opening historical narrative.
Jill Manning
May 07, 2016 rated it did not like it
I wanted to love this book. And then I would have settled for liking it but it has taken me way too long to finish it and now I just don't care. I feel bad that I'm abandoning Judy somehow by not finishing this book but it's lacking. Not the story itself but the way it is written. It reminded me of why I hardly read nonfiction, I have the hardest time staying interested.
Karen
May 19, 2015 rated it it was amazing
What a wonderful book. And what a gut wrenching book. Once I started it could not put it down. There were times when I wanted to cry, times when I felt like throwing up and times when I could only give my dog a big hug. I had NO idea of the extent and depth of what happened in the Pacific during the war. An amazing true story!
Renee
Jan 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Loved this story of a man and the unconditional love of a dog! My daughter recommended it and it was fun to brush up on history. Great read for all ages.
Vanessa
Apr 12, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: wwii, non-fiction
Very detailed story of Frank Williams and the Judy, the mascot of the navy ship he is deployed on in WWII in the Pacific. Amazing that he became a prisoner of war and she did too. They both survived (won't tell more on that) and did other adventures. What a hard life- but what a life.
Carissa Gilman
Oct 05, 2016 rated it really liked it
Like a lot of nonfiction being published these days, this book would have benefited from a stricter editor. It is obvious that the book was meticulously researched. The problem is that the author includes every detail about every person and every boat that Frank and Judy encountered during their travels and travails. I found my mind drifting every time the author meandered off on some tangential anecdote about a person secondary to the main story. It was tough to keep it all straight. However, t ...more
Stephen
Mar 02, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: giveaways
I won this book on Goodreads!
Totally engrossing story about a remarkable dog and her best friend before, during and after their time spent in internment in Japanese POW camps in Sumarta in WWII. The bond, love and courage shown by these two truly moved me. I'm a dog owner myself and a lot of times while reading this I would look down at my dog and would feel a rush of love and appreciation for her. A great history. A dog is man's best friend!
READ THIS!
Stormrider
Mar 31, 2016 rated it really liked it
The incredible story of an extraordinary dog and the bonds she established with POWs in Sumatra during WWII. The recounting of the brutality of the Japanese towards allied POWs in Sumatra is a little known story.
Susan
Jun 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: misc-read
I won this book through Goodreads. Oh my. Such a wonderful heart warming book. To live through all that is amazing. But man's best friend is truly inspiring. A great book for all ages.
Ben
Feb 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing
An incredible story of friendship between dog and man. I definitely had tears in my eyes at the end.
Jeff Neckonoff
May 26, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book.
If you love our veterans and you love dogs, this book is for you!
Betsy
Jun 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing
What a story! I loved it.
Nancy
Mar 23, 2017 rated it it was ok
I thought this book would be right up my alley. I love dogs and was looking forward to really feeling the bond between this dog and her "owner" and feeling the action and despair surrounding their war and captivity years. Unfortunately, this writer just wasn't able to convey these things very well. The first 200 pages were very slow. I ended up skimming a lot. There was really no personal connection to anyone, just a bunch of peripheral people coming and going.

Once the dog meets her final owner
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Breanna Green
May 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I rarely write reviews unless there was something particularly special about a book. This one had it in spades. As a leisurely history buff and a full time animal lover and dog owner, I picked up this book on a whim, having never heard of Judy, or the true horrors of the War beyond European shores. Not only does the history paint the full picture of what was going on in this time, but it lends a sense of awe than anyone could survive so much, especially a dog. I smiled, I cried, I hesitated with ...more
Derek Baker
Aug 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: true-adventure
Historical context, warmth and adventure. What a story!

This is a good read for historical background on WWII in the Pacific, but it's threaded and personalized around the life of a dog and her various caretakers. Only eye strain could make me put it down. The story starts in 1936 in China, where British gun boats are protecting shipping on the Yangtze River. Judy (the dog) had survived some of her puppy life on the streets of Shanghai, and was adopted by a gun boat crew. Her ears and nose serve

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Jo Sorrell
Dec 20, 2017 rated it really liked it

No Better Friend: One Man, One Dog, and Their Extraordinary Story of Courage and Survival in WWII by Robert Weintraub

This book recommended by a media coordinator. She said the book is a 7th grade source books Scripps used to gather words and study words for the spelling bee. The vocabulary is definitely rich, but I found it a bit cumbersome and didn’t add anything to the story. On page 32: “by the 1920’s, China was riven by internecine fighting among potent warlords, each of whom carved out fief
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Robert Weintraub is a sports columnist for Slate.com and has written for ESPN.com, Play, The Guardian, Football Outsiders, and many other publications, as well as written and produced for ESPN, Turner Broadcasting, ABC Sports, the Discovery Channel, and dozens of other television outlets. He lives in Decatur, Georgia.

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