"Weintraub... combines a gritty war story with a warm dog story -- readers who like both will think they have gone to heaven.... Where he truly excels, though, is in finding the human dramas, some painful and some inspiring, that figured in Judy's saga."―Kate Tuttle, Boston Globe
"The most inspiring true life account I've ever read of a human-animal bond.... I know this summary makes No Better Friend sound like a canine version of Unbroken. And as a dog lover, I say what could be better than that?"―Maureen Corrigan, NPR
"This is the best dog book since the uber best-selling Marley and Me. But this is no fluffy little dog story. This is a book that will appeal to history buffs -- even those who don't love dogs."―Linda Wilson Fuoco, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
"No Better Friend ... takes us on a harrowing journey to a place and time lost in the history books. A must read for every dog or animal lover."—Robin Hutton, author of Sgt. Reckless: America's War Horse
"...a spellbinding narrative that reclaims the lost history of two most unlikely heroes: a dog named Judy and fellow soldier Frank. Not only a testament to animal intelligence and a much overdue account of canine sacrifice and service, No Better Friend is also an unforgettable read. Soaring and graceful--like Hillenbrand's Unbroken and Seabiscuit--Weintraub's latest is the stuff of which Hollywood blockbusters are built."—Mim Eichler Rivas, author of Beautiful Jim Key: The Lost History of a Horse and a Man Who Changed the World
"Robert Weintraub captures the beauty and power of friendship and loyalty between man and animal in this captivating narrative. We'd all be lucky to have a dog like Judy by our sides in our darkest times."—Cate Lineberry, author of The Secret Rescue: An Untold Story of American Nurses and Medics Behind Nazi Lines
"An unusual and moving story of a singular hero among fellow POWs of the Japanese during World War II: a loyal British pointer named Judy. With bite and substance, Slate columnist Weintraub chronicles Judy's incredible life.... Weintraub's research on the prisoners' experiences in the camps is remarkable as he narrates Judy and Frank's heroic tale."—Kirkus
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. When the prisoners suffered beatings, Judy would repeatedly risk her life to intervene. She survived bombings and other near-death experiences and became a beacon not only for Frank but for all the men, who saw in her survival a flicker of hope for their own.
Judy's devotion to those she was interned with was matched by their love for her, which helped keep the men and their dog alive despite the ever-present threat of death by disease or the rifles of the guards. At one point, deep in despair and starvation, Frank contemplated killing himself and the dog to prevent either from watching the other die. But both were rescued, and Judy spent the rest of her life with Frank. She became the war's only official canine POW, and after she died at age fourteen, Frank couldn't bring himself to ever have another dog. Their story--of an unbreakable bond forged in the worst circumstances--is one of the great undiscovered sagas of World War II.
Robert Weintraub is a sports columnist for Slate, and his writing has also aired on ESPN, ABC Sports, CBS Sports, and dozens of other outlets. He is the author of The House That Ruth Built and The Victory Season and is a frequent contributor to The New York Times sports pages.