The Victory Dogs by Megan Rix is an inspiring children’s historical novel and just perfect for ages ten years and over. It is a fictional tale but has its roots in facts.
The story is set in London during World War II and follows two pups, a cat and an old soldier. The camaraderie between them is beautiful to witness. The love and loyalty will bring a tear to your eye on more than one occasion.
The old soldier is not old in terms of years but he is a veteran of Dunkirk and he has seen things that have aged him. He clearly has, as yet, undiagnosed PTSD. He does not believe he is worthy of living amongst people and so hides in the shadows of the underground tube station. He exists in the dark but his heart is full of light. He is kind, good and compassionate to animals.
Animals were part of the war machine in both world wars. They played a unique part in rescuing people trapped in rubble as dogs noses could sniff out people. We hear of the setting up of war dogs training schools.
We create bonds with our animals. We are hurt and upset if anything happens to them. The noise of the bombs frightens an expectant dog. Her owners will search relentlessly for her.
We inherit traits from our parents. Our animals do too. We see maternal traits passed from mother to pups. They may not look like her but character traits are recognized in them by others.
I really enjoyed The Victory Dogs. I love all Megan Rix’s animal books. They entertain and educate as I read. The animals and the old soldier were inspirational.