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Nubs: The True Story of a Mutt, a Marine & a Miracle

Nubs: The True Story of a Mutt, a Marine & a Miracle
By Brian Dennis, Mary Nethery, Kirby Larson

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Average customer review:
(220 customer reviews)

Product Description

Nubs, an Iraqi dog of war, never had a home or a person of his own. He was the leader of a pack of wild dogs living off the land and barely surviving. But Nubs's life changed when he met Marine Major Brian Dennis. The two formed a fast friendship, made stronger by Dennis's willingness to share his meals, offer a warm place to sleep, and give Nubs the kind of care and attention he had never received before. Nubs became part of Dennis's human "pack" until duty required the Marines to relocate a full 70 miles away--without him. Nubs had no way of knowing that Marines were not allowed to have pets.

So began an incredible journey that would take Nubs through a freezing desert, filled with danger tofind his friend and would lead Dennis on a mission that would touch the hearts of people all over the world.

Nubs and Dennis will remind readers that friendship has the power to cross deserts, continents, and even species.

Product Details

  • Amazon Sales Rank: #79820 in Books
  • Brand: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
  • Published on: 2009-11-01
  • Original language: English
  • Number of items: 1
  • Dimensions: 11.38" h x .50" w x 8.88" l, 2.00 pounds
  • Binding: Hardcover
  • 48 pages


  • Great product!

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal
Grade 2–5—A true story of a feral dog from Iraq that found a home in the United States. In October 2007, Border Transition Team 3/5/2 arrived at the border of Iraq and Syria. The team members were greeted by a pack of wild dogs, whose leader became known as "Nubs" because of his docked ears. He developed a bond with Dennis, and as the troops would come and go over the course of several weeks, they were always greeted by the dogs. Nubs exhibited signs of malnutrition and abuse yet he continued to seek food and companionship from the Marines, often trying to follow them when they'd leave. In December 2007, when they relocated to the Jordanian border, 70 miles away, he embarked on a treacherous journey across the desert and, two days later, walked into the camp. Because Marine regulations prohibit the keeping of pets in a war zone, Major Dennis and his men collected donations and arranged to send Nubs to the United States. He was eventually reunited with the dog in 2008. The narrative, which sometimes lacks clarity, includes a substantial amount of original documentation—photos taken by members of the 3/5/2, emails from Dennis to his friends in San Diego, and copies of the State Department "passport" allowing Nubs to travel. This is a feel-good entry in the current trend of inspirational true animal stories.—Kara Schaff Dean, Walpole Public Library, MA
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

About the Author
Brian Dennis is the major in the Marines. He and Nubs live in San Diego.

Kirby Larson is the acclaimed author of the 2007 Newbery Honor book, Hattie Big Sky. Her most recent title is Two Bobbies: A True Story of Hurricane Katrina, Friendship and Survival, co-written with Mary Nethery. Kirby lives in Kenmore, Washington.

Mary Nethery is the author of many picture books, including Hannah and Jack, Mary Veronica's Egg, and Orange Cat Goes to Market. Mary lives in Eureka, California.

Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews

93 of 93 people found the following review helpful.
5Wonderful, heartwarming story. 7 year old loved it!
By Brian Franklin
This is a wonderful story of the mutual devotion and the warm bond found between people and their pets... with a twist. Brian Dennis is a great, colorful writer, and there are little touches within the book - from his email dispatches to maps and photography, that make this true story hit home. My 7 year old son, as soon as we finished, said it best: "Dad, that was a great story!"

Major Dennis, and all those that helped make this story a happy one, deserve great praise. This book should be a staple in every home - and I'd particularly recommend it to those parents who want to teach their kids to respect animals. It also highlights the power of small, compassionate groups of people who are determined to save a life - furry or otherwise.

0 of 0 people found the following review helpful.
5A Must-Read Story!
By Sarah
This is an amazing, touching story that you absolutely must read! The photographs, maps, and transcriptions do a wonderful job of illustrating how special Nubs truly is. My children love hearing it as a bedtime story almost every night! What makes it even more meaningful for our family is that Major Dennis is a neighbor of ours, so he kindly signed our copy and included a paw print "autograph" from Nubs. Now my kids can enjoy not only a personalized message from Major Dennis and Nubs, but also grow up remembering their first meeting with such an awesome "celebrity"!

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful.
5A Heartwarming Story Of A Dog And His Patron Saint
By Robert I. Hedges
"Nubs: The True Story of a Mutt, a Marine, and a Miracle" is a heartwarming book intended largely for children, although many adults that I know have read my copy and loved it too. Major Brian Dennis, USMC, was on deployment to Iraq in 2007. Near the Syrian border he met a dog that changed his life. He named the abused and malnourished dog "Nubs" because some idiotic local had cut his ears off in an attempt to make him a "dog of war." Astoundingly, despite his obvious abuse, the dog thrived on human contact.

Major Dennis made numerous trips into the area, and Nubs became progressively weaker and sicker. Setting off on his own, Nubs made one final gambit by walking 70 miles across the desert after the vehicles that carried Dennis and his men: the reunion was wonderful, but all was not well. After running afoul of Marine Corps regulations prohibiting pet ownership, Dennis engineered a return to his San Diego home for the scrappy survivor, cementing their bond forever.

This book is perfect for children because it teaches the value of animals and the significance of the human-animal bond. It also teaches compassion and displays American military members as the soft-spoken heroes they almost always are, in this case heroes not for valor on the battlefield, but for love, compassion, and motivation to succeed in the face of adversity. I recommend this book highly for children and for animal-loving adults as well, though bear in mind the book is quite short (48 pages) and is largely photographs. I applaud Major Dennis (and thank him for his service,) Kirby Larson, and Mary Nethery for bringing this wonderful tale to public attention: it is more than worthwhile.

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