20 October 2012


Finding Jack by Gareth Crocker
This beautiful story, based on fact, is written by South African author Gareth Crocker. After losing his wife and daughter in a plane crash, a deeply depressed American journalist, Fletcher Carson joins the US Army and goes to war-torn Vietnam. While on a mission, he rescues an injured Labrador that he names Jack. The dog wins the hearts of all the soldiers. After being nursed back to health, Jack becomes a working dog in the war zone. When the order to pull out of Vietnam is issued, Jack is not included in the airlift. Fletcher risks his life, and a court martial, as the soldier and his dog walk through enemy territory to a neighbouring country. The book is intended as a tribute to war dogs - about 4000 dogs did service in Vietnam, but less than 200 made it to the USA. This is a story of the relationship between a man and his dog, as well as a story of surviving life and carrying on. You will cry.

Gareth was born in Johannesburg. A former journalist, he lives in Johannesburg with his wife, two children, and three dogs. He has a degree in English, Psychology and Communications. This is his debut novel, and is the second novel by a South African author to appear in a US volume of Reader’s Digest. The first South African author was Alan Paton, for Cry, the Beloved Country in 1950.

Non-fiction books that record these faithful canine soldiers'  contributions, include Always Faithful: A Memoir of the Marine Dogs of WWII by William W. Putney, and The Dogs of War: The Courage, Love, and Loyalty of Military Working Dogs by Lisa Rogak.