Polk & Lucas Counties

Harold Plew


Italy (The Dog) Digs His Own Foxholes

When Italy, a perky newcomer to canine circles in Des Moines, starts digging furiously in the backyard at 2930 Raccoon st., he’s not burying a bone, other dogs in the neighborhood have learned.

When the pit, sized to Italy’s petite dimensions, is dug, Italy jumps in.

“It’s a foxhole,” is staccato barks seems to say.

Italy is a veteran of sorts of the 34th division’s 168th infantry. Even before he found himself a part of it, he’d probably had some experience dodging shells during bombing attacks.

A native of the country whose name he now bears, Italy has pointed, lifted ears and alert eyes. He moves quietly and quickly like any trained combat infantryman.

He’s in America now, thanks to the persistence of his master, Pvt. Harold G. Plew, veteran of 37 months’ overseas service with the 168th himself; wearer of five
Battle stars and the Purple Heart.

Plain ‘Mister’

Plew (who says, “just call me Mister, now”) told something of Italy’s history Wednesday.

“I bought him from an Italian, and it’s a long story. I guess I had a little bit too much Italian wine. Anyway, I paid five dollars for him” he said.

Italy rode army trucks along with the men of Plew’s unit. He was no trouble at all until it was time for Plew to be shipped back home and receive his discharge.

Just before embarking, Italy got out of the box in which he was concealed.

“I didn’t know what to do with him, so finally I just stuck him in my shirt,” Plew said.

Aboard the transport, Italy found lots of company.

Small Menagerie.

“There were 15 other dogs and one monkey on the ship,” said Plew.

Though Italy is foreign-born, he’s been around G.I.’s long enough to understand army lingo, Plew says.

Plew, son of Raymond Plew, Chariton, Ia., has four brothers still in service. Sgt. Lee and
Pvt. Glen, both in Germany, Pvt. Raymond in the Philippines, and Pvt. Richard, just inducted into the army.

Source:  The Des Moines Evening Tribune, De Moines, Iowa, September 05, 1945