The story of a dog named Tank

This is the story of how a kind-hearted person adopted a shelter black labrador and discovered the dog’s true name.

Have a box of tissue ready. You’ll need it.





Wiping away my tears, I was about to hit “Publish” on this post but decided to search on the web for more info on Tank’s original owner, the soldier “Paul Mallory.”

 Alas, the tear-jerking story is not true. Sigh ….


This Tank e-mail was first sighted in August 2008, according to, a well-respected nonpartisan fact-finding website that confirms or debunks rumors and urban legends.

The first clues that the story is unlikely are the rather implausible ideas that a shelter would agree to indefinitely hold a dog and that the new owner would accept a sealed letter from the previous owner and not bother to open and read it, points out.

Even if those things could have happened, the other details don’t check out. First of all, found no “Paul Mallory” on any casuality list on websites that list the names of all U.S. service personnel killed in Iraq and Afghanistan, including the Iraq Coalition Casualty Count’s and the Washington Post’s Faces of the Fallen. A double-check of those sites, plus The Associated Press’ Iraq and Afghanistan casualty databases, confirms that.

Even if you assume that “Paul Mallory” is a pseudonym, notes some other discrepancies. The e-mail says that Tank’s new owner remembered reading about the local kid Paul Mallory, and knew that he had received the Silver Star posthumously. The soldier’s letter said he was never married and had no living parents, siblings or other relative with whom he could have left he dog. looked at all the service members posthumously awarded a Silver Star on the Silver Star database at the website and every one listed some combination of parents, siblings, wives or children.

I also went on the website Hall of Heroes: Silver Star Operation Iraqi Freedom. There is no Paul Mallory listed as a Silver Star recipient in the Iraq War.

So why am I posting this any way? – to warn others not to fall for this hoax. People who perpetrate these Internet hoaxes deserve a special ring in Dante’s Inferno.

There are many true stories of dogs who are faithful, loving, and even heroic. Don’t shed your tears over a wholly concocted fake news. Go to our Creation page for the links colored pink and dark red. Here’s a sample:


15 responses to “The story of a dog named Tank

  1. Richard M Nixon (Deceased)

    Reblogged this on Dead Citizen's Rights Society.


  2. Like

  3. Richard M Nixon (Deceased)

    Hoaxs are just so frustrating …


  4. Nice story, but hoaxers…


  5. These stories are rarely real 100% but I do think when things happen like soldiers not coming home, there are pets who have lost owners. These pets relied on these people and loved them unconditionally and they have suddenly lost their best friend. It’s a lesson to be learned, that when you adopt pets, GIVE IT TIME, let them grieve and don’t expect them to love you from day 1.This fictitious story may help people who adopt pets from a shelter to understand the process, so I have no problem with the fact that it is fiction

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Doesn’t matter if it’s true or not. Names could have been changed to protect people’s identity. Also it’s a heart warming story. How many soldiers don’t come home? Risk their lives to protect our lives and if this story is true and a gave his life to protect our freedom then thank you to him and everyone else who protect our country. Facts about this story:
    1 a man went to war to fight for his country.
    2 a man loves his dog
    3 the dog is smarter than the fact checkers of this site.
    4 a man died in a war and the dog lost his best friend
    5 a man adopted a sheltered pet with the attempt of repairing bond of friendship
    6 their was a mission accomplished.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Yeah, I have to say it was a good work of fiction. Maybe a little extra detail around who the dog had spent his time with before would have made it more plausible.


  8. It doesnt matter that it is not true. For anyone that has ever truly bonded with an animal, you will understand that those bonds are real. So the story behind it isn’t factual. The point of an animals love is

    Liked by 2 people

  9. I love this story, true or not.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. While I’m not saying that this story is true, to say that Snopes is non- partisan is certainly not true.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. The actual story may not be true but the scenario is … and so is the moral of the story … that shelter dogs are very often there, not because there is something wrong with the dog but because there is so much wrong with the world. Give shelter dogs a chance, and a home!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Ok this may not be true but it is in its way a way of talking about serving soldiers who go to War who don’t have family and may have a pet at Home. It is a way of reminding us of simple humanity and kindness and the bond we humans have with our pets. So call me naive if you wish but I’m taking this as a sign of hope and love we need that in the world right now.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. dolly mcphillips

    doesnt matter to me if its true or not,, anyone who can write this good to evoke such emotion out of me and most who’ve read this…. deserves recognition in a good way…. this is SOME story. and yes it says ”STORY of tank” so he didnt lie… some people just need to be mad at something. geesh! sad for them…


  14. A lovely story, fact or fiction. The photo of the black lab in a chair is by Villager Jim, an English wildlife photographer. You can find him on Facebook and enjoy his photographs.



    I read it over and over again. It touched me so much making my tears ran over my cheeks. It doesn;t matter to me true or not but surely there are related or same real stories like this of Tank and Paul.. I like it! This must be an awakening way to make dogs real part of the family not to maltreat, unlove and take them for granted. Paul is right, give dog a good home….not just a house. Godspeed!


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