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Through the Eyes of a Dictator’s Dog

New Book Recounts Life of Puppy Recovered from Saddam Hussein’s Palace

Author Wendy Dale Young and Liberty Pearl | Credit: Courtesy

In 2003, following the bombing of Saddam Hussein’s presidential palace, U.S. troops discovered a trembling, shaggy-haired puppy in the rubble. The female Coton de Tuléar was hungry but otherwise unhurt.

The troops took the young dog to the Baghdad Zoo, where pets recovered throughout the war zone were being sheltered. She was originally named Pelican II because she shared a cage with a pelican, but by the time she arrived in America, she was renamed Quiet.

A few months later, a Los Angeles–based composer and writer named Wendy Dale Young adopted Quiet and renamed her once again, this time to Liberty Pearl, or Libby for short. “The first day I had her, she was so nervous that she wouldn’t pee,” Young said in a press statement. “Later that night, she finally peed, and it was such a liberating experience for her that I called her Liberty. The second name, Pearl, was inspired by the color of her beautiful fur.”

Young has since written a book about Liberty Pearl’s experiences. The story is told from the dog’s perspective, including her early years in Hussein’s palace and her relocation to the United States. Young’s father was the late actor Alan Young, best known as Wilbur on the classic TV sitcom Mister Ed. Young likes to joke that while her dad talked to horses, she talks to dogs. Her dad used to joke back: “Careful, dear. Libby might be hiding a missile.”

On Wednesday, June 26, 7-8:30 p.m., Young will sign copies of her book, Behind the Eyes of Liberty Pearl, at Chaucer’s Books (3321 State St.). “I still cry when I think of all that she went through,” she said. “She’s just the sweetest dog — an angel with so much pain in her eyes.” 


For information, call (805) 682-6787 or see chaucersbooks.com

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