When the story begins, Lady and her brother Red are just two Irish Setter puppies eager to be as brave and heroic a hunter dog as their mother. Though World War II is happening, it's just a war that Lady only vaguely knows about because her master's son went away to join. However, that all changes when a young man named Carl comes by and asks her master if he can work with him for a couple of days.
The moment Lady and Carl meet, they become best friends. Lady comes to love him so much that when her master gives Lady to Carl, she is as excited as Carl is. During the time they spend together, Lady learns basic commands and shows her colors as a hero by rescuing a little boy.
Unfortunately, the war she only vaguely knew about becomes a recurring factor in her life, first starting with Carl's departure. Heart of a Hero is much like a bildungsroman that focuses on all the major moments in Lady's life where her heroic and brave nature shines most. We see what her life is like as a puppy, a hunting dog in training, a member of the 1st Marine War Dog Platoon, a war veteran, and a pet for a little girl.
The book is a simple one, both in writing style and in terms of the plot. However, considering that this book is aimed at kids, the simplicity only complements the story and makes it both a great tale for adults and kids alike.
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