Special pet is remembered in a special way

January 24, 2014

Martha Keller has led a busy life. In her 87 years she has found time to get married, have a family, work as a church organist and pianist, work as an office manager, travel the world and offer travelogues around the United States, and work extensively with the Crawford County Chapter of the Ohio Genealogy Society.

Only lately has she turned her focus to writing. She feels her life has finally slowed just enough to allow for writing projects. Keller’s method of writing is to move along linearly and each day review and edit the previous day’s work. Once she has started on a project it does not take long for her to finish.

Her first writing project was The History of the Blackford Family, published by Herald Printing, New Washington. Her most recent endeavor is “Brownie” the story of a soldier and his dog as told by the dog. Keller said the story of the soldier, her father, and his dog, Brownie, was in her head for a long time. When Keller finally decided it would best be told from Brownie’s point of view, her work took off.

The story is really about Keller’s father, Roy Althouse, and his experiences in the 75th Naval Construction Battalion in the early 1940s during WWII. Althouse rescued Brownie after an incident with a jeep and the little dog quickly became the battalion mascot.

The 75th smuggled, boxed, hid and moved Brownie around to keep him with the unit. Brownie finally made it home to Ohio safe and sound to tell his story.

“Brownie” relates all the adventures he had while traveling with the 75th, and as a dog, his perspective is unique.

Keller had lots of material to draw from to write the book including letters she saved from her father and the notebook he kept during the war.

Area residents knew Brownie and his story, so it is no surprise that Brownie and Keller’s father were featured in the most recent Bucyrus Cemetery Walk at Oakwood Cemetery

The Galion Public Library is hosting a book signing for Keller, Saturday, Feb. 8 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.

“Brownie,” by Martha E. Keller is available at and

(For copies of the Blackford history call 419-562-8149.)