Book Review

Dogs Who Serve: Incredible Stories of Our Canine Military Heroes

by Lisa Rogak
St. Martin’s Press, $29.95

Since the time of the Civil War, dogs have played a role in the efforts of our nation’s military, saving countless lives in the process. In Dogs Who Serve you will learn of the great adventure of becoming one of the nation’s select groups of highly-trained military dogs.

New York Times bestselling author Lisa Rogak takes readers through the developmental process, beginning with breeding and puppy selection and progressing through training and eventually fighting on the front lines. Dogs Who Serve provides a glimpse into the highly selective and competitive nature of becoming a working canine. Readers will learn about the different jobs these canines are trained to do, including: search and rescue, bomb detection, and criminal apprehension.  As you read along, you will see incredible illustrations depicting the devotion, bond, and trust forged through human-animal interaction.

Without these invaluable assets, many missions would not have been possible, despite some of the best, and most expensive technology in the world. In fact, a canine soldier typically accompanies many highly trained teams, including Seal Team 6, those responsible for eliminating Osama Bin Laden.

Despite their high level of training, many military dogs work multiple roles. When they are not out searching for bombs or apprehending criminals, they may be found comforting wounded veterans in military hospitals or even providing some comic relief and education to school aged children.  As time progresses and retirement nears, these furry soldiers get to look forward to the life of a typical house pet, including relaxing on a couch and playing ball.

After reading this book, you will certainly have a newfound appreciation of just how tough, smart, loyal, and loving these four-legged soldiers can be.

Reviewer, Jeff Fink, is founder of Go Fetch Wellness, an Asheville-based organization. It is dedicated to helping people with mental health challenges stabilize and heal by connecting them with dogs and other animals.  More at www.gofetchwellness.com

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