A leading dog-blogger offers a tour of military working dogs’ extraordinary training, heroic accomplishments, and the lasting impact they have on those who work with them.
People all over the world have been riveted by the story of Cairo, the Belgian Malinois who was a part of the Navy SEAL team that led the raid on Osama bin Laden’s compound. A dog’s natural intelligence, physical abilities, and pure loyalty contribute more to our military efforts than ever before. You don’t have to be a dog lover to be fascinated by the idea that a dog - the cousin of that furry guy begging for scraps under your table - could be one of the heroes who helped execute the most vital and high-tech military mission of the new millennium.
Now Maria Goodavage, editor and featured writer for one of the world’s most widely read dog blogs, tells heartwarming stories of modern soldier dogs and the amazing bonds that develop between them and their handlers. Beyond tales of training, operations, retirement, and adoption into the families of fallen soldiers, Goodavage talks to leading dog-cognition experts about why dogs like nothing more than to be on a mission with a handler they trust, no matter how deadly the IEDs they are sniffing out, nor how far they must parachute or rappel from aircraft into enemy territory.
"Military working dogs live for love and praise from their handlers," says Ron Aiello, president of the United States War Dogs Association and a former marine scout-dog handler. "The work is all a big game, and then they get that pet, that praise. They would do anything for their handler." This is an unprecedented window into the world of these adventurous, loving warriors.
Maria Goodavage, a former reporter for USA Today and the San Francisco Chronicle, is the editor and featured writer for one of the most widely read dog blogs in the world: For the Love of Dog. She is also the author of The Dog Lover’s Companion to California and The Dog Lover’s Companion to the San Francisco Bay Area. She co-produced and wrote an award-winning children's video about animals, starring the voice of Ed Asner.
Includes a bonus PDF with photographs.
©2012 Maria Goodavage (P)2012 Blackstone Audio, Inc.
"Maria has proven her passion for the subject of military dogs with many emotionally engaging stories about these dedicated canines and the people who share their lives. She is the perfect combination of news reporter and dog lover." (Tracie Hotchner, author of The Dog Bible)
"Soldier Dogs is a fascinating book about the valiant things that military dogs do as told through the words of the soldiers who fight beside them. It also shows you how military service dogs are created, told through the words of the trainers and scientists who know the process. It is written in an easy and entertaining style and will acquaint you with dozens of canine heroes ranging from Stubby, who fought in WWI, to Cairo, who was a member of the raiding party that took down Osama Bin Laden. It is a great read for anyone who appreciates dogs and heroes." (Stanley Coren, author of The Intelligence of Dogs)
Story received 5 stars, because we have 3 GSDs and 1 golden retriever (who won't--retrieve, that is). We love all things "dog", so we bring our hearts along with our ears to this listen.
Accurate research went into Soldier Dogs, warm-hearted anecdotes, tragic endings, and every day successes/challenges are throughout the book.
Kudos to the author for refraining from anthropomorphizing these dogs...her respect for them shows with every word. We smiled in recognition at the dogs' behavior and we cried at their mistreatment and deaths. Over the years we've parented 10 GSDs, 3 Akitas, 1 Rotty, 1 Golden, and "Clyde" our English Mastiff grand dog who lived 13 wonderful years.
Appropriate breeds for soldiering include size, willingness, intelligence, sensitive nose, and courage---2 of those 5 traits are genetic attributes of the breed, the other three are variables and described in human terms....not scientific absolutes.
The journalistic accuracy of the author's objectivity detracted from the potential emotional access the reader wants from any non-scientific tract about "Man's Best Friend."
i.e. the importance of a "Kong" in their lives to motivate behavior. All of our GSDs enjoy this toy (and its history was interesting), however the temperament trials conducted @ approximately 7 weeks of the litters reveal far more than potential for Pavlovian conditioning in future training.
How do you measure the attachment a Soldier Dog has for his person? And when that person leaves his or her---how do you measure the grief?
As in our human combat veterans, our canine vets deserve TLC and special consideration to live out their natural lives in peace.
“I am the wife to a wonderful man, the mom to two sweet doggie boys. I'm all about the dog stories fiction or non!
I don't know because I have not read the print version!
The information that I learned about MWDs.
All of them.
This ranks hig in my dog library. Soldier Dogs are the unsung heros.
Each story had a connection to real-life for a soldier. There's a redeeming factor of soldier dogs with their handlers. The bond comes through nice and clear
The Narrator voice was a little flat, but it grows on you. In fact, the reporter-type perspective is what AMERICA needs more of. But it was a little flat, but not distracting.
This was PERFECT to listen to in snippets. If you are busy, you can put it down, but the moment you need to pick it up again, you HAVE to pick it back up again!
Stories that stuck out is the WWI stuffed dog, the recuperating soldiers and dogs reuniting in another way. Sad we have to purchase overseas. We are a bite-phobic society.
The book was so informative regarding the training of both the dogs and handlers without being too technical or boring.
All the heart-warming stories about the bonds formed between dog and handler were riveting.
The manner in which the author detailed many acts of bravery (both by man and dog) was matter-of-fact and not too sappy. There was little need to be sappy - I cried my way through most of the book. I'd recommend this book to anyone.
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