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Soldier Dogs: The Untold Story of America’s Canine Heroes | [Maria Goodavage]

Soldier Dogs: The Untold Story of America’s Canine Heroes

A leading dog-blogger offers a tour of military working dogs' extraordinary training, heroic accomplishments, and the lasting impacts they have on those who work with them. Maria Goodavage here 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.
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Publisher's Summary

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.

Download the accompanying reference guide.

©2012 Maria Goodavage (P)2012 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

What the Critics Say

"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)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.1 (74 )
5 star
 (33)
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2 star
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4.2 (66 )
5 star
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3 star
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1 star
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Story
4.2 (65 )
5 star
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4 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Shea DULLES, VA, United States 04-01-12
    Shea DULLES, VA, United States 04-01-12

    World traveler!

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    "Detailed and heart wrenching at times."
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    This book covers everything for WW I up to the UBL raid. It has fantastic historical details as well as great characters. You can find yourself attaching yourself to your dogs, only to find their fates to not be so pleasant. If you don't mind shedding a tear every few chapters, you should find this to be a VERY enjoyable listen.


    What other book might you compare Soldier Dogs to and why?

    A dogs purpose.


    What didn’t you like about Nicole Vilencia’s performance?

    Not bad, but nothing ground breaking.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    A tear here and there.


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joe United States 03-23-12
    Joe United States 03-23-12
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    "Great Story sbout the devoted Warriors"
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    Enjoyed the story and very well done. The MWD is a truely awesome program and these Warriors are 100% man's best friend.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Rex and Ingram because they had a special bond.


    What does Nicole Vilencia bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    personality


    If this book were a movie would you go see it?

    yes


    Any additional comments?

    I would be honored to adopt a retire dog ANYTIME. Semper Fi

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    B Brooklyn, New York, United States 03-19-12
    B Brooklyn, New York, United States 03-19-12
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    "Excellent story of Service, Loyalty and Love"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    This is a great book that tells many stories of handlers and their best friends as they work through dangerous terrain in war zones across the world.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    The story of the marine who was killed in action along with his dog. Very sad.


    Any additional comments?

    Thank a solider whenever you see them for their sacrifice. They are dying so we can be safe at home.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jane Lee Gainesville, Florida United States 02-11-14
    Jane Lee Gainesville, Florida United States 02-11-14 Member Since 2009
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    "for dog lovers"
    Any additional comments?

    This wandered form the service the dogs provide to polotics. The polotics are important but could have beben added briefly at the end.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Laura Haslet, Texas, United States 02-19-14
    Laura Haslet, Texas, United States 02-19-14 Member Since 2012
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    "Great story and background"
    What did you love best about Soldier Dogs?

    It goes into great detail and description of what role soldier dogs have in warfare. It was very interesting to hear the background and development of the program and the evolution of where it is going now to best serve our military and to best serve the dogs.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Soldier Dogs?

    They make you care about the dogs. The soldiers that work with them don't view them as equipment even if they are considered such per military regulations. You want to know what happens to the dogs and what the outcomes are. You pull for the soldiers that are doing their jobs overseas and at home but you also want to pull for the dogs and have them come home as well.


    Any additional comments?

    There are some emotional parts of the book, but it is a great "read". I would definitely recommend this book to a friend, and to someone who is interested in non-fiction like this, or learning more about our military history.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Barbara J. Anderson Huntington Beach, Ca 10-18-13
    Barbara J. Anderson Huntington Beach, Ca 10-18-13 Member Since 2009

    paws4me

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    "Dogs friends and foes, workers and playmates."

    Dogs are just amazing, they can save our lives, our soldiers lives and help our country!
    Even the ones that didn't quite, "make the grade", are in great demand and are still very useful. Police departments, fire departments, our dear handicapped friends. Thanks to the dogs and their trainers for all you have done to make these dogs, Soldier Dogs.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Martha Humphreys Montana, USA 03-30-13
    Martha Humphreys Montana, USA 03-30-13 Member Since 2009

    coachwrite

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "If you love 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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Debra A. Defrank Illnois 12-02-12
    Debra A. Defrank Illnois 12-02-12 Member Since 2009
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    "Great Story On America's Canine Hero's"
    Would you listen to Soldier Dogs again? Why?

    Yes I will. Very fascinating book with a lot to absorb.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Gunny. He has a great compassion for the dogs and is so instrumental in preparing these handler/dog teams for war. The dogs are trained motivationally instead of with compulsion and he has proven that motivation is - by far - the best method to train these high drive working dogs.


    Which character – as performed by Nicole Vilencia – was your favorite?

    See above. Nicole Vilencia did a great job as the narrator.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    And Don't Call Them "Equipment"


    Any additional comments?

    This book also touched on "The Robbie Law" which allows for our canine heros that have saved countless American lives, to come home and be offered for adoption at the end of their careers and live out their lives with the dignity and love that they so deserve.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Leslie-Ann Oshawa, ON, Canada 11-28-12
    Leslie-Ann Oshawa, ON, Canada 11-28-12 Member Since 2012

    I am the girlfriend to a wonderful man, the mom to two sweet doggie boys and two overly cautious girl cats, the Manager, Operations and Knowledge Support Services at CAMH, a blogger, a reader, a business owner, a friend, a sister, a daughter, a neice, a cousin, a twitter lady for The Puppy Rescue Mission... AND VERY TIRED! LOL!!!!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "What an Amazing Capture of the Most Amazing dogs!"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Soldier Dogs to be better than the print version?

    I don't know because I have not read the print version!


    What did you like best about this story?

    The information that I learned about MWDs.


    Which character – as performed by Nicole Vilencia – was your favorite?

    All of them.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    Thank-you MWDs.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Marc Utah USA 10-10-12
    Marc Utah USA 10-10-12

    Polyglot, Linguaphile, and Technophile

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    "Great Story"

    I really enjoyed the store of this book. It is great to hear about these unsung heroes that we don't ever hear about.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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