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Top Dog Audiobook

Top Dog: The Story of Marine Hero Lucca

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Publisher's Summary

The New York Times best-selling author of Soldier DogsTop Dog, Maria Goodavage takes listeners into the life of Lucca K458, a decorated and highly skilled military working dog. An extraordinary bond developed between Lucca and Marine Corps handler Chris Willingham, launching what became a legendary 400-mission career. A Specialized Search Dog, Lucca belongs to an elite group trained to work off-leash at long distances from her handler. She served alongside both Special Forces and regular infantry. She and Willingham became so sought-after that units scheduled missions around their availability.

The audiobook describes in gritty detail the team’s adventures on and off the battlefields, including tense, lifesaving explosives finds and firefights as well as the bravery of fellow handlers and dogs they served with. Ultimately, we see how the bond between Lucca and Willingham overcame the endless brutalities of war and the traumas this violence ignites. Here is a portrait of modern warfare with a heart-warming and inspiring conclusion that will touch dog lovers and the toughest military listeners.

©2014 Maria Goodavage and Christopher Elden Willingham (P)2014 Recorded Books

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

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Performance
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  •  
    Tim 03-25-15
    Tim 03-25-15
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    "Great story for dog lovers!"

    This is an excellent story that reveals the inner workings of Marine dog handlers and the bond they forge with their dogs. It also gives you a greater appreciation for the brave men and women in the military and the sacrifices they and their families make for our country. And, as a bonus, there's very few profanities.

    22 of 22 people found this review helpful
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    David 03-11-15
    David 03-11-15 Member Since 2013
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    "Loved it!"

    As a former Law Enforcement explosive detection K9 handler I really enjoyed this book. Brought back lots of great memories and even a few tears when hearing the pain these handlers endured with a loss. The bond between a handler and his K9 is so strong it's almost indescribable.

    19 of 19 people found this review helpful
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    BTricke MO 03-04-15
    BTricke MO 03-04-15
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    "Top Dog"

    If you like or love dogs this is great book. Sad but great. If you like to know about our military this is a great book as well.

    13 of 13 people found this review helpful
  •  
    glenda laborde 04-30-15 Member Since 2014
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    "Top dog top story"

    I have read a lot of dog stories I have enjoyed all of the ones that I've read but this story hits home. A story that can never be told any better than it was told in this book ! I loved listening to it I couldn't put down my earphones!! I'm so happy that someone wrote this book .I loved the narrator he was perfect!!!

    19 of 21 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jean Santa Cruz, CA, United States 07-02-15
    Jean Santa Cruz, CA, United States 07-02-15 Member Since 2016

    I am an avid eclectic reader.

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    "Masterfully told epic of a canine hero"

    This is the story of Marine Corps hero Lucca K458, a German shepherd-Belgian Malinois mix, off-leash IED-detecting military working dog (MWD). Lucca conducted 400 missions over three deployments during her six year career and saved countless soldiers and marines without injury except her own. On March 23, 2012, with a dozen Special Forces soldiers in the Nahr Saraj district of Afghanistan, Lucca detonated an IED and lost her left forelimb.

    Lucca had two handlers in her career, Marine Staff Sgt. Chris Willingham and Cpl. Juan “ROD” Rodriguez, who saved her life after the explosion. Goodavage captures the pure essence of the handler-dog bond when she writes of Willingham’s extended transfer of the leash to Rodriguez. Lucca is retired and was adopted by Willingham and his family. The DOD does not give dogs awards, but the Marine Corps League of Tuscaloosa gave her a Purple Heart plague, the VFW in Fairfax, Virginia gave her an honorary position in its organization.

    The book is a beautifully told story told through the eyes of the handler. I enjoyed this true story and if you are a dog person you will to. Neil Shah narrated the story.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joyce Munden Youngsville, NC, US 06-15-15
    Joyce Munden Youngsville, NC, US 06-15-15 Member Since 2013

    Tell us about yourself!

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    "A GREAT LISTEN"

    This book left me with a better understanding and a new appreciation for our K9 war Heroes. I'm happy to recommend this book to Audible fans.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
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    Joy Annapolis MD United States 06-23-15
    Joy Annapolis MD United States 06-23-15 Member Since 2016
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    "OK I did shed a few tears"

    For the most part,I enjoy books about dogs who do heroic acts or gives meaning to human's lives. Lucca was definitely one of those dogs. Just to set the record straight before I upset to many people with my comments. I respect other people's opinions and beliefs even when I do not agree with them. With that said, I am not a proponent of war and I am not here to preach my beliefs. This is a story about a dog and her handler and their experiences in a mid eastern war. I had difficulty listening about a war I never believed in. I also disliked the narrator and I should have sped up the narration as suggested by another reviewer. I'm not sure what kind of drawl he was trying to project but my overall opinion is it made him sound stupid, which I'm sure he was not. So if I overlooked the war aspect of this story and the poor narration, it was a heartwarming tale about the love and commitment man and beast held for one another.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
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    Amanda Davis 08-28-15
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    "Couldn't finish"

    Horrible narrator. The story line jumped all over the place, in timeline and between stateside and the war. I could probably have pushed through to the end if I hadn't hated the narrator.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
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    Mark Waltham, MA, United States 12-07-15
    Mark Waltham, MA, United States 12-07-15 Member Since 2010

    MTF

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    "Inspiring dog; decent book"

    Lucca, a Marine Corp dog, is an amazing hero, sniffing out explosives in Iraq and Afghanistan. This book is very informative, and it did capture the love that two Marines had for this dog. For some reason, though, I found long periods that were a bit flat or repetitive. There were some poignant moments, but I was wanting more between them. Other than capturing their love of their dog, neither of the two Marines revealed enough of themselves, leaving me with a story that felt a little too sugar-coated. I'm still glad that I listened to this.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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    Regina SOUTHINGTON, CONNECTICUT, United States 10-21-15
    Regina SOUTHINGTON, CONNECTICUT, United States 10-21-15 Member Since 2015

    Believer in what you can't see

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    "The respect for the Military dogs"

    Awesome story about the dogs that keep the military safe. It's nice to know that things are changing and that the dogs get to live with their handlers.
    A moving narration of a wonderful dog named Lucca.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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