Read Soldier Dogs by Maria Goodavage Online

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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. 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 intelligenc 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. 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, 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....

Title : Soldier Dogs
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780525952787
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 304 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Soldier Dogs Reviews

  • Terra
    2019-04-04 15:49

    One day a Dear friend Erin told me about your book. I can’t remember the reason why, she suggested it, but she said it was a great book. So I read a little about it online and purchased it. It was an amazing book, filled with educational information mixed with life stories and experiences. I am pretty sure I finished it in a weekend, I couldn’t put it down. Once it was over, I felt like I needed to know more. So I went back to my friend and she mentioned that she had a Malinois puppy who was sold, but the owner had to go back overseas. So I could have it if I wanted cause he was waiting for the next litter.I brought home a Malinois and wasn’t even close to being ready for one. Guess some of the things I read in your book got me too excited! LolWell Erin helped me get going on my training and I just happened to run across some one else in town with a Malinois. He said he (Kevin Cameron) was a Military Working Dog Kennel Master and Trainer during his almost 14 years of military service until he got wounded in Iraq and after he got out started Alpha K9 to provide practically trained dogs to help people in need and provide real-world trained dogs for Police and security purposes. My sensors went off. “OMG” I asked him if he had read your book. He had told me he knew of it and even knew some of the people in it. Then after our discussion he asked me if I wanted to work for Alpha K9.It was like a dream come true, I could now work with my pup and learn more about MWD and training. The next thing I know I am operations Manager for Alpha K9 and were not only training Protection Dogs for homes and business all across the US and training PTSD Service dogs, but were even working on Donating PTSD Service dogs. We have donated 2 so far this year.Honestly before your book, I had the blues, frumpy and sad. Your book brought back my life. I will forever sing the praises of your book. Thank you

  • Cait S
    2019-04-02 17:47

    I really enjoyed this! And for me to make that statement about a non-fiction book... I mean, I really enjoyed it.I think it would have been incredibly easy for this to lose all of its emotional impact by being bogged down in military terminology and facts, but that never happened. Even though the portions of the book focusing on individual dogs were often short they came at just the right pacing to keep things interesting and to bring the reader back in. My only big complaint is that those portions were so short. We would get a paragraph or two about a certain dog and his handler, and then the book just moved on. Maybe it's just me but I would have enjoyed more. Did the dog redeploy? Did he come home safely and get adopted? I need answers, people! Some of the side stories provided those answers though and it was enough to keep me happy.The other part that was more of a slight annoyance was that a lot of the sections ended in blatant questions. I don't mean they made the reader ask questions, they were literally questions. At the end of Chapter 3 it says "So does this new kind of military use have anything to offer back to our understand of, or relationship with, our own dogs at home?" And that seemed like a really common trend in how the author would end sections and lead in to her next ones. Which felt kind of immature to me. Don't ask me about what you're going to tell me next, just tell me about it.But overall it was an easy book to read about a subject that's very touching. From someone who admittedly struggles to sit through non-fiction generally, I would recommend it.

  • Chris
    2019-03-27 15:08

    The cover of this book screamed out to me at the Fort Lauderdale Airport-buy me. And I did. A cursory look was intriguing with color photos and it appeared to be pure fluff. Imagine my surprise that it was quite comprehensive and covered a lot of diverse ground about our war dogs in Iraq and Afghanistan-but it doesn't have an index, although there is a great bibliography. It should be called Lackland 101-at times it's a great summary of a field manual and an executive summary of the bureaucracy of the business of dogs in the DOD. Oh, there are no dogs, dogs are just considered equipment. How sad. But things are changing for the better. Did you know that most of the dogs serving in our armed forces come from Europe? --principally the Netherlands. Some of our handlers actually have to learn commands in Dutch. Tell that to the Tea Party and the Minuteman. There just aren't enough American dogs with the qualities needed to be a soldier dog. Did you know that Duke University has a Dog Cognitive Canine Center which is a behavior laboratory? We even meet the most unusual war dog, a Jack Russell Terrier who sniffs out submarines. Lots of great stories about men and women and their dogs. Some will leave you in tears. I'm going to have to get my name on the list to provide a home to these dogs when they retire after their average 8 years of service. It's the least I can do.

  • Janastasia Whydra
    2019-03-30 15:58

    Maria Goodavage is not an author, but a blogger and her book, "Soldier Dogs," reads like a collection of blogs. I found the content of the book to be interesting. Her anecdotes range from humorous to depressing, but I don't think the informative-blog style of writing is engaging enough to move a reader to laugh or cry. I wish Goodavage had edited this book more thoroughly. Each chapter was short like a typical blog. Often I wished she had condensed the information that had been spread over several chapters into one slightly longer chapter fitting a single theme. The benefit would have been conciseness in what Goodavage had to say about Military Working Dogs and she would have been less likely to repeat herself into redundancy.

  • Alan
    2019-03-26 15:47

    These amazing dogs and their handlers are true heroes. I was taken by what they said about how a dog will sacrifice, defend, and do it’s job, no matter how dangerous. All for a Kong or a ball to play with, and some praise and a pat on the head or belly.

  • Chip'sBookBinge
    2019-04-02 18:54

    I first heard about this book when Maria Goodavage was on The Daily Show promoting it. She was a great guest and really sold me on it. Well, I wish the book was as good as her time on the show. Although it was an interesting read, I really didn't like the format of how it was written. It was kind of all over the place with no consistent narrative. It's more along the lines of this happened here, and that happened there as she weaves in and out of different Handler/Dog teams.But for me, even though the stories have and should be told, I personally didn't enjoy having to read about Handlers having to watch their Soldier Dogs dying in combat in such detail. It was heartbreaking as a reader to have this image burned into my mind, but I can only imagine what other handlers, friends and family members would feel about having to relive these painful memories as well.Even the stories about their Dogs dying in their arms after retirement from the military was too much for me to handle. The book is good for what it is and I'd recommend it as a Rent from your local library. But I would never read it again. Once is enough for me3 1/2 Stars out of 5You can find more of my Book, DVD, TV and Movie reviews at my Forum (Penny Can) at... http://pennycan.createaforum.comFeel free to stop by and contribute your 2 cents.

  • Elliott Steere
    2019-04-23 14:04

    Imagine going on a trip with your dog, then purposely leaving him behind in a strange city.That’s what happened to most of the 4,000-plus (slight pause) dogs who served with the U.S. military in Vietnam. After risking their lives to protect our troops, these dogs were left behind as if they were unneeded surplus equipment.“Many faced euthanasia or worse.” show quote on screen – along with name of who said it:LTC Ken Besecker, USA (Ret)“Only 204 dogs exited Vietnam during the 10-year period. None returned to civilian life.”show quote on screen – along with name of who said it:The United States War Dog Association, Inc.No Dog Left Behind: Taking A Stand To Ensure U.S. Military Working Dogs Return Home After DeploymentThe human troops who served with canines in Vietnam saw their dogs as soldiers. (slight pause) Four-legged heroes who deserved to return to the U.S. with their human comrades. (slight pause) To have “fur-ever” homes after retiring from the military.The advocacy for these dogs started during the Vietnam War and continues today. It’s a journey that illustrates five distinct aspects of taking a stand for what’s right.To set the stage, it helps to look at the history of military working dogs in the U.S. through the Vietnam War.According to American Humane, the military utilized dogs during the Civil War to guard soldiers. During World War I, dogs served as couriers. But there was not a formal military working dog program until World War II.In a report called, “The Quiet Americans: The History of Military Working Dogs,” Staff Sergeant Tracy L. English describes how the program started. She writes, “In the late 1930’s and early forties, many influential breeders formed groups to urge the military to use dogs. One of the most famous groups was ‘Dogs for Defense,’ led by a group of professional breeders. They came into being immediately after the attack on Pearl Harbor. Along with help from the American Kennel Club, the group aimed their goals at promotion, coordination and financial assistance to develop a large trained canine force for use in civilian plants and in the Army if the call ever came.”“Unfortunately, due to the large demand for dogs created by the U.S. entry into the war, the Dogs for Defense group was woefully unable to keep up the pace. In June 1942, the Army transferred control of the procurement and training of dogs to the Remount Branch, Service Installations Division. The first large request for dogs came on July 1 from Camp Hale in Colorado, which requested over 100 dogs for use as messenger, sledge and scout dogs.”(Include slide that says: “So crucial were these animals during World War II that the US canine ranks swelled to over 10,000 dogs strong.” -- Rebecca Frankel in War Dogs)In his book Dog Tags of Courage, Army veteran John Burnam writes, “At the end of WWII, the surviving war dogs were returned to U.S. soil, hailed as America’s canine heroes, and given military service medals, parades, and official discharge certificates. Many were repatriated with the families that donated them, while others were released into the custody of their handlers to live out the rest of their lives in peace.”(show photo of book cover)Burnam goes on to say, “That was not the case in South Vietnam, however, where all war dogs were classified as expendable military equipment for the duration of the war.”“The North Vietnamese Army, known as the Vietcong (VC), constantly surprised us with their hit-and-run guerilla tactics. The enemy was adept at hiding within local civilian population or in neatly camouflaged positions and remote jungle base camps, where he was exceptionally difficult to find or surprise.”“Courageous, well-trained, disciplined war-dog teams were called on to counteract the enemy’s tactical success. Their deployment in Vietnam dramatically improved the infantry’s ability to search, locate, and engage the enemy, and eradicate his ability to surprise, inflict casualties, and destroy equipment.”“By 1973, when the Vietnam War had ended, and all the American ground troops had abandoned their base camps and withdrawn from Vietnam, not one surviving war-dog hero was officially discharged and sent home to the family it once knew, or released to the handler it loved and protected. Instead, most of the surviving dogs were crated and shipped to U.S. military quarantine camps. A few lucky dogs made it out alive and were reassigned to other U.S. military installations in various parts of the world.”“Despite the handlers’ and veterinarians’ pleas to ship the remaining dogs home, they were instead either given to the South Vietnamese Army as a good-will gesture, or were euthanized by the U.S. military.”Taking a stand to correct this injustice didn’t happen overnight.Taking a stand: ASPECT ONEA moral dilemma leads a person or group to take a stand.In Vietnam, the military classified war dogs as equipment, similar to a gun or pair of binoculars. This meant that dogs were subject to the same rules as inanimate objectives.When people create rules and procedures, it is hard to picture every situation where those rules will apply. What if following a rule will put humans in grave danger? What if following a rule will lead to the unnecessary death of an animal? Military dog handlers faced these questions while serving in Vietnam.To understand the predicament these soldiers faced, consider this testimony from Lance Corporal John Flannelly, a Vietnam veteran dog handler who shared his story in an episode of War Dogs:(Insert video clip, including the segment that shows his name and title)Because the rules for equipment applied to these dogs, a commander could not request a replacement for a dog unless the original dog was declared dead. This left soldiers with a terrible dilemma. “Do I kill the injured comrade who just saved my life because he can no longer serve?” This decision isn’t like trading in a pair of broken binoculars to get a new pair.Taking a stand: ASPECT TWOTaking a stand often starts as a single act to handle a single situation.Vietnam veteran dog handler Dick Baumer is one of many who faced these tough questions. He tells this story:(Insert audio clip about faking a dog’s death)While running audio clip, include a photo of Dick, along with his title:Commander, 62nd Infantry Platoon (Combat Tracker), part of the 1st Air Cavalry Division, Vietnam WarI confess that toward the end of 1969 I was one of those that faked a dog’s death. I needed a replacement dog to protect our troops. Bruce (6B45) was no longer willing to track but I wasn’t able to get a replacement without sending him back to the Dog Training Detachment in Bien Hoa. I knew that doing so would have resulted in having him put down. Only a veterinarian can sign a death certificate, but I instead wrote a report of survey claiming that he had been blown up. I was able to get a vet to sign a death certificate later. That way I couldn’t be expected to produce his left ear showing his tattoo but I could take him off my property book and get a replacement. I learned later from some of my soldiers that the Assistant Division Commander of the 1st Cav “adopted” Bruce after I left. I was never able to verify this or learn if he returned with him to CONUS.In his particular case, Baumer needed a dog to protect his soldiers. He had to choose between following a rule, which would have led to the dog’s death, and breaking a rule to save the dog. He took a stand to save the dog’s life.Taking a stand: ASPECT THREESometimes, there is a delay between seeing a problem and taking a broader stand to do something about it.Vietnam was an unpopular war. When soldiers returned, they did not receive a hero’s welcome. After the U.S. involvement ended, the nation’s attention turned elsewhere and talk of Vietnam faded.The fate of Vietnam War dogs was not immediately known. There was mixed information on what happened to them.Vietnam veteran dog handler Ken Besecker reports, “It wasn’t until after the war that I learned most MWDs in Vietnam were declared ‘surplus,’ as if they were unneeded equipment, and left behind to face euthanasia or worse.”Dick Baumer heard something different:(Insert the following clip)“I didn’t learn about my dogs until I returned from Germany, where I was stationed from 1972-75. When I left Vietnam in early 1970, I was aware that the US military was alarmed about the spread of a disease that primarily affected German Shepherds. It was referred to as IHS (Idiopathic Hemorrhagic Syndrome). No cause nor cure was found, and I heard much later that potential contagion of other military dogs and humans was the reason for the wholesale euthanasia. I never learned whether this was actually true.Euthanasia to prevent spread of a deadly disease sounds somewhat practical, although sad. Euthanasia to dispose of surplus equipment, when that quote-unquote “equipment” has a personality and feelings, seems cruel —both to the dogs and to the soldiers who loved them. What is the truth?Dick Baumer describes how the issue faded from the public eye:(Insert the following clip)“After Vietnam, the military dog program was cut back significantly. Upon the end of the war, the US military eliminated all units and programs except for the Air Force sentry dog program. With little visibility, the issue of the dogs’ fates simply went away.”Taking a stand: ASPECT FOURTaking a stand for what is right may require many voices and many years.Eighteen years went by before the conversation resurfaced in a public way. Starting in 1993, nonprofit organizations began to raise awareness about the role of military working dogs. Some groups are focused on documenting their history and creating memorials. Others are aiding in the adoption process. Still others are sending supplies to dogs deployed in conflict zones. Most importantly, many of these organizations are taking a stand on behalf of these dogs.Include chart with the following names:American Cold Nose PatriotsAmerican Humane: Lois Pope LIFE Center for Military AffairsBattle Buddy ProgramChristmas for OUR TroopsCombat CaninesFeed the Dawgs ProjectGizmo’s GiftHero Dog AwardsK9 PrideK9 SoldiersK9 Soldier TreatsK9 Veterans DayKevlar for K9sMal-FFunctions Disqualified Military Working Dog RescueMama CindyMilitary Working Dog FoundationMilitary Working Dog Teams National MonumentMilitary Working Dog Team Support AssociationMilitary Working Dog AdoptionsMission K9 RescueOld Dawgs and PupsRetired Military Working Dog Assistance OrganizationThe Sage FoundationSoldiers’ AngelsSupport Military Working DogsU.S. War Dog AssociationU.S. Military K9 FundVietnam Dog Handler AssociationThe military amped up its working dog program following the September 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon. According to American Humane, “Some 2,500 military working dogs and contract working dogs have worked side by side with our soldiers in Afghanistan and Iraq. A Belgian Malinois named Cairo was an integral part of the Navy Seals team that helped kill America’s arch-nemesis Osama Bin Laden during a daring raid in 2011.”American Humane notes that “military dogs are more important than ever in keeping our service men and women safe. With noses that are 100,000 times more sensitive than humans’, they have an unparalleled ability to sniff out and detect weapons caches and Improvised Explosive Devices.”With so many dogs deployed overseas, the question of how to make sure they all get home became more pressing.In the book Dogs Who Serve, author Lisa Rogak writes, “Before the year 2000, military working dogs who retired were required to be euthanized as a matter of course; the government believed the dogs were deemed unsuitable for living in a home situation with a family.”Rogak quotes Daniel Heinzig, an operations sergeant with the 504th Military Police Battalion at Joint Base Lewis-McChord: “A lot of these dogs have joint issues and other aches and pains because they have been working their whole lives. They’ve put a lot on the line and have risked their lives for us. The least we can do is give them a home.”American Humane echoes this view: “When not keeping our warriors out of harm’s way, the dogs provide our troops with companionship and an invaluable sense of normalcy and home under almost unimaginable circumstances. Clearly a war dog is a soldier’s best friend. Faced daily with life or death situations, the bond between these dogs and those who work with them is nearly unbreakable. Yet when our human warriors end their tours of duty and return home, their faithful military dogs do not always follow.”“In 2000, President Clinton signed into law a bill known as ‘Robby’s Law,’ which enabled these warrior dogs to be adopted once their service to our country was over.” The law said war dogs could only be euthanized in the event of a medical need or safety issue. It also included a reporting requirement to create transparency about how many dogs were being adopted and how many euthanized.“But the fight was still not over because not all dogs were given a ride home at the end of their service.”Show picture of Robby’s Law.“If a Military War Dog was retired in a non-combat zone overseas, then the military did not provide transportation home. The reason for this was that once the dog was retired, they were no longer considered military dogs, and therefore, they were not legally allowed to be transported on military aircraft.”Taking a stand: ASPECT FIVEChange may be gradual and frustratingly slow.Over a decade later, there are still barriers to getting these dogs back to the continental U.S. and reunited with their handlers.Retired marine Jeff DeYoung describes typical challenges faced by dog handlers who want to adopt their battle buddies. He writes, “MWD Cena and I had spent four years apart. The last company I knew Cena belonged to wouldn't provide any information on whether he was ready to be adopted. There was no way even to check and see if he was still alive.” “After finally hearing I could adopt Cena, the next barriers I faced were the time and resources needed to make the adoption successful. I live in Michigan and they wanted me to pick up Cena in NC in 15 days, or he would go to another family. I knew my car wouldn't make it. So I had to ask for help from American Humane. Out of my dog handler unit of 13, I'm the only one to get my dog back. In 2014, American Humane paid for the transportation home of 21 military dogs, helping to reunite them with their former handlers.”Show Jeff’s picture and label it:Jeff DeYoung, CPL/USMC(Ret), Military Ambassador, American HumaneThe group Justice for TEDD Handlers has a five-page list of missing Tactical Explosives Detection Dogs that still need to be located and reunited with their handlers.Show picture of list.According to American Humane, “the 2014 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) authorized the transfer of a retiring military working dog if no suitable adopter was available at the military facility where the dog is located. But one simple word prevented this from being a certainty. The bill said that the dog ‘may transfer,’ rather than they ‘shall transfer.’”One simple word. “May” versus “Shall.”“In 2015, American Humane traveled to Capitol Hill to address members of Congress and the national media about the importance of bringing home all military dogs and giving their human handlers the first right at adoption and getting the wording problem fixed.”“On November 25, 2015, the President signed the 2016 NDAA into law, ensuring all our retired military working dogs a return to U.S soil after service and giving first right of adoption to their former handlers.”But even THIS did not fully solve the problem of getting all dogs home from overseas deployments.In 2016, the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) reached out to American Humane for input. American Humane responded, “According to the way the current NDAA is worded, there are still possibilities that the dogs will not actually be returned to the continental United States, instead remaining on U.S. bases abroad, which are legally ‘U.S. soil.’”“In order to ensure the health and welfare of these military hero dogs – and their handlers – we would like to see clarifying language added to the next NDAA so that the intent of our previous amendment is followed, specifically, that Military Working Dogs be returned to the continental United States and that their former handlers and their families be given first right of adoption.”In summary, taking a stand to ensure U.S. Military Working Dogs return home after deployment…is ongoing.Read excerpts from the poem as the credits run…Trust in me my friend for I am your comrade.I will protect you with my last breathWhen all others have left youAnd the loneliness of the night closes in,I will be at your side.Together we will conquer all obstacles,And search out those who might wish to harm others.All I ask of you is compassion,The caring touch of your hands.It is for you that I will selflessly give my lifeAnd spend my nights unrested.…And when our time together is doneAnd you move on in the world,Remember me with kind thoughts and tales.For a time, we were unbeatable,Nothing passed among us undetected.If we should ever meet again on another fieldI will gladly take up your fight.I am a military working dog and togetherWe are guardians of the night.

  • Erika
    2019-04-06 16:44

    I assumed that since I'm an overall animal lover and dog enthusiast that I would be enthralled by this book. That was not the case. Perhaps my expectations were too high or mislead by the synopsis of the book but I was minorly disappointed.  In addition to that after reading a few chapters I was no longer compelled to finish this book. Only through determination to keep with my Goodreads' goals was I able to motivate myself to pick this book up and finish it.Reading other review's the biggest complaints I saw regarded Goodavage's inconstant writing, lack of stories about actual military dogs, and the author's constant comparison of military dogs to her dog. Having finished the book I agree with all of these points. Goodavage jumped around  on her points, left chapters with open questions or by trailing off, only briefly talked about specific dogs, and seemed to have written the book as if she were trying to discern if her golden should be trained as a military working dog. That being said, It was interesting to learn about the extensive training both the dogs and handlers have to go through and how the dogs help find IEDs. I was most interested in the few brief stories about particular dogs and the impacts they have when deployed. I have nothing but respect for all  military dogs and their handlers. My heart also goes out to the handlers who's dogs have been reassigned or worse

  • IronBlossom
    2019-04-13 17:00

    Well, I really really wanted to love this book. I love dogs, I love reading about the things dogs can do and how humanity has really underutilized their capabilities...but I could not wait for this book to be over. It wasn't bad, exactly, it was just pretty superficial. I guess the author started by writing a blog, and it really felt like a bunch of blog posts sometimes vaguely tied together, but frequently not, in a row. Then occasionally there would be repetition, which really irritated me. It wasn't enough to bore me once, you had to do it twice?Quite a few tear-jerker stories, oh this soldier loved his dog, but he got assigned to a different dog, then he walked into the necropsy lab and BAM! The dog he loved! This other soldier loved his other dog, and adopted him and took him home and after just one year he dropped dead! It is sad, and it is heart-wrenching, but it also felt kind of cheap. like, of course that is a sad story, you are jerking on the heart strings, but what is your point?Possibly part of this is that I'm already pretty convinced that dogs are basically small (usually) speechless (sort of) humans, so the larger point, that these dogs are amazing and all dogs are amazing, and they should be treated better was kind of a given for me? Of course they're amazing, and of course they should be treated better...and?Then the one thing that really irritated me is that the book starts with a bomb going off near a soldier and his dog. Later, much later, like 5 hours of listening later, we find out what happened to the soldier without ANY word of what happened to the dog. Then, later, quite a bit later though not quite as much, we find out what happened to the dog. (view spoiler)[ The soldier had picked out a watch post right on top of an IED that was hard wired, an insurgent blew it up. The soldier was extracted to a hospital in Germany, but passed away, the dog was badly injured, but was saved, and a year later went back to Afghanistan for a 7 month deployment. She has to wear goggles, or "doggles" because of incipient blindness unrelated to the explosion. Again, what? What's your point!?(hide spoiler)]There was also a "supplemental material" to the audio book, but it didn't work on any of the three platforms I tried to download it to, my android phone, my ipad mini, or my computer. So I don't know what was on the supplement, apparently it's top secret.Finally, I realized that I need to pick my audio books with care because I tend to listen to them while working out. The last 6 weeks that I've had to listen to this book it's been a drag to get to my workouts, but I'm really excited to start the next one and I'm already trying to figure out if it's close enough to lunch to go for my walk!Would not read this author again, but might look up her blog.Book of the day for April 16, 2014!

  • James
    2019-04-01 14:53

    Both information-packed and very moving. The author spent a lot of time with military working dogs and their trainers and handlers at schools around the U.S. and in Afghanistan. The result is a great history and portrayal of what these dogs and the people who work with them do and how they do it.I knew one Marine who'd been a dog handler in Vietnam; twenty years later, he still had his dog's portrait on his office wall, and he couldn't talk about him without getting choked up.I was impressed by the positive, non-punitive approach to training that the schools use, and by the deep bonds Ms. Goodavage saw between the men and women she followed and their dogs. The stories of the dogs' actions and the lives they save are powerful, too. The dogs may be doing it all for affection and the chance to play with their favorite toys, but they still face and overcome terrifying circumstances (or don't, in which case they get adopted out instead of finishing training and deploying.) For anyone interested in military matters and/or animals and their relationships with people, I heartily recommend this book.

  • Christine
    2019-04-22 15:52

    If you are a dog lover, you will appreciate this book. It is about military working dogs. I heard about this book on Jon Stewart's show and when I saw how emotional he got talking about it, I knew I had to check it out. He, too, is a dog person. These dogs are trained in a variety of ways, mostly to detect explosives, IEDs in particular. According to the Goodavage, they are not just saving the lives of our troops, they help the civilian populations too. When an IED is planted near a village, they don't just take out a soldier. The men, women and children who live there are at risk too. She quotes in the book that anywhere between 150 to 1800 lives per dog are saved because of their skills. It becomes very apparent as I read this book how invaluable these dogs are. The book covers their training, information about the dogs's senses, their breeds, where they come from, how they are cared for and so much more. The part I found most interesting is the relationships between the dogs and their handlers and the level of trust involved with the troops who patrol with them. In my opinion and in the author's too, these dogs are heroes.

  • Izzy W
    2019-04-24 13:56

    Soldier Dogs by Maria Goodavage is a heart-warming book of our soldier dog heroes who save lives every day. The book is very powerful. The strengths is the friendship between the dog and the soldier. For example, Army Corporal Kory Wiens called his mine-detection dog Cooper “my son” he bought Cooper all kinds of toys and let him sleep with him on his cot. The weakness is how unfair the book is and how sad it is. For example, some dogs and handlers have to get separated and get new handlers and dogs. Sometimes a handler may die and the dog will have to get a new handler or vice versa. I would recommend this to any dog lovers and people who like humor mixed with tragedy. I would not recommend this book to the faint hearted it’s pretty intense. Yet this book showed me just how brave and honorable soldier dogs are.

  • Sarah
    2019-04-13 12:50

    Thoroughly enjoyed this book! Wow! I learned a lot, more than I ever realized, about military working dogs (MWD) through this book. It is a fascinating report on the MWD program, touching a bit on its origins through to present day. The author mostly focuses on the dogs and handlers of modern day battles, but does report on the MWDs and handlers of past wars. There is coverage of the whole program from how the dogs are selected, to their "boot camp," to working with handlers and receiving combat training, to the dogs' retirement from military service and adoption into civilian life. I both laughed and cried throughout this book as tale after tail was relayed of what these dogs experience, not only in the good experiences, but also in the times of loss. Highly recommend this to anyone interested in dogs, military working dogs, or even the military in general.

  • Kelly
    2019-03-30 14:51

    Soldier Dogs is a fascinating account of the history of war dogs and the effects of combat exposure on both dog and handlers. Along the way we meet several active and retired soldier dogs as Goodavage weaves in their stories while providing a backdrop of their training and war-time experiences. It is clear that the dogs are much more than the "equipment" label given to them by our military, as readers experience story after story of the battlefield bravery and heroism of these four-legged soldiers. Although there are plenty "dry your eyes" moments in the book, Goodavage avoids overly playing on the heart strings and instead gives us an in-depth picture of what it takes to make a successful military working dog and handler.

  • Jim
    2019-04-20 16:05

    Subject close to my heart as a former EDD handler. The author did a great job capturing the feelings that handlers have toward their partners. The bond is hard to describe and for the current generation of handlers that have put their lives and fellow soldiers lives into their dogs care it is probably impossible. She really did a great job describing the training. Reading what the instructors said and did was as if my old instructors were talking to me. If you want a better understanding of military dogs this is a great start.FYI when she is describing the first days of handler training the reason they call the ammo cans that substitute for dogs at that time "buckets" is because we used empty dog food buckets as dog substitutes back in the day. I will never forget praising my bucket!

  • Jan
    2019-04-20 20:04

    A fascinating book whether you're a dog lover or not. I'd always wondered how the dogs were chosen and then trained to sniff out narcotics or bombs, how their handlers were chosen, what happened to those dogs when they were unable to perform and I'm not embarrassed to say the last two chapters were weepy ones. Goodavage did a thorough job on research and gave detailed reports of her interviews with various researchers, DOD contacts and the legendary trainer Marine Corps Gunnery Sergeant Kristopher Knight. Cairo was a member of the raiding party that took down Osama bin Laden but is only one of the many canine heros we should know about.

  • Christa
    2019-04-07 12:45

    I was very disappointed in this book. It could have been good. The stories had potential. But the author's writing is all over the place and it needs some major editing. I don't know if this person has ever written another book, but if not she should stop with this one. I have read that she's a blogger, not an author. It's very obvious in this book. It's a shame she didn't know that books do not read like blogs as this could have been a very good book if it was put together properly. It was a good idea (I love dog stories) but executed very poorly. I'm marking it as 'read' but to be honest, I couldn't even get through the whole thing. Very disappointing.

  • Teresa Raetz
    2019-04-06 12:48

    The subject is fascinating and the bravery of the dogs and their soldier handlers is inspiring. I only rated it three stars because the author's writing style doesn't do the subject justice. She bounces around between superficial bits of the stories, gives little history of the dogs, people, or the subject of dogs in combat, she inserts herself into the story too much, and there's no overarching narrative or structure. The subject of the book is interesting enough and dog lovers will like this in particular. I just wish they'd picked a different author to tell the story.

  • Christie
    2019-03-29 15:41

    As a dog lover I still become amazed at what dogs will and can do. Amazing stories. A few disturbing parts at the end of what happens to dogs that come back from the war and are too aggressive to go home with their soldier partner. Completely understandable. It broke my heart to learn that dogs can get PTSD also but I have heard that about search and rescue dogs. If they do not find a person alive or at all they get depressed.I am making it sound like it was depressing but it was not. Dogs are awesome in every way. Very quick read.

  • Jami
    2019-03-30 18:44

    I enjoyed this audio book, although I am thinking that with all the acronyms used, it may be more conducive to read in print format. I liked that there were different sections, with different areas of focus. It was interesting to learn more about the Military Working Dog program, but I was also glad that there was a section devoted to the dogs and their handlers. This was an interesting book; a huge thank you to those in the military (both 2 and 4 legged) who put their lives on the line to protect us.

  • Paul
    2019-03-28 15:48

    audio book - I was expecting stories of dogs and soldiers in action. While having some of those stories, this book delves into how the dogs are chosen and trained, cared for and treated at the end of their careers. It's not surprising to hear how strong the bond is between the handlers and their dogs, how much they want to do for the dogs and how much they feel the dogs do for them. I'll admit to getting teary listening to some of the stories. A different look at this subject.

  • Tasha
    2019-04-13 18:55

    This is the book to read if you want to learn anything about the military war dogs and their handlers! Very interesting! I started listening to the book on audio and, although packed full of info, I didn't like the narrator (which I think is actually the author) and enjoyed it much more after switching to the book.

  • Rose Smithson leeland
    2019-03-31 15:07

    I really enjoyed this book. It shows how much the k9s and their handlers go through to train and save lives. The bond between the dogs and their partners is amazing. These dogs are selfless, courageous, & more patriotic than most people.

  • Anthony
    2019-04-20 12:10

    Loved this book. Shows an inside look into the military and police K-9 program. 10 out of 10

  • Melanie
    2019-04-09 17:59

    I ordered this after seeing the author on TV, and I couldn't have been more disappointed. Disjointed and disorganized, she makes a mess of what should be very interesting material.

  • Lis Carey
    2019-03-30 14:09

    Maria Goodavage, like many people, became seriously interested in Military Working Dogs after hearing about Cairo, the dog who was part of the mission to get Osama bin Laden. She thought that surely this wouldn't be a hard subject to investigate; after all, these are dogs, not not nuclear weapons or stealth fighters.It turns out that this is a very challenging area to investigate, precisely because these are "just dogs" and dogs who are in many ways quite secret. In many ways, in many places, they officially don't exist. This includes in veterinarian's offices, where the normal paperwork simply does not occur. She had her work cut out for her just getting in touch with the people who could tell her about these dogs and introduce her to their handlers.But in the process, she met some wonderful people and dogs.Goodavage was already very knowledgeable about dogs, but the lives of military working dogs and their handlers are very different from anything that happens in civilian life. Many of us have very close bonds with our dogs, especially when they are for us working dogs: service dogs, farm dogs, search and rescue dogs being just a few examples.Handlers of military working dogs, though, depend on these dogs for their lives. Yet at the same time, they also live with the knowledge that these dogs who save their lives and the lives of other soldiers serving along side them may be killed while doing so. It's hard to beat the bond that comes from that.Goodavage looks at the modern history of soldier dogs, their selection; their training; the washouts who are often fantastic dogs, just not for this work; the training of their handlers; the relationships between them; the work they do; the retirement of the soldier dogs who survive their service.She also looks at the complete lack of any official recognition for what these dogs do and the lives they save by doing it. Legally, officially, a military work dog is not a dog soldier, but a piece of equipment, no different than a rifle.Overall, it's a fascinating look at the dogs and at the people who train them and work with them.Highly recommended.I bought this audiobook.

  • Cody
    2019-03-29 19:09

    "I had looked on, unmoved, at battles...Tearless, I had given orders which brought death to thousands. Yet here I was, stirred, profoundly stirred, stirred to tears. And by what? The grief of one dog."These words were written by Napoleon Bonaparte describing his experience during the Battle of Castiglione in 1796 of a dog mourning over soldier. A similar touching story can be found in the book about George Washington returning British General William Howes lost terrier. Dogs, over history, have had a profound effect on humanity, in times of peace and in times of war. Both dog lovers and those with appreciation of the military will adore this book. Author Maria Goodavage has done a great job exploring the history of dogs in the military. Particular emphasis is put on the current conflicts the US faces in places like Afghanistan or Iraq and just how vital dogs are in these conflicts. Sniffing out IEDs and tracking down hostiles are among the obvious uses of dogs like German shepherds and Malinois, alongside the great moral they provide their handlers and nearby soldiers. Goodavage explores many aspects besides these, including Pavlovian training, adoption, dog anatomy and psychology, and many interviews from both trainers and handlers. It's lighthearted, happy, serious, and tearjerking all at the same time. More than any other animal, our four-legged canine friends have had such an impact on our lives that it's so unclear how we could go on without their influence, and this book greatly aids in that understanding.

  • Kathy Dalton
    2019-04-13 12:58

    An easy & inspiring read. Goodavage writes about every little detail related to military K9s: their breeding, their vendors, their trainers & training program, their deployment duties, their retirement, their medical care, and their end of career/end of life. Clearly, the author has a lot of heart when it comes to dogs, but she's also able to see the practical value and placement of dogs in our armed forces. She does not shy away from controversies stemming from the use of these dogs in combat, but she portrays all sides fairly and with great respect to our servicemen and women who risk their lives (and the lives of their dogs) every day. After reading this, I wonder why there aren't more dogs in service, in the military and beyond. They clearly save & enhance lives. I have a much greater respect for these dogs and their trainers and handlers, and I'm so glad I spent this time learning about them.

  • Becky
    2019-04-07 15:44

    The author has a good feel for dogs and their trainers and handlers. It's hard for me to read a book about dogs by someone who isn't a professional dog trainer because they so rarely get the details right. It's like being a gun nut (which I'm not) and watching a cop show or war movie where they get the gun stuff wrong. It ruins it for you. Well, she didn't get it wrong and the book is a good one. Listening to it on audio was tough, however, because she would start a story and then stop and do some backstory and I got lost several times. Still, a solid book on dogs and their role in the military.

  • Jan
    2019-04-10 15:47

    An absorbing and in depth telling about the training, lives, and work of the alphabet soup of military dogs and their handlers (primarily the US branches) by a trained observer, a journalist. The process of choosing dogs with the needed inclinations, temperament, and appropriate physical characteristics, the training of dogs and handlers makes good reading. Then there are tidbits like the use of Jack Russell terriers by the USN on submarines! The writing style is easy while informative, and seems nicely organized. Nicole Vilencia narrates this with a pleasant tone and an easy cadence, thus enhancing the book.