Until Tuesday: A Wounded Warrior and the Golden Retriever Who Saved Him

Until Tuesday: A Wounded Warrior and the Golden Retriever Who Saved Him

5.0 31
by Luis Carlos Montalvan, Bret Witter
     
 

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A highly decorated captain in the U.S. Army, Luis Montalván never backed down from a challenge during his two tours of duty in Iraq. After returning home from combat, however, the pressures of his physical wounds, traumatic brain injury, and crippling post-traumatic stress disorder began to take their toll. Haunted by the war and in constant physical pain,

Overview

A highly decorated captain in the U.S. Army, Luis Montalván never backed down from a challenge during his two tours of duty in Iraq. After returning home from combat, however, the pressures of his physical wounds, traumatic brain injury, and crippling post-traumatic stress disorder began to take their toll. Haunted by the war and in constant physical pain, he soon found himself unable to climb a simple flight of stairs or face a bus ride to the VA hospital. He drank; he argued; ultimately, he cut himself off from those he loved. Alienated and alone, unable to sleep or bend over without pain, he began to wonder if he would ever recover.

Then Luis met Tuesday, a beautiful and sensitive golden retriever trained to assist the disabled. Tuesday had lived among prisoners and at a home for troubled boys, blessing many lives; he could turn on lights, open doors, and sense the onset of anxiety and flashbacks. But because of a unique training situation and sensitive nature, he found it difficult to trust in or connect with a human being—until Luis.

Until Tuesday is the story of how two wounded warriors, who had given so much and suffered the consequences, found salvation in each other. It is a story about war and peace, injury and recovery, psychological wounds and spiritual restoration. But more than that, it is a story about the love between a man and a dog, and how they healed each other’s souls.

Editorial Reviews

Returning home after two tours of duty in Iraq, former U.S. Army Captain Luis Carlos Montalvan's physical injuries and post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) turn his life into a nightmarish existence. An email with a subject of "WWP and Puppies Behind Bars" alerted him to possible relief with the assistance of a service dog. This is his story but it is also the story of Tuesday, the intelligent, extensively trained but heartbroken golden retriever, who is chosen to become his service dog and constant companion.

Much more than a dog story or a personal memoir, this is one of those rare books that enable the reader to come away with a different worldview. Just as Born on a Blue Day by Daniel Tammet showed us the world through the eyes of an Autistic Savant, with Until Tuesday, Montalvan leaves his readers with a better understanding of the PTSD-driven world of a combat veteran and the valuable and unique role service dogs can fill in that world. —Bruce T. Filbeck, Bookseller, #2696, Port Huron, MI

Publishers Weekly
Man's best friend stars in this memoir by an Iraq vet who returns to New York and enlists the help of a golden retriever named Tuesday to help him re-acclimate in a new world marked by a severe case of post-traumatic stress disorder. Montalván, a former captain of the US Army, is most compelling when zoning in on specifics, especially related to his psychological disorder: "The subway was a horror for my PTSD-addled brain, a nail-gripping, muscle-tensing ride in a claustrophobic tube full of faces my mind compulsively studied for signs of malicious intent." Although provided the assistance of a doctor and therapist, the commute to and from these sessions caused Montalván immense anxiety filled with hypothetical dangers. Public-speaking engagements similarly were racked with anxiety, and described vividly. Tuesday, a gentle golden retriever, became the perfect remedy for the veteran's neurosis. Though canine assistance and the Iraq war are both major characters, this is a valuable first-person glimpse into how someone with PTSD thinks. (May)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781501263897
Publisher:
Brilliance Audio
Publication date:
06/16/2015
Edition description:
Unabridged
Sales rank:
458,280
Product dimensions:
5.25(w) x 6.75(h) x 0.50(d)

Read an Excerpt

"Tuesday combines a golden retriever's innate playfulness and bouncy exuberance with a noble bearing and seriousness of purpose. But it is not his beautiful coat, or even his regal attitude, that attract the stares. Tuesday has an extraordinarily expressive face. He has sensitive, almost sad eyes, but they are more than offset by his big goofy smile. He can't pass anyone without flashing them a sly look with those eyes, as if to say, sorry, I'd love to play, but I'm working. He just makes a connection; he has a personality that shines. I am not kidding when I say it is common for people to pull out their cell phones and take pictures of and with him. Tuesday is that kind of dog.

And then, in passing, they notice me, the big man with the tight haircut. There is nothing about me--even the straight, stiff way I carry myself--that signals disabled. Until people notice the cane in my left hand, that is, and the way I lean on it every few steps. Then they realize my stiff walk and straight posture aren't just pride, and that Tuesday isn't just an ordinary dog. He walks directly beside me, for instance, so that my right leg always bisects his body. He nuzzles me when my breathing changes, and he moves immediately between me and the object--a cat, an overeager child, a suspiciously closed door--any time I feel apprehensive. Because beautiful, happy-go-lucky, favorite-of-the-neighborhood Tuesday isn't my pet; he's my service dog."

What People are saying about this

Vicki Myron
This story of an incredible service dog is both touching and warm. . . . This book feels like more than a joy; it feels necessary. (Vicki Myron, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Dewey)
Andrew J. Bacevich
"A deeply moving story of service, sacrifice, and restoration. Years from now when critics assemble the canon of Iraq War literature, look for Until Tuesday to make everyone's short list." (Andrew J. Bacevich, author of Washington Rules: America's Path to Permanent War)
Lee Woodruff
"Wow, what a book! I think I was crying on page 3. The collision of man and dog, and the unbreakable bond they form, made my heart leap. Everyone should read this book to better understand not only the ravages of war, but the amazing capacity of the human spirit to rebound. I dare anyone to read this book and not believe in the power of love to heal." (Lee Woodruff, author of In an Instant [with Bob Woodruff] and Perfectly Imperfect)

Meet the Author

Luis Carlos Montalván is a seventeen-year veteran and former captain in the U.S. Army. Montalván’s writing and personal tale have been published in numerous publications as well as on many national TV shows. He earned a master’s degree in journalism from Columbia University, where he is currently completing another master’s in strategic communications.

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Until Tuesday 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 31 reviews.
Klenn More than 1 year ago
Until Tuesday is by far one of the most rewarding books I have read for it portrays the courage of a true warrior and the unwavering compassion of mans best friend. Luis carries the reader through his days of survival and into the healing hands (paws) of Tuesday. The book is well written and Luis does indeed have a powerful message to any wounded soldier. This book is an absolute must read for all. Klenn
TracyG-MN More than 1 year ago
This is a very touching recount of life as a veteran with disabilities and how he learns to help himself with the help of a very special friend. It is hard to not feel like you know Luis when reading this book. It brings every emotion possibly to the surface. Many tears were shed while reading this but you also feel the pride of how Luis deals with situations in his life. A very special veteran and his very special four legged friend..... I highly recommend that if you have a service member, someone who is disabled or both, in your family. It gives the average person a glimpse of their lives and brings an understanding along with it.
EOConnor More than 1 year ago
Definitely a five star book. As a dog lover I tend to gravitate toward books about animals. More often than not the endings of dog stories are sad. This book is the exception. Although the circumstances that bring Luis literally to his knees are heart-breaking, this is a truly uplifting tale. Intertwined with the hardships Luis endures due to his service-related injuries (including post-traumatic stress disorder) is the trail taken to meet Tuesday. Although the path isn't always without pain, Tuesday and Luis have each other! I am continually amazed at how intuitive dogs are and how big their hearts are. Must read for anyone who a) cares about our servicemen and servicewomen, b) loves dogs and how they interact with people they love, and c) wants to learn more about the different ways dogs can assist us. It will be one of those "over and over" reads!
mykie More than 1 year ago
I have bought this wonderful and heartrending story for myself, but also for others. I have read this book more than once and with each new read I get something more out of it. I personally relate to Tues. because I had a G.R. named Mykie and when I look into the eyes of Tues. I see my boy who has since passed. One cannot ask for a more devoted and faithful companion than A Golden named Tues. Luis and Tues. came together and a bond greater than life was formed not to be dissolved. I am estactic that a movie will come out and I will be crying just like when I read their story.I am still waiting for a Book of Illustrations to be published so we can marvel at the many faces of Tues. my favorite, Tues with Angel wings this too is a reminder of my Mykie. Luis and Tues. are a special breed , I thank Captain Luis Montalvan of the U. S. Army for serviing his country with pride and for all he is enduring because of his service, and I thank Tues.for her service to Luis, they certainly are a team, I salute both my heroes. God Bless the U.S.A., Captain Luis Montalvan ,and his devoted friend and companionTues.
raynman3333 More than 1 year ago
This book is one of the few books I hae read cover to cover. Captain Montalvan has really hit the inner core of physical and emotional stress and illnesses that Veterans of all generations have faced. The struggle Veterans have faced has mostly been kept hidden until the last generation. This book really helps Veterans and all members of society have the courage to come forward to receive the proper help that is needed to press on with a more stable life. The amazing contribution of Tuesday and all service dogs is truly unique and defintley an inspiration. I strongly suggest reading this book and passing it on to others. I have bought extra copies t put out for my felow Veterans to read. Please support Veterans and service dogs no matter your beliefs on war, the Veteran does his job just like you and needs support and understanding. The service dogs like Tuesday are a great support and necescity for wounded Veterans.
Me-and-Cody More than 1 year ago
This is my new favorite book! I see many of the personality traits the author describes in Tuesday in my own Golden, Cody. It is very heartwarming to read about the bond between Luis and Tuesday, especially considering what they both have experienced in the past. The author describes the effects PTSD has had on him in a way that we, who are protected and have not experienced war, can understand. Thank you, Luis, for giving us a very personal view of your life.
sabletAB More than 1 year ago
I recently read this book and came away with a greater understanding of the urgent need for service dogs for veterans and all persons with disabilities. This beautiful story is about Fmr. Capt. Luis Montalvan who was in the war in Iraq and a service dog,Tuesday. The lessons both learned solidify a bond of love, trust, courage and faith that is inspiring and encouraging. It is a testament to love and honor.
LNMet More than 1 year ago
The book is about the relationship of two souls, two beings that needed healing. It transcends a man dog relationship, although that is it's elementary beginning. Tuesday needs Luis as Luis needs Tuesday. It is also the book about a highly decorated wounded OIF warrior/Captain/Infantry officer matched with an incredible dog who was trained not only by a home, a prison inmate and a foster youth who had built enermous walls. It is about the rise and fall of the human and canine spirit and how through life we continue in spite of fear, horror, loss and love. How we stay in connection with life and family when we are deeply wounded. It mentions some political things about the war, but from someone who was a mid level manager and had to take the orders and carry them out on the battlefield. It is about the multiple use of baby wipes in the field (I read some of the other reviews-- funny how everyone picks up on something different. It is about surviving war injuries and pulling oneself to something you know -- and finding the relationship that helps you to heal, and move from hopelessness to healing. The words were always well selected. Describing Tuesday with "natural Grace"-- how many of us are in touch with our own grace? It changes Luis from hopeless desperation to hope and success. THANKS
timandking More than 1 year ago
Luis & Tuesday touched me more because of the fact that I too am disabled and have a Service Dog. We have had the same struggles they encounter in his daily living. Empathy is seldom while ignorance is rampant. This book and soon to be movie will be a monitor for the world to look at and see how they act. Enjoyable reading style that fits the author, the dog and the subject matter. BUY THIS BOOK OR SEE THE MOVIE:)
lindyLW More than 1 year ago
Such a touching book. You feel like you know Luis and Tuesday. Very enlightening too
AngelaRN More than 1 year ago
PTSD is an important and real condition that can affect our soldiers to a greater or lesser degree due to the horrors of war that they witness either daily or in one or two especially traumatizing events.  The importance of an understanding of PTSD cannot be denied or ignored any longer.  From "Until Tuesday", we  gain insight into the all encompassing nature of PTSD.  Science now points to further understanding that any individual can be a victim of this disorder as a result of a negative or traumatic event or experience that leaves an indelible memory.  Once again soldiers bring light and understanding to our everyday life struggles and well being.  We are connected in our humanness.     Luis' book is a sweet, captivating, sometimes heartbreaking and beautifully personal account that serves as a poignant introduction to PTSD as related to military service and how this incredible canine named Tuesday helped him to heal (and Luis in turn heals Tuesday). So glad I chose the audio version since the real treat is hearing Luis narrate his story.  I celebrate Luis' ability to heal and conquer, to move forward in such a meaningful way by helping other soldiers as well as just regular folks (like so many of us) to understand struggles of others and be accepting of each of our individual difficulties in life.  I felt better about myself and and my ability to have resilience in the face of my own sadnesses and difficult experiences after listening to Until Tuesday.  I found especially rewarding the healing that took place with Luis and his family, especially his father.  I salute you, Mr. Montalvan!  
JeffreyPerryBrown More than 1 year ago
“Until Tuesday: A Wounded Warrior and the Golden Retriever Who Saved Him,” by former Captain Luis Carlos Montalvan (with Bret Witter), is three deeply honest and masterful recountings in one thoughtful, compelling and perhaps all-too-brief (252 pages) read. Montalvan, a decorated, wounded Iraq War veteran recovering from PTSD and shattered vertebra, brings us to tears with his telling of inhumane war (“I saw (the bomber’s) face, shorn clear by the blast … in the middle of hell, like a children’s mask…, eye sockets empty, but the rest was there: eyebrows, nose, lips, even his beard.” “I … fired one shot into the first attacker … (and heard) primal pain and loss … across the emptiness.”) Simultaneously we feel his bitter loss as he faces both his own painful injuries/PTSD and the moral and ethical betrayals by America’s military and civilian leadership, by the modern fourth estate’s willingness to gulp down lies and half-truths of war reporting and then regurgitate uncritical war porn to forge successful media careers, and although only touched upon, perhaps the worst betrayal of all, by American societal indifference toward our wars of the 21st century (On speaking tour: “Our soldiers and Marines went to war. America went to Starbucks.”). The third, and most powerful, redemptive story is that of Montalvan’s healing through his developing relationship with his service dog, Tuesday, a Puppies Behind Bars prisoner-trained Golden Retriever whose own brokenness actually creates a deeper bond, and the matched pair’s intelligence, dedication, and, yes, love, grows until “Tuesday, after all his caution, stopped being just my service dog and my emotional support, and my conversation piece (and) he became my friend.” Montalvan’s recovery and growth leads to his realization that Tuesday is a gift so great that he must share his close friend with other veterans in need, with people everywhere, until the Golden is “the famous Tuesday.” My ultimate, strong endorsement of “Until Tuesday” is that after reading it I went out and bought a second copy as a gift for a friend who, like me, has a son in the military. Buy it, read it, be moved by “Until Tuesday.”
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I picked up this book expecting a light read about a dog. BUT, It was a very beautiful, emotional,educational, entertaining story that affected me much deeper then I ever imagined.  "Until Tuesday" is not just another animal story.  This book is a story about one of our American warriors, (Captain Luis Carlos Montalvan,)  and his bravery and relentlessness to persist in hope to find a way out of the hole PTSD and other physical and mental  injuries from serving our country had thrown him in. Tuesday was his way out of the hole, and he was the love and reason for Tuesday's life also.  The tale shows the journey of our warrior, and also of Tuesday's journey, to save each other.  There are so many things to learn from Captain Luis and Tuesday in this book.  PTSD, service dogs and their training, persistence,love, the war with Iraq, what our soldiers go through in war, to name a few.  
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was an emotionally inspiring book for me. I cried, I giggled, I held my breath, I was moved. Because of the way I connected with Louis' story on many levels, as well as being a Golden Retriever lover, I could not put the book down until the very last page. Everyone needs to read it - everyone. The events are told in true transparency - the good and the bad but in all of it, a weave of hope and purpose is also seen. It grabbed me and stirred me to want to do more to help our Veterans. Every night when I kiss my family (furry kid, Golden Retriever included) I send a prayer up for Louis, Tuesday and thank God for what they are doing to help others.  A must read. Also - their newest is now out too. Another great book with a different flavor that makes it easy for kids to connect with Louis and Tuesday through pictures and a narrative through Tuesday's eyes.  -K. Tucker
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I laughed...I cried . . . .I became aware. This is such an incredible writing of a man's journey. From a broken soul to healing through a service dog. Their accomplishments are incredible. So very well written. I am at a loss to formulate the right words. I was left feeling inspired, but angry at the way our society treats our Hero's. But I am aware now and can help take action. Please read and re-read! The healing Tuesday provides for Luis should be available to all who suffer a disability of ANY form! A must read!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
u2elshanator More than 1 year ago
i just finished listening to this book and absolutely loved it. I have muscular Dystrophy and I can kind of  understand some of the situations with people who don't understand how people who have challenges feel.  I know muscular Dystrophy is different from PTSD but I am glad that I had the opportunity to see what having PTSD is like so that I can be better and not judge. I have friends who have been to war and never truly understood all they went through until reading this book. The story makes me want to do more for other people especially veterans. I also wish that every person who is having PTSD and other problems could have a great dog like Tuesday. He was meant to be on this earth for a reason just like all animals but Tuesday is one of the special ones who understands his purpose. Luis you are a hero and thanks for sharing your story and Tuesday with the world. I hope everyone can remember what my friend said "You think you know, but you have no idea" what people are going through so just be kind to everyone. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
One of the best books I've read. Tells the story of a man, a solider and how life can be made better by seeing the world accurately and with open eyes. All americans, or anyone that wants to help our military vetrens should read...or even if you just love dogs....GREAT book!
DenisePDP More than 1 year ago
I just want to say that Until Tuesday, was by far one of the best written stories I've read in a long time. From the moment you pick it up until the moment you close this book, you will not stop thinking about it. Luis takes you on his journey as a serviceman through the time he is a man with a service dog. Saying that Tuesday is a dog, is somewhat inadequate, since this loving creature became one of the best friends Luis could ever have. I learned a lot about what a service animal can do to aid the disabled person who owns him. Through the many memories that Luis shares, you will find yourself walking side by side during this painful journey. Tuesday came along at the right moment in time when Luis needed him most. You will laugh and you will cry but most often you will reflect on the trials that a person with a disability faces when they are out in the world. Not only do they have the hindrences of being handicapped in some way, they have to face many obstacles including humiliation, fear and rejection to name a few. Luis does a fine job educating those who are not aware of the struggles that someone who's disabled encounters on a daily basis Take the time to read this wonderful story of healing and restoration soon, you will be glad you did. And when you see someone who is disabled with a service dog, smile, be courteous and give them the honor and respect that is due them.
maggiebeth39 More than 1 year ago
This book was an incredible story about the daily struggles of our Disabled American Vets.  These struggles are both physical, mental and emotional.  I originally thought this book was just about service dogs, but it is so much more.  These men and women have made the ultimate sacrifice for our Nation's freedom and many cannot function as civilians once back stateside.  In come the furry four legged heroes.  These special dogs are partnered with a vet based upon personalities and needs.  Now for the first time many of these men and women find that they can now cope with everyday things with the help of these amazingly trained dogs.  These dogs help their soldier dress, walk down a busy street, take public transport and even give their soldier a sense of calm that was not there before.  A lovely book and incredible lesson the cost of our country's freedom.
Carol_Varona_Whitener More than 1 year ago
Ahead of the Pack I give the book five stars. It merits recommendation for all ages except children even though it looks inviting with a photo of beautiful and sweet Tuesday on the cover and has fun, interesting, and humorous stories about Tuesday and former U.S Army Captain Luis Carlos Montalvan throughout the book. Captain Montalvan takes you on a journey from war in a desert called Iraq to the deeply agonizing desert of despair and parched hopelessness experienced as a result of PTSD and others’ lack of understanding. His war stories combined with his profound grief and emotional distress as a result of war, his concerns about the plight of the situation in Iraq, and fears for those still in harm’s way would be too heavy for kids. Additionally, if you don’t think animals have feelings, this book should change your mind as Tuesday’s story unfolds as well. Until Tuesday is a great educational tool concerning PTSD, as it depicts a stark portrait of the realities of the ravages of war with the purpose to help others see how service dogs are in my words a gift of the mercy of God. I don’t usually read or watch war movies, as I struggle with PTSD and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS), which is similar to Gulf War Syndrome. This book actually helped me, though, as the stories of Tuesday and other service dogs bring hope and encouragement to press on through life. It also helped me better understand the war from a front line warrior’s perspective. As I’ve started on my own book, Until Tuesday has shown me how laughter, love, and hope even if intertwined with the brokenness of life can be medicine to the soul. I believe we all have a story to tell. The book also eloquently articulates the following invaluable lessons: the transforming power of unconditional love and acceptance; the importance of accepting responsibility instead of sliding into denial; the devastation generated by betrayal, discrimination and ignorance; and the ability of a service dog to radically improve the quality of life of a veteran with visible and invisible wounds. Until Tuesday will especially benefit anyone experiencing a similar storm by understanding one can chart a course back to smoother waters.
PubliusLM More than 1 year ago
Emotional and heartfelt. He poured his guts out which made for an unusually captivating audio book. Capt. Montalvan deserves credit for the courage it took, not only to serve in the Army for so many year and in combat, but to share the trauma -- the effects of war -- with us; so that we can better learn what our nation's defenders have endured.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A FANTASTIC READ!! This is a wonderful, eye opening book that will stay with you long after you've finished reading it. Luis Carlos Montalvan educates us on the battles that veterans like himself deal with in and out of a war zone. He also fills our hearts with love for his beloved assistance dog, Tuesday. I was very touched by his openness, honesty and character. I highly recommend you read this book. You won't regret letting Luis and Tuesday into your life.
Smejface More than 1 year ago
This book is simply amazing. I will admit that I bought it because I thought it had more to do with the dog on the cover. Once I started reading I was taken into a world that I had never known...Iraq, Afghanistan, Baghdad, New York with PTSD. Enter Tuesday. A charming "Gentleman" who was waiting for his Guardian to find him and his purpose. I cried my eyes out while reading about Tuesday's life upon meeting Fmr. Captain Luis Carlos Montalvan. Literally cried. I actually reached out to the author to express my thoughts....that's how moved I was by the moment, the dynamics, the sheer description of their meeting and what happened at ECAD. Dogs are my world. I love them more than I like people. Luis gets that from Tuesday, he's able to express that in words in a way that makes me think "Someone FINALLY gets what I've been saying". Tuesday and Luis were created by God for each other. There is no question in my mind.
SophieTL More than 1 year ago
It's the true story of Fmr. Captain Luis Carlos Montalvan and the trials and tribulations of returning home from war with PTSD (Post Traumatic Stess Disorder)as well as physical injuries received while on his tour of duty in Iraq. All is not going well for Luis until Tuesday; fun-loving, adorable, and not always so obedient Tuesday, the Golden Retriever therapy dog that Luis chose as his aide. And aide Tuesday became, as well as best friend and confidant. This book made me smile and it made me cry. And it makes me appreciate more what our servicemen and women do while on their tour of duty and how they are treated upon return home. Read this book and then go hug a soldier. Thank you, Luis and Tuesday.