“Accurate and fascinating” — Kirkus Reviews, April 2017 issue.
“Expertly captures the bonding relationship developed between human and animal under the tension of combat, where the difference between life and death is many times determined by a dog.” — John Burnam, creator of the U.S. Military Working Dog Teams National Monument
“Spot on! Gives a personal touch not often described in K9 books.” — William C. Childress, Military Working Dog Program Manager, USMC
Dogs have faithfully followed humans into combat since the dawn of time. In modern warfare, dogs have shown humans a few new tricks, like detecting mustard gas and explosives. Working together, dogs and soldiers have changed the way the U.S. military keeps our troops — and our country — safe. Through the stories of a dozen heartwarming friendships between two-legged and four-legged soldiers, Nancy Roe Pimm shows how the Working Dog Team evolved from the Civil War onward and became one of the military’s most versatile and effective weapons.
The dog’s unmatched sense of smell and hearing proved invaluable in the jungle warfare of Vietnam, detecting booby traps and enemy movements and saving an estimated 10,000 American lives. Stories of their epic bravery circulated widely, like that of Nemo, who lay atop his wounded handler during a fierce firefight, never flinching even with one eye shot out.
Today’s U.S. canine corps have adapted to modern warfare at every turn, with a reliability rating that technology has yet to match. Until recently, official policy continued to treat military dogs as little more than expendable equipment. But the soldiers whose hearts had been touched — and lives saved — by these amazing animals won several hard-won battles for the rights of their canine companions. Bonded By Battle tells that story, too.
Pimm, a distinguished author of nonfiction for young readers, relates the evolving relationship between dogs and soldiers with heart and humor. The book carries the story up to the present day, including the 2016 legislation that would grant these dogs the same privileges and military honors bestowed on their handlers.