From Baghdad with Love: A Marine, the War, and a Dog Named Lava

From Baghdad with Love: A Marine, the War, and a Dog Named Lava

by Jay Kopelman, Melinda Roth

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When Marines enter an abandoned house in Fallujah, Iraq, and hear a suspicious noise, they clench their weapons, edge around the corner, and prepare to open fire. What they find during the U.S.–led attack on the “most dangerous city on Earth” in late 2004, however, is not an insurgent but a puppy left behind when most of the city's residents fled. Despite military law forbidding pets, the Marines de-flea the pup with kerosene, de-worm him with chewing tobacco, and fill him up on Meals Ready to Eat.

Thus begins the dramatic rescue of a dog named Lava—and Lava's rescue of at least one Marine, Lieutenant Colonel Jay Kopelman, from the emotional ravages of war. From hardened soldiers to wartime journalists to endangered Iraqi citizens, From Baghdad, With Love tells the unforgettable true story of an unlikely band of heroes who learn unexpected lessons about life, death, and war from a mangy little flea-ridden refugee.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780762796113
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
Publication date: 06/03/2008
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 208
Sales rank: 634,416
File size: 3 MB

About the Author

Jay Kopelman is a former lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Marine Corps; he was last stationed at Camp Pendleton, California. A competitive bicyclist, Jay lives in La Jolla, California, with his wife, Pam Godde, stepson, their two dogs, Lava and Koda, and Cheddar the cat. Both Jay and his wife, an anthropologist, are avid surfers. They're expecting their second child in January 2007.
Melinda Roth works for a political lobbyist in Chicago, where she lives with her family.

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From Baghdad, with Love: A Marine, the War, and a Dog Named Lava 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 101 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I cant say enough about this book. It is meant to be read not only by animal lovers but everyone in general. Authors givr you an insight to a real war....not the small selective elements that we are fed by the media. I applaud all the people who took part in rescuing Lava. There arent any proper words to describe the kind of love one receives from a dog....a dog who cant speak...yet is capable to showing you the ultimate loyal pure love. I highly recommend this book to everyone. As for you Lava....what a lucky flea infested mutt you are...not only you have a wondergul family you received what so many fight for.....freedom! Happy life Lava
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed reading this book. I applaud Col. Kopelman for all he did to bring Lava home from Iraq.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
awesome book even in the midst of a cruel & unwarranted war, this story of love for a dog is heartwarming.
julie443 More than 1 year ago
I am usually a crime, mystery, and high action lover, so I was worried that this would be too "cute" for my liking. I quickly realized that I could not put this book down! It is suspenseful and it is the ONLY book I have ever wanted to read twice! You must read it!
auntbah More than 1 year ago
Once you pick it up you won't want to put it down until you're finished.
It is even more endearing because it is a true story. You are captivated and want to help Lava.
dcoward on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
How a US marine fighting in Iraq managed to rescue and adopt an Iraqi dog. Fascinating look both at war torn Iraq and the life of a men fighting in a war.
victor.p on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A US officer, lieutenant colonel Jay Kopelman comes across a stray puppy while clearing an abandoned building in Iraq. At first the puppy was terrified an alone but was also glad to see someone around, so as was the Kopelman, he was amazed to see a creature so small survive in a battle zone with terrifying sounds during the night and day. Not wanting to kill the puppy as he was suppose to due to the rules to the good men of the US are, Kopelman adopted him and named him after their company, lava. Each member bonded with lava and treated him like he was part of the team more importantly; the little guy had made his way into Kopelman's heart. This was a wonderful story of love between a soldier and a strayed puppy.I would suggest this book for those who enjoy reading love and war genre books as this book had a great deal of love. It was also funny, poignant and harrowing.
Ltlmiss on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Being a dog-lover, I loved this book. It's a fast read, and really humanizes the Marines. I learned a lot about what really went on in the Middle East during the first elections in Iraq. It was nice to get some political history surrounded by a heart-warming story.
claytonroos on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
great book but very sad at times
IdahoTaterBug on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I love this book. I couldn't put it down. It is a short book but so well written and a wonderful story!
debs4jc on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A US officer (Kopelman) and his troops come across a stray puppy while clearing an abandoned building in Iraq. Not wanting to kill the puppy, as they are supposed to, they adopt him, name him Lava after their company, and hide him from the powers that be. Kopelman tries to keep his distance from him at first, but the fiesty antics of Lava are impossible to ignore and soon the little guy has wormed his way into Kopelman's heart. But what are they going to do when Kopelman has to go back to the U.S.?This was a wonderful story of love triumphing over impossible odds. I also enjoyed hearing a first hand account of what life is like in Iraq and gained a lot of knowledge beyond what you hear in the news. Those interested in current events or who love animals can't miss with this one.
xmaystarx on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Quick and informative read. The story of the puppy is very touching and the basis of the book but so much more is learned of the lives of our soldiers in Baghdad.
lorielibrarian on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Gritty images of soldier life in Iraq, harrowing escape for an innocent puppy, grief for all those innocents (two and four-legged) left behind.
judye on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A simple story simply written. soldier (Kopelman) stumbles on a pup in the course of his frontline duties. He and his peers become attached to the dog and go to great lengths to protect and rescue him from Iraq. The realities of war juxtaposed against the need for love and affection, returned in spades by the dog, Lava.
jrbeach on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The dog story itself is not really long enough for a book, so the authors allow themselves to ramble off on tangents. My copy was an audio book, so I found the recitiations of car bombings etc. a little tedious, since I couldn't just skip over those parts, but I didn't find the non-dog discussions too tedious, and after all, if Kopelman didn't find the dog in the middle of a war there would be no story.
JillH on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Well written, heart-warming story
LavaDog More than 1 year ago
I still can't believe this guy stole my dog while I was on patrol. Use to feed him cans of Spam to fatten him up. He use to sleep next to me on top of the roof. We actually found him in a gutter in a four inch pipe under the driveway ramp.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Once I picked up From Baghdad, With Love, and started reading, I could not put it down. It is hands down one of the best books I have ever read. I must admit that some parts of the book were boring, and I didn’t quite understand how they fit into the story, but once I kept reading the better it got. I love how the author Lieutenant Colonel Jay Kopelman writes about his journey on getting Lava to the United States. But it also teaches the reader facts about the war in Iraq and what was happening where he was stationed. The book teaches a great lesson, which is that you always have to keep trying, no matter what happened before. Honestly, I started to stop believing that Lava would ever get to go to Kopelman’s home in California. There were so many failed attempts to getting Lava to the United States, but by having Jon Van Zante there to keep encouraging them they were able to get Lava safely to the United States. It killed me to read the parts when Kopelman thought about how Lava would die; I wanted to scream “I KNOW HE’S ALIVE. THE BACK OF THE BOOK SAYS THAT KOPELMAN LIVES WITH LAVA IN CALIFORNIA! JUST GET TO THE HAPPY PART ALREADY!” Finding Lava gives Kopelman and all the other Marines that help take care of the puppy hope to keep moving forward and that it will get better. I think that high schools would be most likely to read this book because they have some knowledge about what was going on in Iraq during the war. Even if they do not know much about the war, the book helps describe it. I know it has helped me understand what was going on in Iraq from the point of view from a soldier instead of the press. I don’t think younger kids should read this book because there is a strong language usage.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The book From Baghdad With Love is an amazing and heartwarming story. Once I heard that the book was about a dog I knew I wanted to read it. I am one of the biggest dog lovers there is so this book was right up my alley. This book combines a great war memoir and a dog story all in one, making this one of my favorites. It was about a Marine named Jay Kopelman and his team found an Iraqi puppy which they would name Lava. They all grew much attached and knew they had to get him to the United States. There were many bumps in the road along the way. There were many organizations that joined the cause to get Lava to the United States, which showed the humanity of people supporting the troops, especially this Marine. I loved how everyone worked together and never gave up in the end. Another reason why I like this book because it was real and raw and Jay Kopelman didn’t hold back with any of his descriptions. Some parts of the book explained disturbing pictures at times but, it showed me exactly what the U.S soldiers see and experience every day. It also showed LT. Kopelman’s friendship unfold from beginning to end and how Lava became such a big part in his life. I got to see Lava grow up and affect so many others lives and how he helped so many Marines forget just for a second that they were at war and could possibly never come home. I wouldn’t recommend this to littler kids because of the descriptions, but I think this is a great book for teenagers or adults. All the way through the book I never wanted to put it down. Each chapter captivates you and forces your mind to think all of the possibilities like whether Lava would make it in the end or not. I read the book in 3 days and enjoyed every bit of it. I am so happy that I got to read this truly endearing dog story.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I was a little afraid to read this book because I am so softhearted about any animal (especially dogs) being hurt in any way. However this book was wonderful so if you are like I am and are cautious about reading it go ahead buy it and enjoy!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Lauren_Noel_Bashore More than 1 year ago
My mama's boyfriend, Kenneth Licklider, owner of Vohne Liche Kennels, told me to read this and I had no clue he had such an amazing deal with this story even though his part is so little. Great story and I even met the author. Loved it. (: