War Dogs: Tales of Canine Heroism, History, and Love

War Dogs: Tales of Canine Heroism, History, and Love

War Dogs: Tales of Canine Heroism, History, and Love

War Dogs: Tales of Canine Heroism, History, and Love


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*A New York Times bestseller*

A compelling look at the important role that dogs have played in America's most recent military conflicts, replete with the touching stories of individual dogs and their handlers/soldiers

Under the cover of night, deep in the desert of Afghanistan, a US Army handler led a Special Forces patrol with his military working dog. Without warning an insurgent popped up, his weapon raised. At the handler's command, the dog charged their attacker. There was the flash of steel, the blur of fur, and the sound of a single shot; the handler watched his dog take a bullet. During the weeks it would take the dog to heal, the handler never left its side. The dog had saved his life.

Loyal and courageous, dogs are truly man's best friend on the battlefield. While the soldiers may not always feel comfortable calling the bond they form love, the emotions involved are strong and complicated. In War Dogs, Rebecca Frankel offers a riveting mix of on-the-ground reporting, her own hands-on experiences in the military working dog world, and a look at the science of dogs' special abilities—from their amazing noses and powerful jaws to their enormous sensitivity to the emotions of their human companions.

The history of dogs in the US military is long and rich, from the spirit-lifting mascots of the Civil War to the dogs still leading patrols hunting for IEDs today. Frankel not only interviewed handlers who deployed with dogs in wars from Vietnam to Iraq, but top military commanders, K-9 program managers, combat-trained therapists who brought dogs into war zones as part of a preemptive measure to stave off PTSD, and veterinary technicians stationed in Bagram. She makes a passionate case for maintaining a robust war-dog force. In a post-9/11 world rife with terrorist threats, nothing is more effective than a bomb-sniffing dog and his handler.

With a compelling cast of humans and animals, this moving book is a must read for all dog lovers—military and otherwise.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781250075079
Publisher: St. Martin's Publishing Group
Publication date: 10/13/2015
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 272
Sales rank: 1,058,266
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.61(d)
Lexile: 1190L (what's this?)

About the Author

Rebecca Frankel is deputy editor at Foreign Policy. She is the author of War Dogs: Tales of Canine Heroism, History, and Love a New York Times bestselling book about canines in combat, the subject of her regular Friday column "Rebecca's War Dog of the Week," featured on The Best Defense. Her work has appeared in The Wall Street Journal, The Atlantic, National Geographic, Slate, The Washington Post, and elsewhere. Most recently, Frankel has been as a guest on Conan O'Brien, BBC World News, and the Diane Rehm Show, among others.

Table of Contents

Foreword Thomas E. Ricks ix

Author's Note xiii

Introduction: Dogs in the Time of War 1

Part I

1 When Dogs Become Soldiers 11

2 The House of Misfit Dogs 31

3 The Trouble with Loving a War Dog 53

4 Beware the Loving (War) Dog 73

Part II

5 A Dog of Many Talents 93

6 The Road to War Leads Through Yuma 127

7 The Fallen 165

Part III

8 Wounds and Healing 183

9 The Never Again Wars 205

10 Home Again, Home Again 213

Epilogue: What We Talk about When We Talk about War Dogs 227

Acknowledgments 231

Notes 235

Index 247

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