I'm Back from My "Soldier Dogs" Adventures

 |  Nov 3rd 2011  |   1 Contribution


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A dog handler in training at Lackland Air Force Base starts the day in the shade with his "teacher" dog. (Photo by Robin Jerstad)

Hi Dogsters! Im back from my leave of absence, and I want to let you know that I missed you and the blog. (Nearly two years of blogging for Dogster every weekday seems to have become habit-forming!) I am thrilled to report that I am done writing my book, Soldier Dogs: Untold Stories of Americas Canine Heroes. I needed every minute possible to finish it by deadline, thus my six-week leave from the worlds best dog website.

I was able to get my boots on the ground during the months of research that went into the book. Its been an incredible adventure, and some really great people throughout all four services have been extremely supportive in helping me immerse myself in the world of military working dogs so I could get the inside stories of these heroic canines and their devoted handlers.

Soldier Dogs: Untold Stories of Americas Canine Heroes features stories of military dogs on the job in submarines and on dusty roads in Afghanistan, interviews with the dedicated men and women who depend on the dogs skills and devotion, and insights from leading researchers (including Alexandra Horowitz, John Bradshaw, and Stanley Coren) into why dogs have become so valuable on the battlefield.

The dogs' stories are riveting. Some are heartbreaking, some will have you (and your dog) at the edge of your couch, and a few will make you laugh. The bonds between dogs and handlers especially those who have deployed to war zones together are unfathomably deep.

The military may officially consider these dogs equipment, but to their handlers, they're the closest comrades and friends. Almost every day during my research, I heard phrases like, "My dog knows me better than my spouse," and "He'd give his life for me, and I'd do anything for him."

The book is now in the hands of my terrific editor, Stephen Morrow, at Dutton (Penguin), and will be published in March. If you'd like to preorder the book, you can do so at Amazon or Barnes and Noble. Soldier Dogs also features 16 pages of incredible, original color photos. Oh, and Jake would like to let you know that he has a role in the book. I'm not allowed to tell you what it is, but it's a good one.

Thanks for your patience and well wishes, Dogsters. I'm happy to be back with you. And thanks especially to Dogster's fantastic content manager, Janine Kahn, for taking on the blog in my absence! I couldn't have done this without you, J.

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Air Force Technical Sergeant Adam Miller with his German Shepherd, Tina M111. The book features one of their adventures together but that's all my publisher will let me say about them for now. (Photo by Jared Dort)

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