War Dogs

Rebecca Frankel

war dogs

I enjoyed reading this one so much that I was genuinely disappointed when I unexpectedly reached the end of it on my Kindle. Frankel explores the world of military war dogs (MWDs) and their handlers in what is definitely the least depressing book about war that I’ve read. Despite the chilling anecdotes of explosive-detection missions in Iraq and Afghanistan, my lasting impression of War Dogs is one of awe and admiration and moments of unexpected joy. The book captures the way that an emotional and professional relationship between MWDs and his fellow soldiers combines with an unparalleled physical ability to make these dogs such a powerful force. The only thing that could have made this book better for a nerd like me is more details on the physiology of a dog’s nose and the failed attempts by humans to replicate its expertise in digital form.

“Mariana could see the force of the bullet as it hit Bronco…He was covered in blood but sitting all the same, waiting for his handler as if it had been the plan to rally at this safe spot all along… Bronco slumped to the ground, sprawled over on his side. Mariana’s heart stopped. He stared hard into the dog’s eyes, and then a terrible kind of relief washed over Mariana as he realized Bronco hadn’t just bled out in front of him. Instead, he had rolled over to offer his belly up for a scratch. Mariana exhaled, marveling at the strength of his dog.”

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