Academic journal article Military Review

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

Academic journal article Military Review

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

Article excerpt

WAR DOGS: Tales of Canine Heroism, History, and Love

Rebecca Frankel, Palgrave MacMillan, New York, 2014, 256 pages, $26.00

"If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when 1 die I want to go where they went"

--Will Rogers

Dogs hold a special place in a soldier's heart. They are our companions. They are our family. For thousands of years, faithful dogs joined soldiers on the battlefield, time and again proving their worth as stalwart warriors, loyal friends, and even as healers. Author Rebecca Frankel, the special projects editor at Foreign Policy, spent 12 months researching the U.S. military's working dog programs. War Dogs: Tales of Canine Heroism, History, and Love is a testament to the unique bond shared between soldiers and their dogs.

War Dogs is replete with personal, often emotional, stories. Some will make you laugh. If you ever loved a dog, then some of them may cause you to shed a tear. This book, however, is more than just a simple collection of war vignettes. Frankel examines current theories associated with canine psychology, emotions, and intelligence, and their impact upon training prospective military working dogs.

She skillfully weaves canine science, war dog history, and recent combat operations in Afghanistan and Iraq into one brilliant narrative. Frankel purposefully avoids discussion on the ethics of employing dogs in war, but proves they have a lasting place in the U.S. military--a position I wholeheartedly support. …

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