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Dogs on Duty: Soldiers' Best Friends on the Battlefield and Beyond    by Dorothy Hinshaw Patent order for
Dogs on Duty
by Dorothy Hinshaw Patent
Order:  USA  Can
Walker, 2012 (2012)
* *   Reviewed by Bob Walch

Beautifully illustrated with page after page of both color and black and white photos, this children's book is one many adult dog lovers will also enjoy reading and owning.

After a short history of combat dogs' exploits in the First and Second World Wars and Vietnam, the author takes the reader to Lackland Air Force base where the dogs undergo a training process as rigorous as any military personnel are asked to endure.

You'll meet the handlers and trainers as you see how military working dogs are prepared to jump out of airplanes, storm beaches and attack on command. These four-legged soldiers bring their own unique skills to the battlefield. Whether it be sniffing out explosives, listening for enemies, sneaking through barricades or using their keen sight to lead patrols, military dogs have gone beyond the call of duty when they apply their special talents.

There's also a special section of the book that focuses on the utilization of the dogs in Afghanistan and Iraq. You'll meet some special K-9 combat heroes like Gina and learn how she developed post-traumatic stress disorder just as some soldiers have. The German Shepherd's treatment for this problem is also discussed.

Parents need not be concerned about the grim side to this story. Although combat dogs obviously are killed in the course of doing their jobs, the author doesn't dwell on this side of the story or go into any detail about it.

If you are interested in dogs and the role they play in the military this is certainly a book you'll enjoy reading. Dorothy Hinshaw Patent covers all the bases in telling this intriguing tale of dedication.

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