Canines in Camouflage

Book Review: Dogs of War by Lisa Rogak

By, Donna M. Monnig

To say that America has a new breed of soldier would be inaccurate. Though military working dogs are a relatively new concept for many people, they have been used by the United States as far back as the Civil War.

In her new book, The Dogs of War: The Courage, Love and Loyalty of Military Working Dogs, Lisa Rogak tells the tale of America’s unsung soldiers.

Rogak details the ideal qualities that the military looks for in a dog, as well as the hard work and dedication required to be their handlers. Military working dogs (MWD) are full fledged soldiers given everything from body armor to the privilege of rank. A MWD is always given a rank above that of their handler ensuring that they are not abused or mistreated.

MWD’s have many jobs. Their roles include patrol, drug and/or explosives detection, tracking, and search and rescue. Rogak says, “Whether military working dogs are parachuting out of an airplane or patrolling the coastal United States, their ultimate aim is the same: to protect the people around them.”

It is said that the ability of a MWD is worth about ten soldiers. Their acute senses have saved countless lives throughout many wars.

The book states, “…in the fall of 2010, the Pentagon announced that after six years and $19 billion spent in the attempt to build the ultimate bomb detector technology, dogs were still the best sniffers around.”

Lisa Rogak’s book is filled with heartwarming and tear jerking true stories about the intriguing bond between man and beast. It is of comfort to know that, not only do these dogs save lives, but that their lives are also valued. They are well cared for even after retirement and are often adopted into the family of their most recent handler. And when tragedy inevitably strikes claiming the life of a dog on the frontlines, they are treated with the same dignity and respect as their two legged comrades.

The Dogs of War reminds us of why these canines in camouflage truly are man’s best friend.

Copyright2011 Donna M. Monnig

(Note: This Book Review was originally published in the Greyhound Express, Dec-2011)

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About Donna M. Monnig

Donna M. Monnig is a published poet, aspiring novelist, freelance writer, a member of the Society of Professional Journalists, and is a cowgirl at heart.
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