Sergeant Rex: The Unbreakable Bond Between a Marine and His Military Working Dog

Mike Dowling with Damien Lewis. Atria, $26 (290p) ISBN 978-1-4516-3596-6
Former Marine Dowling and coauthor Lewis recount the adventures and misadventures of Dowling and his German shepherd partner, Rex, as they train for and deploy to Iraq as one of the first military K9 teams to see combat since Vietnam in this touching memoir. Corporal Dowling and Sergeant Rex—military working dogs outrank their handlers by one rank—arrived in Mahmoudiyah, in the dreaded “Triangle of Death” south of Baghdad, in March 2004 tasked “to outwit and defeat” the ubiquitous IEDs, “the single biggest threat facing U.S. forces.” Assigned to the “Warlords” of the Second Battalion, Second Marines, they spent the next seven months searching roadsides and buildings for explosives. It was dangerous and often terrifying work. The Marines quickly came to adore Rex not only because he saved lives sniffing out IED-making materials but also because he proved to be “the greatest stress reliever of all.” Dowling and Rex are inseparable and fiercely protective of each other, and the authors enhance our understanding of the special bond between man and man’s best friend by weaving the backstory of their partnership throughout the narrative. Despite some tense moments and close calls, this deeply affecting tale of courage and devotion in the cauldron of war has a happy ending. (Dec.)
Reviewed on: 10/31/2011
Release date: 12/13/2011
Genre: Nonfiction
Paperback - 304 pages
Open Ebook - 304 pages - 978-1-4516-3598-0
Compact Disc - 978-1-4526-1710-7
Pre-Recorded Audio Player - 978-1-4676-6474-5
MP3 CD - 978-1-4526-6710-2
Compact Disc - 978-1-4526-4710-4
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