- Hardcover: 304 pages
- Publisher: Atria Books; 1St Edition edition (December 13, 2011)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1451635966
- ISBN-13: 978-1451635966
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.1 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 292 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #118,663 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Sergeant Rex: The Unbreakable Bond Between a Marine and His Military Working Dog Hardcover – December 13, 2011
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"The best kind of nonfiction -- an impossible-to-put-down true life story."
--San Francisco Chronicle
“Briskly written. . . a moving portrait of a relationship between battle buddies that transcends gender and species.”
-- Washington Post
“This is a truly heartwarming and moving story.” —Hollywood Reporter
“Packed with colorful characters and dramatic incidents, Sergeant Rex is a moving story of true grit cast seamlessly amidst tough realism, rich, insightful detail and mutual respect.” —Seattle Kennel Club
“A first-rate buddy story from the front lines of the Iraq war.”
About the Author
Mike Dowling enlisted with the U.S. Marine Corps in 2001. He was awarded the Navy & Marine Corps Achievement Medal for his Iraq operations with his dog, Rex. He is currently serving with a Marine Corps rehabilitation unit in Los Angeles.
Damien Lewis has reported from war and conflict zones and aid and conservation projects for twenty years for the BBC, CNN, and many other news organizations. He is the author of a number of books on elite military operations and coauthor of several acclaimed memoirs.
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Top customer reviews
The story of the author and his military working dog, Rex as they deploy to the Iraq War back in 2004 to operate as the first K9 team to go to war since the Vietnam War. Together, as their bond strengthens, they go on missions to sniff out and obliterate weapons of mass destruction the Iraqi insurgents have stashed away, all the while protecting not only American lives in Iraq, but also Iraqi civilian lives. There are plenty of suspenseful moments throughout the book, but also of sheet joy and victory that will have you glued to the pages. I finished this book in record time. In under a month. Usually it takes me a while to finish a book, depending on how long it is or how dedicated I am to the material within. But this book had me spellbound from start to end. You know a book is good when you bother to read the acknowledgements at the end. The mood of the book is a somber and heroic read. There is no over-mushiness and the author throws in enough of his own backstory to fill you in on how he and Rex met, but doesn't go overboard with his narrative. He makes this all about him and his MWD (military working dog) and the casualties and atrocities of war, as well as the good that he and his dog were doing in Iraq, and that regardless of what's going on around them, there is a silver lining there somewhere.
Please add this book to your literary collection, especially if you're an animal lover or have served our armed forces. You will love the story of the bond that can only be had between a man and his dog.
The poem at the front pages of the book sets the scene for what you are about to read. There is marked anticipation for what to expect when you turn to the next page; IED, RPG, a pack of angry village dogs or the breaking of the trail for Military Working Dogs USMC protocol.
I was at Lackland AFB in the 60's and worked at the Sentry Dog Kennel while awaiting Air Police Tech. School. Several times I witnessed a handler who was being discharged after his enlistment, spend days and nights with his dog before their heart breaking departure. More often I saw the Handler re-enlist rather than leave his best friend.
Mike, you and Rex are special Marines! Thank you for your service securing the freedom that I can continue to enjoy with my family and my best friend, my Lab "Colby" I wish the best for Megan and Rex in their retirement.
I thought the book was very well-written - but I didn't have huge expectations going in, since I knew nothing about the authors. I didn't mind the switches from personal to military, from past to present - but maybe that's because I've read a fair amount of fiction that does that kind of jumping around. I agree with another reviewer that it would have been great to learn more about Rex's life in the military post-Mike, especially the incident in which Rex and his handler were injured, but I suppose that wasn't Mr. Dowling's story to tell.
If you love German shepherds, if you marvel at the things they can do, if you want a glimpse into a career you can't even imagine, then you'll probably enjoy this book. If you're looking for perfect prose, hope for John McPhee to write a book about military working dogs - that would be something! Now, I've got to go rub a puppy tummy.