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Secret Service Dogs: The Heroes Who Protect the President of the United States

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In an age fraught with terrorism, United States Secret Service canine teams risk their lives to safeguard the president, vice president, their families, visiting heads of state, and a host of others. Unprecedented access to these heroic dog teams has allowed a fascinating first-time-ever look at a very special breed of heroes. Wherever the president goes, there will be dogs In an age fraught with terrorism, United States Secret Service canine teams risk their lives to safeguard the president, vice president, their families, visiting heads of state, and a host of others. Unprecedented access to these heroic dog teams has allowed a fascinating first-time-ever look at a very special breed of heroes. Wherever the president goes, there will be dogs. They’ll be there no matter what the country or state. They’ll be there regardless of the political climate, the danger level, the weather, or the hour. “If you let down your guard on the job,” says Special Agent Bill G., canine program manager, “it can change the history of the world.” It’s a burden Secret Service dog handlers take extremely seriously regardless of their specialty. Tactical dog handlers on the White House lawn, handlers whose dogs sniff for explosives around the world, and those who walk their amiable floppy-eared dogs up and down Pennsylvania Avenue all live one common mantra: Not on my watch. Or my dog’s. Secret Service Dogs immerses readers into the heart of this elite world of canine teams who protect first families, popes, and presidential candidates: the selection of dogs and handlers, their year-round training, their missions around the world, and, most important, the bond—the glue that holds the teams together and can mean the difference between finding bombs and terrorists or letting them slip by. “These animals will gladly run into a hail of gunfire,” says '"Stew," a Secret Service ERT tactical canine unit supervisor. “All they ask in return is for their handlers to throw the ball with them, pet them, and talk to them in an embarrassingly high voice.” Secret Service Dogs celebrates the Secret Service’s most unforgettable canine heroes. It is a must-read for fans of Maria Goodavage, anyone who wants a rare inside view of the United States Secret Service, or just loves dogs.


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In an age fraught with terrorism, United States Secret Service canine teams risk their lives to safeguard the president, vice president, their families, visiting heads of state, and a host of others. Unprecedented access to these heroic dog teams has allowed a fascinating first-time-ever look at a very special breed of heroes. Wherever the president goes, there will be dogs In an age fraught with terrorism, United States Secret Service canine teams risk their lives to safeguard the president, vice president, their families, visiting heads of state, and a host of others. Unprecedented access to these heroic dog teams has allowed a fascinating first-time-ever look at a very special breed of heroes. Wherever the president goes, there will be dogs. They’ll be there no matter what the country or state. They’ll be there regardless of the political climate, the danger level, the weather, or the hour. “If you let down your guard on the job,” says Special Agent Bill G., canine program manager, “it can change the history of the world.” It’s a burden Secret Service dog handlers take extremely seriously regardless of their specialty. Tactical dog handlers on the White House lawn, handlers whose dogs sniff for explosives around the world, and those who walk their amiable floppy-eared dogs up and down Pennsylvania Avenue all live one common mantra: Not on my watch. Or my dog’s. Secret Service Dogs immerses readers into the heart of this elite world of canine teams who protect first families, popes, and presidential candidates: the selection of dogs and handlers, their year-round training, their missions around the world, and, most important, the bond—the glue that holds the teams together and can mean the difference between finding bombs and terrorists or letting them slip by. “These animals will gladly run into a hail of gunfire,” says '"Stew," a Secret Service ERT tactical canine unit supervisor. “All they ask in return is for their handlers to throw the ball with them, pet them, and talk to them in an embarrassingly high voice.” Secret Service Dogs celebrates the Secret Service’s most unforgettable canine heroes. It is a must-read for fans of Maria Goodavage, anyone who wants a rare inside view of the United States Secret Service, or just loves dogs.

30 review for Secret Service Dogs: The Heroes Who Protect the President of the United States

  1. 4 out of 5

    Woman Reading

    3.5 stars for just a glimpse of its titanium teeth The U.S. Secret Service was created in 1865 as the in-house enforcement division for the U.S. Treasury. Today, it is most associated with the protection of the US President (POTUS), which it didn’t take up full time until President McKinley was assassinated in 1901. Dogs were added to the Secret Service mix of agents and its Uniformed Division in 1976. Goodavage provided only a broad look at the Secret Service Dogs as integrity of security operati 3.5 stars for just a glimpse of its titanium teeth The U.S. Secret Service was created in 1865 as the in-house enforcement division for the U.S. Treasury. Today, it is most associated with the protection of the US President (POTUS), which it didn’t take up full time until President McKinley was assassinated in 1901. Dogs were added to the Secret Service mix of agents and its Uniformed Division in 1976. Goodavage provided only a broad look at the Secret Service Dogs as integrity of security operations needed to be maintained in order for her to gain access to the agency. Just like the employees who become their handlers, the dogs are chosen for similar character traits in order to meet the agency’s motto of “worthy of trust and confidence.” The chosen dogs have two potential career tracks as they’re either with the Emergency Response Team (ERT is the SWAT-equivalent) or work in the detection of explosives and their components. The ERT dogs tend to be Belgian Malinois or German Shepherd Dogs, both chosen for intelligence, focus, obedience, and the “on” switch. The dogs who are trained in explosives have a longer curriculum, details of which are not disclosed. These dogs are also selected for their intelligence, obedience and focus, but some are required to appear “disarming” compared with the Malinois and German Shepherd. These “floppy-eared” dogs, the Labradors and spaniels, are perceived as less threatening as they sniff out explosives while wending their way through crowds. Goodavage began and ended Secret Service Dogs with handler Marshall and the Malinois Hurricane. Hurricane is the one who was fitted with titanium teeth due to dental health issues that would have impaired his work on the ERT. In between, she included stories of how the dogs became a vital component of the POTUS protection, a history of visits to the White House, and the work that they do abroad as they follow the POTUS. Overall, Secret Service Dogs offered a tantalizing and then emotional glimpse of the dogs and their handlers. The book seemed to provide a steady read in the first half of the book (for a solid 4 star rating) but then meandered a bit in the last third with the stories that pull at any dog lover’s heart.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Trish

    I really like dogs, maybe because they can be so loyal. They are so smart and so dumb at the same time that they are an unending source of intrigue. They are one link to the animal world that doesn't seem so remote as other pets can be. And I am intrigued with highly trained dogs, either in agility or in searching. Somehow I get the feeling that they probably love exercising to the limits of their abilities. The ones that don’t like this stretching of their skills probably don’t make the cut for I really like dogs, maybe because they can be so loyal. They are so smart and so dumb at the same time that they are an unending source of intrigue. They are one link to the animal world that doesn't seem so remote as other pets can be. And I am intrigued with highly trained dogs, either in agility or in searching. Somehow I get the feeling that they probably love exercising to the limits of their abilities. The ones that don’t like this stretching of their skills probably don’t make the cut for difficult jobs. The Belgian Malinois breed is the most common dog used for Secret Service training. They look like German Shepherds but have shorter hair and tend to weigh less. It is the only breed of dog used for the Emergency Response Team (ERT). Some dogs that are part of the Explosive Detection Team (EDT) are also Personnel Screening Canines (PSC) (all PSC are EDT), a job which is used in public buildings like the White House to check visitors. Some dogs are trained to walk through crowds and must have a measure of sociability as part of their natures. These are called Personnel Screening Canines Open Area (PSCO), or Friendly Dogs, or Floppy-eared Dogs: dogs which do not inspire fear. These dogs are often not German Shepherds or Belgian Malinois. Selection of officers and canines for the relatively few dog units is very competitive, and it is usual in the Secret Service that an officer retires when his dog does, allowing other interested candidates to take a turn within that group. A few unusual dog handlers have been exempted from this rule, but it is rare. I have an advance e-book of this title, access granted through Netgalley, so I am not sure my reading experience will be the same as others who will purchase this title. There are lots of anecdotes and information in this book, too much really, and there is an unforgivable lack of organization that makes one feel as though one is wading through vast swathes of unedited and out-of-order interviews. Because I am interested in the material, I managed to get through it, but it was an exasperating struggle. On the other hand, reading the manuscript is excellent practice for an aspiring editor to see what is involved in producing a decent piece of work from massive amounts of lightly-handled raw material. Whipping this manuscript into shape would require a huge investment of time and skills, but the end result could be worthwhile. It might even get you a job with a publisher, if you shared the before and after.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Aisling

    I'm torn about this book because the topic was fascinating but the disorganization was annoying. The author is great at making it all relate-able and endearing but there was no consistent presentation and it was more like picking up 15 different magazine articles about the topic. Toward the end there were too many heart-tugging, dogs-who-died stories (we get it--handlers become attached to these amazing beasts). The best parts of the books were discussing selection of the dogs, the actual nuts a I'm torn about this book because the topic was fascinating but the disorganization was annoying. The author is great at making it all relate-able and endearing but there was no consistent presentation and it was more like picking up 15 different magazine articles about the topic. Toward the end there were too many heart-tugging, dogs-who-died stories (we get it--handlers become attached to these amazing beasts). The best parts of the books were discussing selection of the dogs, the actual nuts and bolts of their jobs (e.g. how they are trained or transported by car/ plane) and the incidents were they did stop intruders. 4 stars for content, 3 for presentation.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Kim. E.

    This book, at onset, appears to focus on the process these officers undergo to protect the president of the United States, and does so to the most part. However, time circles within himself, as does the stories about particular handlers and their relationship to their canine partners. The pride and honor that both the human and the canine partner take in protecting the White House, it's occupants, and the world nearby is one of deep pride and one they take a deeper responsibility in than most of This book, at onset, appears to focus on the process these officers undergo to protect the president of the United States, and does so to the most part. However, time circles within himself, as does the stories about particular handlers and their relationship to their canine partners. The pride and honor that both the human and the canine partner take in protecting the White House, it's occupants, and the world nearby is one of deep pride and one they take a deeper responsibility in than most of us will ever understand. Learning how these dogs are selected and trained initially in Indiana, then the extra training they undergo once they are selected for the White House and secret service is deeply examined in this book, and one I really learned and was impressed by. I've been to the White House, but not since a special team was held behind a curtain as guests entered, a fan gently blowing their odor over to this secret room specially trained to notice bomb or other equally dangerous smells that could kill silently. Or that there are some dogs purposely placed around the area within tourists as another level of supervision, considering that these teams looked friendly and warming to the tourists. This book examined some of the failures in security, such as when a man actually reached the inside of the White House 10 minutes after President Obama and his daughters flew off the grounds, or about a couple other fence jumpers that were covered by the news around the world. The handlers did not shy away from how deeply ashamed they were on these laxes, and the entire secret service underwent hours of examination for causes and ways to improve. Despite current popularity to jest or criticize these departments, it is clear how much day and night these workers take to ensure there is no success in a breach. The personal relationship between the canine officers and their partners is explored in depth, and emotional at times, but if I had a choice, I would want one of these teams next to me every day of my life.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Onceinabluemoon

    Love a good canine story! Ok, stories, our favorite unsung heroes.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Bea

    I love reading stories about dogs, always have. I also enjoyed Goodavage's previous book, "Top Dog: The Story of Marine Hero Lucca" so reading this was a no-brainer. I was curious, and excited, to learn more about the dogs who protect the president and the president's family. I did learn about that but it was disjointed and disorganized, There was no organization; she jumped around and meandered. The book lacked focus; the broad subject of the Secret Service canine unit was the overall focus but I love reading stories about dogs, always have. I also enjoyed Goodavage's previous book, "Top Dog: The Story of Marine Hero Lucca" so reading this was a no-brainer. I was curious, and excited, to learn more about the dogs who protect the president and the president's family. I did learn about that but it was disjointed and disorganized, There was no organization; she jumped around and meandered. The book lacked focus; the broad subject of the Secret Service canine unit was the overall focus but she had trouble narrowing it down and examining the topic. It got confusing at times. I also missed pictures. I understand that there were security reasons for the lack but they were missed nonetheless. On the plus side, we meet many dogs and handlers, current (at the time of writing) and former. The dogs are varied and full of personality and the insights from agents and handlers, both on the dogs and their work, was fascinating. Goodavage was granted access to people and materials and fills the book with details. But there was also a frustrating lack of details on certain aspects of the work. Again, understandable for security reasons but the lack was strong. On the flip side, towards the end of the book, Goodavage goes overboard with heartrending details concerning the illnesses and deaths of some Service dogs. "Secret Service Dogs" needed better organization and less pulling of the heart strings, but it was an interesting, sometimes informative, look at the Secret Service, what it is and isn't, and the many ways they make use of dogs. I have new respect for the dogs and the people who work with them.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Pamela Kramer

    “Secret Service Dogs: The Heroes Who Protect the President of the United States” by Maria Goodavage is not just a book about a few impressive dogs. Goodavage interviews the handlers, as well as those who began the canine program in the Secret Service, and she shares the stories in a way that is incredibly fascinating, very touching, and very real. The readers meet Hurricane, who “thrives on belly rubs.” Hurricane is the dog who became a hero when there was an intruder on the lawn of the White Hou “Secret Service Dogs: The Heroes Who Protect the President of the United States” by Maria Goodavage is not just a book about a few impressive dogs. Goodavage interviews the handlers, as well as those who began the canine program in the Secret Service, and she shares the stories in a way that is incredibly fascinating, very touching, and very real. The readers meet Hurricane, who “thrives on belly rubs.” Hurricane is the dog who became a hero when there was an intruder on the lawn of the White House. His handler, Marshall, had to trust that Hurricane would pass by the other agents and get the intruder. In spite of being repeatedly punched, he didn’t give up. When Hurricane finally got hold of one arm, another agent sent in his dog who took hold of the other arm — and the intruder finally gave up. Read the complete review at: Secret Service Dogs

  8. 4 out of 5

    Lisa McCubbin

    Excellent book about the K-9 unit of the Secret Service and its importance to the mission.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Christie Bane

    How could I not love this book? It's about working dogs! The only way it could have failed with me was if the author wasn't a good writer, and she IS a good writer. This book describes the selection, training, and daily routines of the dogs used by the Secret Service. Naturally I was comparing their work to guide dogs' work. It is very different. For one thing, it's an entirely different type of dog. They want the dogs with insane drive and relentless, full-speed-ahead courage; we want moderate- How could I not love this book? It's about working dogs! The only way it could have failed with me was if the author wasn't a good writer, and she IS a good writer. This book describes the selection, training, and daily routines of the dogs used by the Secret Service. Naturally I was comparing their work to guide dogs' work. It is very different. For one thing, it's an entirely different type of dog. They want the dogs with insane drive and relentless, full-speed-ahead courage; we want moderate-energy dogs that settle well and don't require extraordinary management. Another difference is that these dogs may very well go their entire careers without ever being called upon to do what they've been trained to do, whereas a guide dog does what it's been trained to do nearly every single day of its working life. These handlers are top-notch in every way, while our dogs' handlers are generally average people with a range of dog handling ability. The way in which these dogs are similar to our dogs is that... working dogs are cool. They just are. Just think, with all the progress humans have made in conquering the world, we still can't design anything better for herding sheep or finding bombs or guiding blind people than the dog. And even more incredible, dogs want to work with us! I don't think I will ever take that for granted, whether we're talking about guide dogs, detection dogs, protection dogs, or sheep dogs.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Lori

    I won this book in the giveaways on goodreads. I am a big dog lover so this was an interesting book to read. These dogs are the service dogs that protect the White House. Although some of this book does talk about actually being at the White House or protecting the presidents outside of the grounds, It also talks of other subjects involving the dogs. like the work it takes to find the right dog for training and all the training involved in getting the dogs ready. The relationship between the tra I won this book in the giveaways on goodreads. I am a big dog lover so this was an interesting book to read. These dogs are the service dogs that protect the White House. Although some of this book does talk about actually being at the White House or protecting the presidents outside of the grounds, It also talks of other subjects involving the dogs. like the work it takes to find the right dog for training and all the training involved in getting the dogs ready. The relationship between the trainer and dog. The heartbreak when one of the dogs dies. A pretty good read if you want to learn more about dogs who protect the president of the USA.

  11. 4 out of 5

    CL

    ARC received from: Netgalley Rating: 5* One-Sentence Summary: The story of Secret Service dogs and their handlers Review: This book was full of interesting, funny and heartbreaking doggy stories set against the backdrop of protecting the President. A must-read for all canine lovers! ARC received from: Netgalley Rating: 5* One-Sentence Summary: The story of Secret Service dogs and their handlers Review: This book was full of interesting, funny and heartbreaking doggy stories set against the backdrop of protecting the President. A must-read for all canine lovers!

  12. 5 out of 5

    Melissa Michelle

    It's a really great book. I love reading books about animals, especially those who are in the military, in the police department, and in the Secret Service! It was a great read and I would definitely read it again! Highly recommended!

  13. 4 out of 5

    Kimberly Burton

    You will cry the ugly cry...amazing!

  14. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer

    Enjoyable quick read about the dogs used in the Secret Service.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Sheila

    All dogs are heroes

  16. 5 out of 5

    Jordan Larsen

    From award-winning author Maria Goodavage, best known for her ground-breaking literary work in “Soldier Dogs” paying homage to Military Working Dogs and their handlers; now comes a rare and unprecedented glimpse into the reclusive and clandestine world of an elite fraternity of valiant dogs and stalwart handlers. Their job is one of the most important in the working dog community; one that requires the utmost vigilance and unwavering dedication to duty, protecting the most important man on earth From award-winning author Maria Goodavage, best known for her ground-breaking literary work in “Soldier Dogs” paying homage to Military Working Dogs and their handlers; now comes a rare and unprecedented glimpse into the reclusive and clandestine world of an elite fraternity of valiant dogs and stalwart handlers. Their job is one of the most important in the working dog community; one that requires the utmost vigilance and unwavering dedication to duty, protecting the most important man on earth the President of the United States. Enter “Secret Service Dogs: The Heroes Who Protect the President of the United States.” Established in 1975 and supported by famed Secret Service Agent Clint Hill who ran into the line of fire during the infamous John F. Kennedy Assassination. The Secret Service needed a reliable and versatile safety net to shield the President, the First Family as well as heads of state from a litany of nefarious threats across the country and around the world. Hence the Olympic Gold Medalists of Protection, the Secret Service’s elite K-9 Unit attached to the Emergency Response Team (ERT). Maria Goodavage takes the reader on a journey which includes training at the Service’s renowned Rowley Training Center (RTC), in-depth first-hand accounts by former and active duty handlers, and harrowing moments at home and abroad maintaining an impenetrable bubble around the President 24/7. These canine bodyguards are ready for any contingency should the need arise to deploy a trained dog against a would-be intruder on the White House grounds, a cunning bomber planting explosives around crowded venues or an Al-Qaeda suicide bomber lurking in the shadows waiting for the perfect opportunity to strike and deal a mighty blow to freedom and democracy. This is the world of a Secret Service Canine. From a brazened fence jumper, to an attempt by a demon-possessed Lunatic who wanted to kill President Obama’s dogs and comical moments for the ERT’s K-9 Unit putting up with the hilarious antics of George W. Bush’s terrier Barney. Life as a Secret Service Dog with ERT is never a dull moment. This book has it all! Apart from training and challenging situations protecting the White House grounds, author Maria Goodavage also paints an intimate portrait of the bond forged between a noble dog and his devoted handler. Like their counterparts in law enforcement and the military, Secret Service Dogs are not immune to illnesses or serious injuries which can leave their handlers struggling with the hard decision to retire their dog or take him to the vet one last time to say goodbye. This book also delves into the tremendous physical demands of a Secret Service K-9 Handler from horrendous dog bites to sprained ankles, neck and back injuries; it’s all in a day’s work for the President’s canine bodyguards. I was fortunate enough to find this book on Audible and after listening to it, it’s worth every penny! If you’re a fan of “Soldier Dogs” or “Top Dog” then this book is the perfect companion to meet a new breed of hero, America’s four-legged guardians of freedom.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Kyle Tapper

    Title: Secret Service Dogs: The Heroes Who Protect the President of the United States Author: Maria Goodavage Date of Publication: October 25th 2016 Genre: Biography Setting: The setting of this book is Washington, D.C. around the White House. Main Characters: the main characters of this book are the secret service dogs and their handlers that serve the White House. Brief Plot Summary: The book, Secret Service Dogs, The Heroes Who Protect the President of the United States is a book about the service Title: Secret Service Dogs: The Heroes Who Protect the President of the United States Author: Maria Goodavage Date of Publication: October 25th 2016 Genre: Biography Setting: The setting of this book is Washington, D.C. around the White House. Main Characters: the main characters of this book are the secret service dogs and their handlers that serve the White House. Brief Plot Summary: The book, Secret Service Dogs, The Heroes Who Protect the President of the United States is a book about the service dogs of the White House and their handlers. Each chapter discusses a different service dog and their handler. The book goes in depth about the kennel that the dogs come from, the initial training they go through and the intensive training the handler and service dog do together. It was very interesting to know and understand the different types of service dogs that service the White House. There are 3 different type of dogs, explosive detection dogs, personnel screening canines and friendly dogs. Each type of dog is trained differently. Also, each category of dog needs to look differently. For example, the bomb sniffing dogs are typically German Shepherd or Malinois. The friendly dogs typically have floppy ears as these dogs protect the outside gates of the White House. These friendly dogs need to appeal to the public and not be intimidating to people. All these dogs also become the handler's family dogs and go home with the handlers every day. Therefore, it is very important that the bond is strong between the service dog and the handler. The dogs also go on international missions that the President go on to help protect the President. Central Themes: The theme of this book is hard work, dedication and training pays off in the end. Personal response: My personal opinion of the book was it was a good read. I liked that the chapters were about different topics and characters. It was easy to follow along within the book. Also, I am studying veterinary science in school so it was interesting to read about the training of the different types of White House service dogs. Having visited the White House several times, it was interesting to get an inside view of the background of the service dogs. I enjoyed reading about the traveling the service dogs do as well. The one aspect of the book that I did not like, was the deaths of many of the dogs both in service and of old age.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Lisa

    A miss-mash of tales about the Secret Service's canine units. Listening has proven a bigger attention challenge because of the writer/editor's lack of cohesive structure. Many different human-canine partners are introduced, then disappear, to reappear later without reason. Another review pointed out this confusion, seemingly a lack of structure in organizing this truly fascinating data about a deliberately obscure security team assigned to protect the presidential family. For example: our book o A miss-mash of tales about the Secret Service's canine units. Listening has proven a bigger attention challenge because of the writer/editor's lack of cohesive structure. Many different human-canine partners are introduced, then disappear, to reappear later without reason. Another review pointed out this confusion, seemingly a lack of structure in organizing this truly fascinating data about a deliberately obscure security team assigned to protect the presidential family. For example: our book opens with one agent awoken by his atypically anxious dog on the day of their big mission... always listen to your dog, mister... they go to the White House, sit in the van, hours count down to.... Several chapters interrupt about dogs' training, agent bonding, more war stories, losses in the field and at home. The same feelings of grief in losing a family member when a dog dies is compounded by the loss of a job and partner since these two-agent teams work together under high stress conditions and losing one partner necessitates the reassignment of the other. All information is delivered in a riveting manner, demanding the reader's attention. Except the chapters don't flow into each other, leaving the reader unbalanced and adrift on a fascinating info-sea. Honestly I'm writing this review halfway through the book because it is a pick-up whenever narrative since there's no throughstory to care about. The topic is ripe for adaptation into a series, reality or fictionalized, a reboot of Run-Tin-Tin must surely be on the way. That structure might help these brave soldiers shine more in their very deserved spotlight.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Luke Mohamed

    An easy read, but the book seemed poorly organized. It feels like fifty, sometimes unrelated, stories were randomly assembled into the book. That said, you can pick up and read most chapters without any required context of before/after.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Roberta

    Five stars for the dogs but only three stars for the book. The dogs and their handlers are beyond amazing. What bothered me is that there didn't seem to be any decision whether related incidents would be grouped together or would be presented more chronologically. Some stories were broken up so the reader only got a piece of it with no indication how or where it would end but, in at least one chapter, incidents that were unrelated in time or place were all lumped together. Chapter 16 Warning (vi Five stars for the dogs but only three stars for the book. The dogs and their handlers are beyond amazing. What bothered me is that there didn't seem to be any decision whether related incidents would be grouped together or would be presented more chronologically. Some stories were broken up so the reader only got a piece of it with no indication how or where it would end but, in at least one chapter, incidents that were unrelated in time or place were all lumped together. Chapter 16 Warning (view spoiler)[Most of the dogs in chapter 16 die (a couple are only seriously injured). Any review that just said "It was a fun read!" I wonder if they actually read all the way to the end of the book. (hide spoiler)] I was interested in reading this book because I watched a Secret Service dog and his handler at work once (not a demonstration) and I was fascinated by the whole process, but we were not allowed to get near the dog or speak to the handler so I never found out any more about them.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Ruth Ann

    Great narrative non-fiction from author Maria Goodavage as she tells the stories of several Secret Service Emergency Response Team handlers and their dogs. The most moving chapters are 13 and beyond. Leth O. is a Cambodian refugee. Chap. 13 gives a succinct look at not only his devastating story, but the background of the Khmer Rouge invasion of Cambodia and Leth's love for dogs. Chap. 14-17 give an in depth look at more key handlers and their dogs. Best quote: By the time a Secret Service dog p Great narrative non-fiction from author Maria Goodavage as she tells the stories of several Secret Service Emergency Response Team handlers and their dogs. The most moving chapters are 13 and beyond. Leth O. is a Cambodian refugee. Chap. 13 gives a succinct look at not only his devastating story, but the background of the Khmer Rouge invasion of Cambodia and Leth's love for dogs. Chap. 14-17 give an in depth look at more key handlers and their dogs. Best quote: By the time a Secret Service dog passes, a handler will probably have been with him or her for several years, and nearly 24/7 - far more than most pets and their people. "It's like losing part of your soul," says one handler. "The best part." (p. __)

  22. 4 out of 5

    Mike

    When we think of dogs we think of those creatures who are our best friends, who welcome us home and who give us unconditional love. For some, dogs are protection, even helpers in the fields....this book shows another side of dogs...as protector but as guard to the highest offices in the US...yes the president of the US and other important figures in Washington DC. Maria Goodavage does an excellent job of telling the stories of several dogs (and their handlers) and how they handle guarding some of When we think of dogs we think of those creatures who are our best friends, who welcome us home and who give us unconditional love. For some, dogs are protection, even helpers in the fields....this book shows another side of dogs...as protector but as guard to the highest offices in the US...yes the president of the US and other important figures in Washington DC. Maria Goodavage does an excellent job of telling the stories of several dogs (and their handlers) and how they handle guarding some of our most important people in the US. From their role as guards to how they go about their job, this book tells the good, the bad, and even the sad endings of these canines.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Jessica

    This was my favorite book of all of them so far because it offered a glimpse into the world of something that I have always been curious about. I love animals in general, so this book was sure to be loved by me. I loved the way that the author combined multiple true stories from many different dogs and their handlers to make this book. I also loved this book because I learned a lot of new things. I think that I liked this book so much because I found everything to be interesting. Of all of the b This was my favorite book of all of them so far because it offered a glimpse into the world of something that I have always been curious about. I love animals in general, so this book was sure to be loved by me. I loved the way that the author combined multiple true stories from many different dogs and their handlers to make this book. I also loved this book because I learned a lot of new things. I think that I liked this book so much because I found everything to be interesting. Of all of the books that I have ever read, this was one of the ones that I desperately wanted it to go on forever.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Alesia

    This book was everything I needed it to be right now in my life. It had history of the country, secret service, the white house, the presidents, and the dogs and their handlers. Most important through I need to hear that I wasn't crazy because I am still grieving my fur baby almost a year after his passing. I needed to know that the bond that we shared was truly something special by hearing the stories of these courageous heroes who have had that same special bond with their dogs. It is such a s This book was everything I needed it to be right now in my life. It had history of the country, secret service, the white house, the presidents, and the dogs and their handlers. Most important through I need to hear that I wasn't crazy because I am still grieving my fur baby almost a year after his passing. I needed to know that the bond that we shared was truly something special by hearing the stories of these courageous heroes who have had that same special bond with their dogs. It is such a special bond that the service has a one and done policy. Great book and i recommend it to everyone.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Kathy

    I really liked this book. I participate in a dog sport called nose work and our training resembles the training that these teams go through but not nearly as intense because we aren't training for life or death situations. We're just in it for the fun of finding odors! As a dog owner, and a competitor in nose work, I could relate to much of what they are doing to build a team with your canine partner.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Cathyann

    I loved this book! These animals are amazing and reach right out and grab your heart. Prior to reading the book I had no idea of the involvement of dogs in the secret service, nor the extent of training. These dogs are talented, tenacious and heroic in their protection of the President and other leaders.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Jenna Lynn

    It has been a while since I've read a book about working dogs, and this one was great! The stories are nicely woven together to create a nice narrative about both the dogs and their handlers. It was also informative without being too dry. However, be prepared for a few tearful moments here and there. It tends to happen in dog books.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Marian Tustison O'Connor

    3.5 i loved the stories about the dogs and handlers and could have listened ( usef audiobook version) to many many more. or more about the training selection process of dogs/handlers. i didnt understand or particularly like the pages of trivia like the circus history of town next to dog kennel or the big cheese day, etc.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Teresa Biggie

    I really enjoyed this book. It was a quick read. I liked the behind the scenes stories of the dogs and their handlers.... it was a bit unorganized. I like the training stories and the end chapters were heart wretching with dog deaths..... you know that they and everyone must die but it just seemed like it was all in one place in the book. I will now look for other books by the same author

  30. 4 out of 5

    Mrs Mommy Booknerd http://mrsmommybooknerd.blogspot.com

    I love dogs and I find their talents remarkable. This book is an in depth look at the service dogs that do the important job of protecting the President of the United States. This book is packed with stories, pictures and personal accounts. It was such an interesting and fascinating read. I think if you don't love dogs as much as me you will certainly still enjoy it very much!

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