Review: Paws to Protect Dogs Saving Lives and Restoring Hope
Bueche is a nonfiction book reviewer for Book Pleasures
and a number of other media-related outlets. She enjoys reading memoirs, books
Author: Sharon Saxson
Publisher’s Name: Alyson Books
Dogs have never been so widely used to protect human society as they are
today. They track live people and uncover dead bodies. At border crossings and airports, they sniff for drugs, bombs, and contraband. They act as scouts, trackers, messengers, booby trap locators, tunnelers, water patrol, lifeguards, search and rescue, and explosive detectors. The President of the United States does not go anywhere until the Secret Service has had dogs probe the area. These dogs are tireless and faithful workers. They ask little in return.
And with this brief introduction by author Sharon Saxson, the reader is hooked. Most of us are familiar with canine bravery stories especially from the burning twin towers on 9/11, but how many of us know the story of Blackie, the “toughest dog in Da Nang”? In 1965 after an attack on a U.S. military base in Da Nang (a port city in Vietnam), the American military conducted an experiment and sent canine teams to determine their usefulness. The program was a great success to such a point that the bounty put on war dogs by the Vietnamese was twice the amount for killing an American soldier. Blackie was a large German shepherd working as a team with Sergeant Dunlap. Blackie saved his handler’s life many times, and Sgt. Dunlap had to leave him behind. Years later Dunlap was able to describe the unique bond he and his canine partner had, and Sharon Saxson shares their story in “Paws to Protect.”
Or Smokie, the “Yorkie in the jungle.” When Officer Bill Wynne first saw the little dog tied to the wheel of a truck in the motor pool garage for the Navy (in the South Pacific), he thought he wasn’t sure what kind of dog she was. But he offered two Australian pounds for the pitiful dog, afraid that she wouldn’t live much longer. But live and thrive, Smokie did and she became the mascot for the Twenty-Sixth Photo Recon with the Navy. After the war ended, Smokie and Billy returned to civilian life in the states. Smokie and Bill had their own television show, “Castles in the Air,” on Sunday mornings. Although Smokie is long gone, there is a bronze life-size sculpture of Smokie sitting in Bill’s helmet in the Cleveland Metroparks Rocky River reservation.
Blackie and Smokie’s stories are just two of the many little-known stories in this book of heroic dog tales, demonstrating once again the unyielding bond between man and man’s best friend.
Click Here To Find Out More and/or Purchase Paws to Protect: Dogs Saving Lives and Restoring Hope (Alyson Publications)