The New York Times bestselling author of Soldier Dogs returns with the incredible, moving story of K-9 Marine hero Lucca, and the handlers who fought alongside her through two bloody wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. In Top Dog, Maria Goodavage takes readers into the life of Lucca K458, a decorated and highly skilled military working dog. An extraordinary bond developed between Lucca and Marine Corps handler Chris Willingham, launching what became a legendary 400-mission career. A Specialized Search Dog, Lucca belongs to an elite group trained to work off-leash at long distances from her handler. She served alongside both Special Forces and regular infantry. She and Willingham became so sought-after that units scheduled missions around their availability. The book describes in gritty detail the team's adventures on and off the battlefields, including tense, lifesaving explosives finds and firefights as well as the bravery of fellow handlers and dogs they served with. Ultimately we see how the bond between Lucca and Willingham overcame the endless brutalities of war and the traumas this violence ignites. Here is a portrait of modern warfare with a heart-warming and inspiring conclusion that will touch dog lovers and the toughest military readers.
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