Dogs of Courage is a tribute to the modern working dog written by the author of The Dogs of War.
To say that Lisa Rogak is a thorough and meticulous researcher is an understatement. At the end of the book are 13 pages of notations and 11 pages of resources.
But this is not a scholarly tome. It is an engaging portrayal of the roles dogs play in modern life. And in a sense it is also a tribute to human ingenuity that we can find so many ways to use our oldest friends to continue to advance western civilization.
Few dogs today work as shepherds, hunters, or pack animals, but Rogak shows how they have proven invaluable as police and fire dogs; search and rescue dogs; guide, service and therapy dogs; as well as medical and wildlife detection dogs and even entertainers.
The author covers the selection and training of working dogs and the daily accomplishments that dogs provide to make the world a better place to live. While some dogs cost thousands of dollars to train, other dogs continue to demonstrate courage and intelligence even though they are considered to be merely companion animals.
Interspersed among the book pages are stories of trained working dogs and dogs who just seemed to know what to do when a situation called for courage.
Toby the Golden Retriever pushed his choking owner to the ground and jumped up and down on her chest performing a doggie Heimlich maneuver to dislodge a piece of apple from her windpipe. Reagan the Yellow Lab saved the lives of newborn kittens who had been tossed in a bag and abandoned in the road.
Besides the information and antedotes there are also some full color pictures of dogs in training or working. This is a book any dog lover would enjoy reading. And even though she does bring up Old Yeller, there is no sad ending.