Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Book Review: "Until Tuesday: A Wounded Warrior and the Golden Retriever Who Saved Him"

"Until Tuesday" by Luis Carlos Montalvan
First published in 2011
My rating: 4.5 out of 5
(image source)

"Until Tuesday" is a tale both heartbreaking and heartwarming, told by former Army Capt. Luis Montalvan with the help of his service dog, a gorgeous and charismatic golden retriever named Tuesday.

Montalvan served two deployments during the brutal and horrific first years of the Iraq war and suffered not only physical injuries but -- perhaps worse -- crippling post-traumatic stress disorder resulting in extreme anxiety, agoraphobia and hypervigilance. His knee and back issues forced him to walk with a cane, and his traumatic brain injury caused balance issues and falls. Luis descended into depression, rarely leaving his Brooklyn apartment and drinking constantly to calm his nerves. Eventually, he hit rock bottom.

Meanwhile, Tuesday struggled in Puppies Behind Bars, a program through which inmates train service dogs. Back at ECAD, the service dog training facility where Tuesday was born, steps were taken to keep the dogs from bonding with one particular person so they'd create a firm, life-long bond with the disabled client they'd eventually be paired with. At the prison things were different, and Tuesday couldn't help but bond with his inmate trainer. And when the man was transferred to another prison a few months later, Tuesday, too, became depressed. He lost his enthusiasm and spunk, and refused to make an emotional connection with his next trainer.

But Tuesday survived, and when he was paired with Luis in 2008 Luis finally got the hope and help he needed to survive -- and eventually to thrive. Tuesday and Luis formed an amazing bond that supersedes even the most loving relationship between man and pet dog. This inspiring story educates readers on the harsh reality of war and its aftermath, and the tremendous impact a service dog can have in the life of a wounded warrior or any disabled person. And it shows that even when things look impossibly bleak, something -- a very special golden retriever, for instance -- can come along and change everything.

1 comment:

  1. This sounds like a great book with I'm sure a happy ending. Great review.


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