Thursday, September 8, 2011

Until Tuesday: A wounded warrior and the dog who saved him by Luis Carlos Montalvan

Tuesday is not only a day of the week, Tuesday is also the name of a service dog who saved his partners life by bringing him back from a life that was on the brink of collapsing due to the effects of PTSD, a traumatic brain injury, and other physical injuries that resulted from more than a decade of serving his country in the army.  Luis Carlos Montalvan saw action in Iraq that left him with injuries that were physical and psychological, like so many of the men and women who have served in the armed forces over the years. 

Like so many of those men and women he was also let down by the system when he returned to the States left to drift by a system that seemed designed to fail, unable to help the men and women who were often badly traumatised by what they had seen and done.  Unlike so many of those men and women though, Luis found a saving grace a Golden retriever named Tuesday who had his own issues to deal with.  As they learned to trust each other and work together, Luis and Tuesday were laying the foundations for a working partnership that would see them both come into their own, forming a bond that is unique to them, but also represents the best of all service dog partnerships.  This is both a heart-warming, and heart-breaking, account of the relationship of deep love, trust, and mutual affection that formed between a wounded warrior and an service dog that overcame his abandonment issues to become an example to everyone.

This is a truly touching, and deeply personal, account of two individuals who overcame obstacles and formed the kind of partnership that most people will never truly understand.  In the past five years there has been a trend in the book world to release autobiographies of people and the service and assistance dogs that have made an incredible difference in their lives.  It appears to have started with the emotional A friend like Henry and the account of a family that was brought from the brink of despair with a child with autism, to a family with hope after the intervention of a Golden retriever named Henry.  Shortly after came the release of other stories, each one an emotional rollercoaster ride that introduced individuals facing a variety of challenges and the dogs that entered their lives and seemed to work miracles in their shattered lives. 

Like other authors Luis has laid his life bare, being brutally honest about the circumstances that led to his PTSD and his need for Tuesday - at times that story is fragmented and seems to dive off course, but that is part of the experience and part of the core of this story about a man who was damaged through no fault of his own, who tried to save himself, but in the end needed saving.  It is also the story of Tuesday, a charming character in his own right who was placed in the Puppies Behind Bars programme, and working with a troubled teenager before finding a place with Luis.  This is Tuesday's story as well, a story that will touch everyone who reads it.

If you like this book then try:
  • A friend like Henry by Nuala Gardner
  • A dog named Slugger by Leigh Brill
  • Emma and I by Sheila Hocken
  • Partners for life: True stories of canine heroes by Jane Bidder
  • Endal by Sandra and Allen Parton
  • Let Buster lead by Deborah Dozier Potter
  • Puppy chow is better than Prozac by Bruce Goldstein
  • A puppy called Aero by Liam Creed

Reviewed by Brilla

No comments:

Post a Comment