No Dog Left Behind by Elliott Garber

When I was five, my family got its first dog. We were incredibly fortunate, you see, because we got the best dog in the whole world. I know everyone says that, but I’m not lying. Our sweet, intelligent golden retriever became my best friend the moment we got him, and I have loved him fiercely every day since then. I have never cried harder than when I found out he had died. He’s been gone over a decade, but I still miss him more than you could imagine.

Because of this, I don’t like dog stories. I hate them, actually. They punch me in the gut and leave me feeling angry and sad and heartbroken because I never had the chance to say goodbye to my best friend. His absence is a hole in my heart that no other animal or person has ever been able to fill. I can’t even watch that episode of Futurama (you know the one) without bawling my eyes out. I ugly-cry every time. So when Elliott Garber’s No Dog Left Behind came across my desk, I really, really, really did not want to read it.

I’m glad I made myself read it anyways. No Dog Left Behind is a war story, about an army veterinarian and a German shepherd named Solo. I knew they used dogs in the military, but it never really occurred to me that there would be official army veterinarians to care for them. It makes sense, and also probably reveals how naive I can be when it comes to certain aspects of war. I want to call this story sweet, but that feels wrong. There are parts of this which are brutal. It’s war. People die. Dogs go missing. It’s hard.

I look forward to more stores about Cole McBride and Solo. I’ve been told there will be more. We should be so fortunate.

No Dog Left Behind by Elliott Garber is available for $2.99 on Amazon. The author is also an active member of the US military as an army veterinarian.

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