Lucca the War Dog

Lucca the War Dog


Lucca K458 is a decorated and highly skilled military working dog who belonged to an elite group trained to work off-leash to sniff out deadly explosives. Her extraordinary skill and bond with dog handlers Chris Willingham and Juan Rodriguez resulted in a legendary 400-mission career. During this time, she served alongside both Special Forces and regular infantry, and became so sought-after that platoons frequently requested her by name.

Lucca the War Dog is the gritty and gripping account of Lucca's adventures on and off the battlefields, including tense, lifesaving explosives finds and rooftop firefights, as well as the bravery of fellow handlers and dogs she served with. But it's also the tale of a bond between Lucca and her handlers and how together they overcame the endless brutalities of war, including her own loss of a limb, and the traumas such violence can inflict.

Heartwarming and inspiring, Lucca the War Dog is a compelling portrait of modern warfare.


  • Packed with drama, action and emotion, Lucca the War Dog is an inspirational story of life, death, friendship and the eternal bond between humans and dogs, and a compelling portrait of modern warfare in all its grim reality.
    Clitheroe Advertiser & Times

About the author

Maria Goodavage

Veteran journalist Maria Goodavage is the author of the New York Times bestsellers Soldier Dogs: The Untold Story of America's Canine Heroes, Top Dog: The Story of Marine Hero Lucca and Secret Service Dogs: The Heroes Who Protect the President of the United States. She lives in San Francisco with her family and yellow Lab, Gus.
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