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Secret Service Dogs:
The Heroes Who Protect the President of the United States
by: Maria Goodavage

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About the Book

In an age fraught with terrorism, United States Secret Service canine teams risk their lives to safeguard the president, vice president, their families, visiting heads of state, and a host of others. Unprecedented access to these heroic dog teams has allowed a fascinating first-time-ever look at a very special breed of heroes.

Wherever the president goes, there will be dogs. They’ll be there no matter what the country or state. They’ll be there regardless of the political climate, the danger level, the weather, or the hour. 
“If you let down your guard on the job,” says Special Agent Bill G., canine program manager, “it can change the history of the world.” It’s a burden Secret Service dog handlers take extremely seriously regardless of their specialty. Tactical dog handlers on the White House lawn, handlers whose dogs sniff for explosives around the world, and those who walk their amiable floppy-eared dogs up and down Pennsylvania Avenue all live one common mantra: Not on my watch. Or my dog’s.
Secret Service Dogs immerses readers into the heart of this elite world of canine teams who protect first families, popes, and presidential candidates: the selection of dogs and handlers, their year-round training, their missions around the world, and, most important, the bond—the glue that holds the teams together and can mean the difference between finding bombs and terrorists or letting them slip by. 
“These animals will gladly run into a hail of gunfire,” says “Stew,” a Secret Service ERT tactical canine unit supervisor. “All they ask in return is for their handlers to throw the ball with them, pet them, and talk to them in an embarrassingly high voice.” 
Secret Service Dogs celebrates the Secret Service’s most unforgettable canine heroes. It is a must-read for fans of Maria Goodavage, anyone who wants a rare inside view of the United States Secret Service, or just loves dogs.

“As a guide dog user and survivor of the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center in 2001, I appreciate and understand the value of the teamwork and trust that bind a canine unit such as those portrayed in Secret Service Dogs. This book is a must read not only for anyone who wishes to better understand dogs, but also because it is just a really good story. Maria Goodavage captured me right from page one. As Larry King said about my own book, Thunder Dog, ‘This is a page turner’. After reading Secret Service Dogs you will have a new and stronger appreciation for how to build a relationship with your own animal colleagues and friends. Enjoy. The read is well worth your time.”

—Michael Hingson, The New York Times #1 bestselling author of Thunder Dog


“It has been said that the best nonfiction books are those that reveal a hidden world to the reader: A place they wouldn't otherwise be able to experience. Maria Goodavage's Secret Service Dogs is that kind of book – a well-researched and compelling read not only for dog lovers, but anyone interested in seeing high-level White House security operations from an insider's perspective.”

—Gerald Petievich, former U.S. Secret Service special agent, author of To Live and Die in LA
The Sentinel, and other Secret Service novels.


Secret Service Dogs tells the incredible story of the fearless animals who put their lives on the line every day to protect the first family and the men and women of the Secret Service who love them. It is a heartwarming and compelling read that offers an inside look at the incredible bond between these dogs and their handlers — a uniquely American story of bravery, loyalty, and love.”

—Kate Andersen Brower, The New York Times #1 bestselling author of First Women and The Residence