We've got a slideshow of images from Maria Goodavage's new book Top Dog: The Story of Marine Hero Lucca. The book tells the story of Lucca, a German Shepherd mix trained to sniff out IEDS, and her legendary exploits alongside handlers Marine Staff Sergeant Chris Willingham and Corporal Juan Rodriguez . Top Dog is a sequel to Goodavage's 2012 bestseller Soldier Dogs: The Untold Story of America's Canine Heroes.
The book follows Lucca's sometimes-difficult training and her maturation into one of the most accomplished bomb-sniffing dogs in the U.S. military, with hundreds of missions outside the wire with Willingham during two combat deployments in Iraq.
Lucca is reassigned to work with Rodriguez and the two are deployed to Afghanistan, where they work beside Green Berets and continue the good work. Unfortunately, as one Green Beret notes, "IEDs are like snakes. You keep messing with them and you're going to get bit." Lucca survives an explosion but loses a leg and can no longer serve.
Willingham adopted Lucca and the two now travel the country as ambassadors for wounded warriors and military working dogs. Check out images from Lucca's storied career below.