Protecting the President: The Dogs of the Secret Service are Heroes

Protecting the President: The Dogs of the Secret Service are Heroes

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Hurricane, a black Belgian Malinois, sits proudly in front of the White House. He and fellow canine, Jardan, were 2015 recipients of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Secretary’s Award for Valor.  (Photo courtesy of the U.S. Secret Service)

They work as hard as any other member of the United States Secret Service, with no concern for whether they are protecting a Democrat or Republican, but rather wholly focused on their duties which are often out of the sight lines of the general public…at least as far as the public knows.  Thousands of visitors stream through White House or walk along Pennsylvania Avenue and never realize these four-legged officers are on the job.
Secret Service dogs and handlers train extremely hard together Photo courtesy of the US Secret Service).

Secret Service dogs and handlers train extremely hard together. (Photo courtesy of the US Secret Service)

Maria Goodavage has offered up some rare and equally fascinating information about the amazing animals that are instrumental when it comes to the safety and security of our President and others, such as visiting heads of state, whom the Secret Service is tasked to protect.  Newly released, Secret Service Dogs provides an inside look at the men and the dogs who make up these teams who are nothing short of remarkable.
"Friendy Dogs" walk among the crowds outside the White House fence to sniff for explosives on people (Photo courtesy of Maria Goodavage).

“Friendly Dogs” walk among the crowds outside the White House fence to sniff for explosives on people. (Photo courtesy of Maria Goodavage).

The variety of jobs in which these handler/canine teams is also eye-opening, each with a specialty critical to national security. Whether working on bomb detection or appearing as “Friendly Dogs,” each role requires the highest level of both training and dedication to their specific objective.

Kim K. and her explosives sniffer Astra at work at a conference where the president will be speaking (photo courtesy of Maria Goodavage).

Kim K. and her explosives sniffer Astra at working at a conference where the president would later be speaking. (Photo courtesy of Maria Goodavage)

In fact, much of the information shared has never been told before, as by very definition of their positions, their experiences are not often learned.  An exception to that was an event that occurred at the White House in 2014 and put two dogs, Hurricane and Jardan, into the public eye with their heroics.  While the video below shows only a portion of the entire episode, the description in the book is a chilling look at the reality faced by the canines and their handlers every day, the dogs heroism was recognized by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Secretary’s Awards if 2015 with the Award for Valor.
Even more compelling than the rigorous training and schedule they keep, is the incredible bond the handlers and dogs have with one another. The range of personal stories, from humorous to heartbreaking, makes for an engrossing and highly entertaining read.
The love between handler and dog is deep and like no other. (Photo courtesy of "Stew")

The love between handler and dog is deep and like no other. (Photo courtesy of “Stew”)

If you are looking for a great read that delivers on every page or need the perfect gift for the dog lover or political fan, Secret Service Dogs, available at Amazon, Penguin Random House, Barnes & Noble, via Google Play, and many local retailers, may be just the ticket.

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