Friday, May 17, 2013

Until Tuesday, by Luis Carlos Montalvan

Until Tuesday: A Wounded Warrior and the Golden Retriever Who Saved Him, Luis Carlos Montalvan.  New York: Hyperion: 2011.  e-book, 234 pps.

Luis Carlos Montalvan has written a fine book about his relationship with his service dog Tuesday.  Montalvan was injured in Iraq.  He suffered a brain injury there, but not knowing any better-- neither did the medical doctors sad to say-- he went back.  Having acquired a hellish case of post-traumatic stress disorder along with a fractured back, he returned stateside.  He wasn't doing so well.

Tuesday was a young golden retriever.  He suffered a few setbacks during his training.  He also had/has a goofy sense of humor and refused to heel properly.

Montalvan traveled to Tuesday's training center with three other disabled vets.  And he took Tuesday back to New York City with him.

At first, Montalvan continued to have difficulty navigating the world outside of his apartment.  He began an emotional investment with Tuesday.  That and switching his care from one V.A. to another one helped him to stabilize mentally and to progress.  And progress Montalvan did.  During the book, he went back to school and also realized a lifelong dream. 

Montalvan was forced to advocate for himself as a disabled vet who had a service dog which was a necessity rather than just a regular sort of dog.  Even so, he suffered from inexcusably rude behavior and was denied entry in some places.  He gradually began to fight back and acquired a large bundle of e-mails.  The e-mails show that discrimination against service animals definitely still exists.

sapphoq reviews says:  The book Until Tuesday held my interest.  I was able to identify with Montalvan.  Although I had never been in a combat zone, a few of his t.b.i.-related difficulties are similar to mine.  Until Tuesday was an easy read, enjoyable and fascinating.  Recommended for all who like animals, care about service animals and their human partners, or love a disabled vet.    

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