Sergeant Rex - Mike Dowling

Sergeant Rex

By Mike Dowling

  • Release Date: 2011-12-13
  • Genre: Pets
Score: 4.5
From 77 Ratings


“In Iraq we put our lives in each other’s hands (and paws) day after day. We took care of each other no matter what. Rex and I have a bond that will last for the rest of our born days. If ever there was a marine who lived up to Semper Fidelis, the motto of the Marine Corps, it’s Rex.”

Deployed to Iraq’s infamous Triangle of Death in 2004, Sergeant Mike Dowling and his military working dog Rex were part of the first Marine Corps military K9 teams sent to the front lines of combat since Vietnam. It was Rex’s job to sniff out weapons caches, suicide bombers, and IEDs, the devastating explosives that wreaked havoc on troops and civilians alike. It was Mike’s job to lead Rex into the heart of danger time and time again, always trusting Rex to bring them both back alive.

Dowling had turned twenty-five and Rex three just after they arrived in Iraq. Neither of them had any idea what to expect, and no training could fully prepare them for this job. An animal lover since childhood, Dowling had fostered and trained dogs for Guide Dogs for the Blind, and he was determined to serve in the military’s K9 unit after joining the Marines. On their first patrols in Iraq, Rex suffered a seemingly incurable fear of explosions and gunfire, but with Mike at the other end of his leash, Rex gained the courage to perform his duty.

Filled with harrowing tales of knife-edge bomb-detection work, including an extraordinary baptism by fire, Sergeant Rex is a heart-pounding account of how an unbreakable human-canine bond helped Mike and Rex to stay focused on their mission and save countless lives. Dowling takes us into the searing 130-degree heat, the choking dust, and the ever-present threat of violent attack that seemed to permeate Iraq’s streets. We experience Dowling’s visceral fear of walking down an IED-laden alley where dismemberment or death can come with any footstep, only his trusted partner, Rex, by his side.

Loyalty is one of the hallmarks of any good Marine, and nowhere is that quality more evident than in this astonishing account of Mike Dowling and Rex’s wartime experiences. A moving story of how a man and a dog developed complete trust in each other in the face of terrible adversity, Sergeant Rex is an unforgettable tale of sacrifice, courage, and love.


  • Great Perspective into what war is like

    By Marcorps
    This was a great thrilling book that offers a great perception into what it is like to be in war and all of the training that it takes to become a marine. Also a really great understanding portrayed by the author of how Rex is feeling and how much everyone liked him. Overall a great book and it shows how strong a bond can be between man and dog, especially after being separated following their deployment together.
  • Sergeant Rex

    By traumajunkie
    Riveting reading.... Great story about the bond between man and dog during the most dangerous and stressful situation man and dog can ever be in, front line combat. Mike Dowling's writing and humor made me feel like I was at Camp Pendleton during MWD school, on patrol with him in Mamoudiyah, and back at Camp Fallujah petting and playing with Rexy. I laughed and cried reading this story... I too, have a German Shepard and see so many of Rex's traits in my dog, especially the intense drive and loyalty and love of the Kong. You won't be disappointed...
  • Sargent Rex

    By FA18Dude1
    Excellent book, well worth reading! I love dogs and this is a great story.
  • Awesome!

    By Marina/Seth
    I read it in one day; one of my days off here in Afghanistan. If you have a love of dogs and our military this is a book for you.
  • ARLS

    By Turnip Chaser
    This is a great story and I enjoyed every bit of it. I even bought the hard cover version for a friend. Why can't the picture pages go with the iBooks? This is such an excellent display for that kind of content.
  • Great read

    By Neffct
    Awesome story of loyalty and being fearless.