“Tuesday Tucks Me In: The Loyal Bond Between a Soldier and His Service Dog”
By Luis Carlos Montalvan; Roaring Book Press, 39 pages
If you're ready to read a truly sweet story that will fill you with oodles of warm fuzzies, take a moment to check out "Tuesday Tucks Me In" by Luis Carlos Montalvan. Written for children, but a real charmer for adult readers as well, this week's book tells the story of Tuesday, a golden retriever, and his human companion, Luis. Written from Tuesday's point of view, young and old alike will learn how important the bond can be between dog and human.
After serving multiple combat tours in Iraq, Luis returned home a wounded warrior, dealing with several war-caused disabilities including post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injury. In a special "note" included at the end of the book, Luis describes the difficulties he experienced after leaving the Army: "I started to have difficulty sleeping and walking without pain … Eventually, I stopped leaving my apartment. I felt angry and ashamed about my conditions, and I withdrew from friends and family."
In 2008, Luis was partnered with Tuesday, a canine trained by Educated Canines Assisting with Disabilities. It is this special partnership that has turned Luis' life around, allowing him to sleep better, feel more comfortable around people, and have the chance to experience a much more peaceful and stable post-war life.
Having Tuesday "tell" the story is a dog-gone good idea. Young readers will delight in knowing that the details of Tuesday and Luis' very special relationship is coming straight from the puppy's mouth. Reading about a war veteran's physical and psychological struggles could be scary for little ones, but the decision to share this powerful story through the eyes of man's best friend allows youngsters to better relate to Luis' challenges. I would guess that most kids — and adults — understand what it's like to feel out of sync with the rest of the world; but also how wonderful and balancing an animal companion can be. "Tuesday Tucks Me In" demonstrates the best of human-animal relationships.
If this endearing story has you wishing for more information about Luis and Tuesday, you're in luck. Luis wrote a book in 2011 titled "Until Tuesday: A Wounded Warrior and the Golden Retriever Who Saved Him," and the library owns several copies. Whether you're 9 or 90, the heart-warming story of Luis and Tuesday will put a smile on your face.
Jan Johnston is the collection development coordinator for the Fort Vancouver Regional Library District. Email her at email@example.com.