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When Marines enter an abandoned house in Fallujah, Iraq, and hear a suspicious noise, they clench their weapons, edge around the corner, and prepare to open fire. What they find during the U.S.led attack on the "most dangerous city on Earth" in late 2004, however, is not an insurgent but a puppy left behind when most of the city's residents fled. Despite military law forbidding pets, the Marines de-flea the pup with kerosene, de-worm him with chewing tobacco, and fill him up on Meals Ready to Eat. Thus begins the dramatic rescue of a dog named Lavaand Lava's rescue of at least one Marine, Lieutenant Colonel Jay Kopelman, from the emotional ravages of war. From hardened soldiers to wartime journalists to endangered Iraqi citizens,From Baghdad, With Lovetells the unforgettable true story of an unlikely band of heroes who learn unexpected lessons about life, death, and war from a mangy little flea-ridden refugee.
Jay Kopelman is a former lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Marine Corps. He lives in La Jolla, California with his wife and their two children, Cheddar the cat; and, last but not least, two dogs: Koda and, yes, Lava.
Melinda Roth, who lives in Chicago, is the author of The Man Who Talks to Dogs.