Tag Archives: Marines

The Lucky One

I’ve just finished reading The Lucky One by Nicholas Sparks.  What attracted me to the book was the fact that the story is predominantly set at a boarding kennel and that one of the main characters, Zeus, is a German Shepherd.  It helped that the book was previously on the New York Times Bestseller list and so others must have liked it too.

I hadn’t realised that Nicholas Sparks is a the author of novels like The Notebook and Nights in Rodanthe, which were successfully made into movies (I liked both movies).  As it turns out, The Lucky One has just been made into a film starring Zac Efron but it hasn’t shown here in New Zealand yet (more on that later).

This is a story of Logan, a veteran of the conflict in Iraq, who finds a photograph in the desert of a woman.  The photo goes unclaimed at the camp and so Logan keeps it and it becomes his good luck charm.  When he leaves the US Marines and returns to the United States, he goes on a quest to find the woman in the photo – with Zeus his loyal German Shepherd for company.

He finds Elizabeth, a divorced mother, living with her grandmother who runs a boarding  kennel.  He starts working there and through the book we learn about the original owner of the photo and the traumatic experiences that Logan endured during his time in Iraq.  We also learn about his best friend, Victor, who encouraged him to find the woman in the photo…

There’s some suspense at the end of the book (but I found this didn’t really live up to the marketing on the book’s cover).  I won’t tell you whether or not Logan and Elizabeth end up together, either.  I will say that this was a solid story and it’s pleasing to see a dog take up a major role in the book.  It’s worth a read.

And so back to the movie thing.  When I read the book, I definitely didn’t picture Zac Efron as Logan.  He’s too young and fresh-faced and lacks the solid build of a Marine – at least that’s my opinion.  I don’t think I’ll be going to see the film when it shows here – I liked the story but I didn’t love it.  (And I’m sorry if this offends the many Nicholas Sparks fans that are out there).

When your comrade is your dog

News broke this week that Megan Leavey, a former corporal with the US Marines, has won her fight to be reunited with her ex-partner Rex.  Rex, her comrade-in-arms in Iraq, is a bomb-sniffing dog who is retiring at the age of 11.

Leavey originally asked to adopt Rex five years ago and was refused.

Both Megan and Rex were injured in 2006 when a bomb exploded in Ramadi.  Corporal Leavey was awarded a Purple Heart and subsequently discharged in 2007.   After her request to adopt Rex was declined, she followed the dog and his progress from afar.  When it became clear that Rex was to be retired from duty and likely to be put down, Leavey lobbied again for her chance to take care of Rex.

These photos, courtesy of Megan Leavey, show the pair together.

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