"We aren't just service dog and master; Tuesday and I are also best friends. Kindred souls. Brothers. Whatever you want to call it. We weren't made for each other, but we turned out to be exactly what the other needed."
A highly decorated captain in the U.S. Army, Luis Montalvan never backed down from a challenge during his two tours of duty in Iraq. After returning home from combat, however, the pressures of his physical wounds, traumatic brain injury, and crippling post-traumatic stress disorder began to take their toll. Haunted by the war and in constant physical pain, he soon found himself unable to climb a simple flight of stairs or face a bus ride to the VA hospital. He drank; he argued; ultimately, he cut himself off from those he loved. Alienated and alone, unable to sleep or bend over without pain, he began to wonder if he would ever recover.
Then Luis met Tuesday, a beautiful and sensitive golden retriever trained to assist the disabled. Tuesday had lived amongst prisoners and at a home for troubled boys, blessing many lives; he could turn on lights, open doors, and sense the onset of anxiety and flashbacks. But because of a unique training situation and sensitive nature, he found it difficult to trust in or connect with a human being until Luis.
Until Tuesday is the story of how two wounded warriors, who had given so much and suffered the consequences, found salvation in each other. It is a story about war and peace, injury and recovery, psychological wounds and spiritual restoration. But more than that, it is a story about the love between a man and dog, and how together they healed each other's souls.
For Luis Carlos Montalvan, Until Tuesday is the story of how a service dog led him through the darkest days following his return from service in the United States Army in Iraq. For the listener, his narration of Until Tuesday offers the rare experience of hearing a soldier discuss his journey of coming home from war. To hear Montalvan narrate his own story of transition from constant emotional and physical pain to successfully integrating back into his “normal” life at home is riveting and unforgettable.
Montalvan is a returning veteran whose homecoming and assimilation back into society has proven to be one of the greatest struggles of his life. After years of daily experience with horrifying combat, a mere trip to the grocery store seems like an insurmountable task. Enter Tuesday a service dog trained to help veterans and the disabled put the pieces of their lives back together. Like Montalvan, Tuesday’s unethical training and serial abandonment suggest that he was treated as a soldier, too. Montalvan and Tuesday, wounded veteran and “broken” service dog, together find a way to bring each other back to life, to cope with the significant psychological damage that comes with post-traumatic stress. Montalvan’s erudite storytelling offers a deep exploration of what service dogs do for the disabled and of what it’s like for a soldier to come home from the war in Iraq. The profound impact of this service dog pervades the narration; Montalvan’s tone demonstrates his unwavering gratitude to Tuesday.
While Until Tuesday tells the story of a soldier’s experiences in Iraq, Montalvan does so without straying into too many political tangents. However, he does make clear his advocacy for veterans and disabled people, making a case for government-funded support for returning veterans and those who suffer from PTSD. Until Tuesday is an absorbing, accessible story of a war veteran’s struggles upon returning home and the therapeutic benefits of companionship from man’s best friend. Suzanne Day
"Luis and Tuesday were one of the original sources of inspiration for my very first piece of legislation. Luis' story of military service, his struggles with visible and invisible wounds of war, and the dog who helped save his life is as compelling on the page as when you hear it in person." (Senator Al Franken)
“Montalvan’s first-person account of their journey together offers rare insight into the issues facing returning veterans and the lifesaving bond between a service dog and human. Listeners hear the despair, fear, frustration, and, ultimately, the love and hope of the pair. Montalvan doesn’t refrain from discussing his most painful and embarrassing experiences. Hearing the story in his own voice adds to its power and vibrancy.” (AudioFile)
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