A retired Marine Corps bomb-sniffing dog with a local connection is the subject of a new book, Top Dog: The Story of Marine Hero Lucca.
Maria Goodavage, the author of the bestseller Soldier Dogs, also penned Top Dog.
Gunnery Sgt. Chris Willingham, Lucca's first handler and current owner, says the canine Purple Heart recipient saved countless lives during her 400 patrols while deployed to Iraq twice and once to Afghanistan.
Dubbed "Mamma Lucca" by her fellow Marines, the German Shepherd mix did a lot more for her comrades than sniff out explosives, according to Willingham:
"We could take the searching harness off, and let her go run around and kind of interact with the troops we are supporting and really brought a piece of home over there and brought up morale. Everybody enjoyed seeing the dog in between missions."
Lucca lost a paw in an improvised explosive device blast in Afghanistan back in 2012. She spent her physical rehabilitation at Camp Pendleton before being medically retired by the Marines.
To learn more about Lucca, check out the video below: