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Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group
A Dog Named Beautiful

A Dog Named Beautiful

A Marine, a Dog, and a Long Road Trip Home

Rob Kugler

Flatiron Books


An uplifting and unforgettable story of a US Marine, his extraordinary dog, and the road trip of a lifetime.

"A beautiful, beautiful book." — Jenna Bush Hager

When US Marine Rob Kugler returns from war he had given up not only a year of his life in service to his country, but he had also lost a brother in the fighting as well. Lost in grief, Rob finds solace and relief in the one thing that never fails to put a smile on his face: his chocolate lab Bella. Exceptionally friendly, and always with - you wouldn’t believe it - a smile on her face, Bella is the friend Rob needs, and they spend their days exploring nature and taking photos.

But then Bella develops a limp in her front leg. It’s cancer, and the prognosis isn’t good. Rob has a choice, either to let Bella go now, or amputate her cancer riddled leg, and see what the next few months would bring.

For Rob, the choice is a no-brainer, and instead of waiting at home for the cancer to spread, Rob and Bella pack their bags and hit the road. Life is short, but the road ahead is long and winding, and as they criss-cross the country Rob and Bella meet remarkable, life-changing men and women who are quick to make friends with this incredible three-legged dog. A Dog Named Beautiful is a book full of inspiration, hope, love, tears, and laughs. Enjoy the journey.


A New Life on Three Legs

“Can I talk to you in the back room about these X-rays?” the vet asks, and my optimism suddenly does a one-eighty. Nothing good ever needed to be talked about in a back room. We’ve come here for...

Praise for A Dog Named Beautiful

“Kugler’s heartful and uplifting story reveals the transformative power pets can have.” - Publishers Weekly

"Engaging and sometimes heart-rending, and it will be a certain tear-jerker for dog lovers.
Love, devotion, and slobbery kisses abound in this heartwarming story of a man and his treasured chocolate Lab." — Kirkus

“[Kugler] expertly balances his personal journey through past trauma and to finding inner peace with Bella at his side with inspirational insights all readers can appreciate. Kugler’s interactions with other veterans throughout his journey feel like a tribute to our armed forces. This sweet story honoring the bond between animals and their people is a must-read for fans of A Dog Called Hope and Travels with Charley, and anyone open to a good, cathartic cry.” —Booklist, Starred Review


Reviews from Goodreads

Rob Kugler

Medically-retired US Marine Staff Sergeant Rob Kugler is a storyteller, photographer and writer. When he’s not on the road, he lives in Nebraska.