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Craig & Fred: A Marine, A Stray Dog, and How They Rescued Each Other

4.54  ·  Rating details ·  2,454 ratings  ·  341 reviews
The uplifting and unforgettable true story of a US Marine, the stray dog he met on an Afghan battlefield, and how they saved each other and now travel America together, "spreading the message of stubborn positivity."

In 2010, Sergeant Craig Grossi was doing intelligence work for Marine RECON—the most elite fighters in the Corps—in a remote part of Afghanistan. While on patr
Hardcover, 272 pages
Published October 31st 2017 by William Morrow
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Average rating 4.54  · 
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Start your review of Craig & Fred: A Marine, A Stray Dog, and How They Rescued Each Other
This was the greatest, most beautiful story I've heard in a long time. Craig has an incredible story and also possesses the gift of storytelling. This is the sort of tale that makes you listen, laugh, and cry. There's something special about both Craig and his faithful friend Fred, and it's evident within seconds of beginning this book. The two of them steal your heart! This book celebrates loving bonds between people and dogs, but also people and each other. I loved that. I will definitely rere ...more
Apr 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone!
Shelves: audio, nonfiction
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"Even simply looking at Fred was comforting."

Yes! This was everything I hoped for when I saw the cover.

A man and dog found comfort in each other during the war in Afghanistan.

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Through the great effort and big hearts of many this story had a happy ending. The personal losses of war endured were not glossed over but this is an uplifting story of two friends who made it together.

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It’s the best kind of memorial to all the soldiers, and dogs, that did not make it out.

My love of
One of the things I greatly admire and respect in a war veteran's memoir is the courage required to tell THEIR story with honesty and fortitude. To tell it in language and recollection that is uniquely their own, sharing their experiences, good and bad, honorable or not, to the best of their ability, knowing full well they run a great risk of being misunderstood, harshly judged, taken for granted, or viewed as a braggart. For there is healing in the telling. And that is what TRULY matters most.

Jessica White
Dec 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Starting 2018 out strong with my fav dog book of the year, Craig & Fred!
So I first saw a video posted on The Dodo Facebook page of a marine who snuck a dog out of Afghanistan while on deployment.
Obviously, I knew I had to get this book.

But here's a little back story first:
My husband and I currently live in South Korea because that's where the Army put us.
I'm not going to even pretend this is in any way similar to Afghanistan, but there are stray dogs EVERYWHERE like Craig describes in his book,
Jun 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018
This book was given to me as a gift from one of my husband’s grandmothers. She and I always seem to end up talking about books, and Craig and Fred was one she had mentioned. It was super sweet that she purchased this one, and I dove right in!

I am always appreciative and have such a high level of respect for those who serve their country, especially someone so young. I know I couldn’t do it, so it’s inspiring to read about those who have. Now, throw a cute and loyal dog into the mix, then you ha
Mar 22, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: bookclub
This was quite a story. I really enjoyed Rossi’s laid back writing style and straightforward approach to talking about war. As a civilian, I know I’ll never truly understand what those men and women who serve go through but I always want to be reminded just how big the sacrifices are so I never grow complacent and always remain grateful for those who protect us. Having this perspective, enveloped in a heartwarming story about a very special dog, made for a read that was at times gritty, upliftin ...more
Oct 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book hit all my like buttons. It's military, animal rescue, educational without being preachy and has a dog as the co-star. Fred is rescued by Craig Grossi and his fellow marines in Afghanistan. With some luck and help by his fellow soldiers, Craig is able to ship Fred back to the states for his Dad to keep safe. With duel timelines in alternating chapters we travel with Fred and his buddies across the US before settling down to finish his education and find his life's mission and the harro ...more
Beverly G. Knapp
A grace greater than we know

I truly enjoyed this account of how the relationship between a man and his dog sustained both during their experience of war. I found myself moved to laughter, tears and amazement over their trials in Afghanistan. This book is further proof of the truth that the love between humans and dogs can heal some of the deepest wounds that shape us during life.
Apr 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Great on audio. It was read by the author which added a lot of feeling to the story. Well written and easy to follow. Many good lessons in it!
Tara Davis
Jun 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Such a touching story!
Donna Heitmann
Mar 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nov 30, 2017 rated it liked it
Not sure that I would like reading about such a recent war zone, but this book combined a very personal reflection on war with an endearing story about a dog that helped keep his soldier/rescuer grounded upon return.
Feb 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
If I could award this book 10 stars, I would. Amazing!
Ash Wilson
“A loving, adventurous, and rewarding life is possible when we are STUBBORNLY POSITIVE.” - Fred the Afghan

This was the book of my summer, the book of my year, & the story of a lifetime. In fairness, it did combine two of the elements closest to my heart & easiest to ignite my internal water-works system - dogs & the U.S. military. Sooo it did have that going for it right off the bat from the title & cover picture.

But as my Aunt said when we finished reading it - (which yes, it was so amazing t
Mar 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: own, read-2018
I loved this one so much.

I've worked with animals for most of my life in various fields (vet tech, kennels, managing a shelter) yet I hate reading about animals. Most non fiction books about animals are about a the wacky adventures of a *bad* dog and the lack of respect and understanding of the animals drives me crazy. But Craig is always so respectful of Fred and his needs. And Craig's story - is just as fascinating.

I wrote a few more thoughts on my blog along with posting the book trailer - h
Jan 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The book is a simple one and a quick read. Just because of that though doesn’t mean the lessons and emotions in the book are. It talks about real human emotion and the things that keep us going. I’m grateful for the reminder of how life’s challenges can be overcome with positive tenacity and some help from your friends and friendly strangers. Life is all about the people in it. Definitely gave my furry friend, Gus, an extra big cuddle and kiss to thank him for making my life richer every day too ...more
Maureen Sepulveda
May 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I just loved this book. I have two dogs and I am such a dog lover so I knew I would enjoy it. This is about a Marine serving in Afghanistan who finds this lovable dog who immediately grows attached to him. I just loved reading about how the dog is a perfect segue for him to open up and talk to people about his experience in Afghanistan which ultimately helps him deal with his PTSD. Dogs bring out the best in us and they are truly wonderful companions. This story is uplifting and provides importa ...more
Apr 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: adult-2019
Craig Grossi "met" Fred, a stray dog, on a tour as a marine in Afghanistan. Fred, unlike some of the other dogs, was friendly, loyal and loving from the start. Unwilling to leave Fred when he returned stateside, Craig managed to bring him home. Grossi 's story is split in a before and after format. He start with a road trip he takes with a buddy and Fred across the United States. Interspersed with this is how he met Fred and events in his tour of duty. Grossi endured some tragedies and losses wh ...more
I read this book for a challenge, and I surprisingly enjoyed it! Most of the time when reading memoirs, I try to figure out why someone wrote the book and why anyone really cares. But I love a good dog story, and this one was an interesting mix of how Craig (the Marine) and Fred (the dog) found each other. It goes back in forth in time between Afghanistan and a road trip the pair take with a buddy of Craig's.
Apr 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
I loved this book! I really enjoyed the author’s honesty and how Fred guided him through his combat experience and then his return to his home and family. I think Fred was sent from some kind of magical being - so lucky for these two to find each other! I was really moved by the whole story - thank you Craig!
May 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction, military
Good way of telling the story of this Marine's life in Afghanistan by telling the story of a stray Afghan dog.

Serious subjects are handled but this is broken up with the stories involving Fred, the dog.

Team RWB bookclub
Danielle Sliepka
Jan 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2018
Oh Fred, you have captured my heart! This book pulled on every heart string I have. Best book I have read in a long time. What a captivating story that was beautifully written/told.
Jul 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow! What a book.
Rowan Cooper
Oct 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
Great read! Craig is a wonderful storyteller as he navigates the challenges of deployment, post deployment life, and his journey in bringing home a furry friend he met while he was overseas.
Jan 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I chose this book because I really enjoy dog stories. This was so much more than that! I did the audio, read by the author. I cried and chuckled, what brave guys both Craig and Fred are!
Claire King
Mar 05, 2020 rated it really liked it
A definite feel good book for any dog lover! So much respect for those currently serving our country and all veterans. Edited to add- it’s available on Kindle Unlimited!
Jan 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Incredible story told well. Thank you for your service, and thank God for Fred.
Ruth Ann
This is the almost unbelievable, and well-written, story of Fred - a dog from Afghanistan - and Craig - a marine from Northern Virginia - and how they found each other and came home to the United States.

p. 75 - "Each day, from sunup to sundown, Taliban bullets and bombs crashed in and around our compound. But I felt the threat of the Taliban most deeply when I met people like Asif [a young man, a school teacher, who risked his life to teach youngsters at night in an empty building in a nearby co
May 29, 2019 added it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jessica Bellas
Jul 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book so much that I read the entire book in one sitting!
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