A Dog Named Mattis

12 Lessons for Living Courageously, Serving Selflessly, and Building Bridges from a Heroic K9 Officer

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Pub Date 04 Jun 2024 | Archive Date 31 Dec 2024
Nelson Books | Thomas Nelson

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Take a ride-along with Sergeant Mark Tappan and his amazing K9 partner Mattis, whose heroic actions will inspire you to live courageously, serve selflessly, and love passionately because every human (and dog) has a purpose.

Sergeant Mark Tappan shares a unique bond with his K9 partner Mattis, one of the most decorated police K9s of all time. Mark knew from the first time they interacted that Mattis was something special. As a man of deep faith, Mark also knew that God's most profound teaching often comes through the most unexpected sources, and he soon realized that Mattis was going to teach him about loyalty, selfless service, and so much more.

In A Dog Named Mattis, Mark shares twelve life lessons he's learned from working with Mattis. Through these first-hand accounts of bravery and service, you will learn profound lessons, like:

  • being willing to 'go all in' and work with all your heart even when things are uncertain,
  • how persistence pays off when you are willing to stick with what you know is right,
  • how to be strong and courageous in the face of adversity,
  • and much more.


You will also get a behind-the-scenes look at the world of police K9s and gain a deeper understanding of:

  • the many ways that K9 units assist police departments,
  • what a K9 officer's daily life looks like,
  • what kind of training police dogs and their handlers must go through,
  • how a police dog is tested and selected,
  • and the lengths a dog will go to in order to complete their mission.


A Dog Named Mattis will capture the hearts of dog lovers everywhere and remind you that true success is built on relationships filled with trust, communication, and love.

Take a ride-along with Sergeant Mark Tappan and his amazing K9 partner Mattis, whose heroic actions will inspire you to live courageously, serve selflessly, and love passionately because every human...

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ISBN 9781400246687
PRICE $19.99 (USD)

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Featured Reviews

This was a wonderful book. I not only was inspired by the author's message, but I also learned a lot about how police dogs work! A two-fer!

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The love and respect this officer has for his best friend shines out from every page of this book. Those of us who have had the privilege of knowing and loving a shepherd will be drawn in from the start. They go beyond the words best friend. They are more like soul dogs. It is always an honor to know them and be loved by them. 

This book is extremely interesting and I love that it takes you through all the steps of becoming a handler and about learning to trust your dog more than your own mind especially when the dog knows more than you do.  

The insight into the author becoming a K9 instructor is just as captivating. I loved the information on how he selected his ultimate partner. It really shows how impressive these dogs are and the effort that goes into this job. 

Mattis is just amazing. Sergeant Mark Tappan honors that and does him justice in this book. I found the story about learning scent really interesting. There are a lot of techniques in here that can be amended for a family dog too like the scent "game". It is amazing how much better a dog can be trained by simply giving it love and respect. Many trainers have said that they don't even need to train their dog formally because these two elements are enough for the dog to want to do what the trainer wants. Mattis is a perfect example of this as well as the beauty of that one dog that naturally just "gets it" more than the others. It is an intuition gift that is mesmerizing to watch.  

The bond that develops between these two is beautiful. An incredibly enjoyable read by an author filled with affection for his partner. I truly loved this book.

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I could not read fast enough to find out what happened! We are taken through the dangerous days of a police officer and his partner, another officer who happens to have four legs and a miraculous sense of smell. It is edge of the seat reading, even more so when one of these officers is hurt in the line of duty. Thank you to these two officers for protecting and putting their lives on the line everyday. I thank NetGalley and Nelson Books for this amazing read.

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As an avid follower of heartwarming dog stories and K9 heroes, I was thrilled to dive into "A Dog Named Mattis: 12 Lessons for Living Courageously, Serving Selflessly, and Building Bridges from a Heroic K9 Officer" by Mark Tappan. And let me tell you, this book did not disappoint.

From the moment I started reading, I was captivated by the incredible bond between Sergeant Mark Tappan and his K9 partner, Mattis. Their partnership is nothing short of inspiring, and it's clear from the very beginning that Mattis is no ordinary dog. As Mark shares the twelve life lessons he's learned from Mattis, I found myself nodding along in agreement and feeling deeply moved by their journey together.

One of the things I loved most about this book is how it highlights the profound ways in which dogs, like Mattis, can teach us important life lessons. From going all in and addressing our weaknesses to listening first and serving selflessly, each lesson serves as a powerful reminder of the impact our furry friends can have on our lives. As someone who has always believed in the power of dogs to teach us valuable lessons, I found myself reflecting on my own relationships with my canine companions and how they have shaped me as a person.

But "A Dog Named Mattis" is more than just a collection of life lessons—it's also a fascinating glimpse into the world of police K9 units and the incredible work they do to keep our communities safe. Through Mark's vivid descriptions and firsthand accounts of bravery and service, readers gain a deeper understanding of the vital role that K9 officers play in law enforcement. From their rigorous training to their unwavering dedication to their handlers, Mattis and his fellow K9s are true heroes in every sense of the word.

Overall, "A Dog Named Mattis" is a heartwarming and inspiring read that will resonate with dog lovers, K9 enthusiasts, and anyone looking for a powerful reminder of the importance of courage, service, and love. Mark Tappan's heartfelt storytelling and Mattis's incredible journey make this book a must-read for anyone who believes in the transformative power of man's best friend.

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