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Chico’s Promise

A Superhero, Lives Saved
and a Promise Made.
Chico’s Promise is a true Superhero dog story written in Chico’s voice. It’s his journey of love and abandonment, trust and betrayal, courage and fear. In the end, the status of his Superhero promise lives on in time to save others, and love prevails.

A Story of Love and Abandonment

“Chico’s Promise” is a true story about bravery, confusion, courage and fear, trust and betrayal, and love and abandonment, written in Chico’s voice as I would imagine he felt about many events from his birth to death over his short life. Chico was born in North Dakota to the loving Stuen family. His first year was filled with the many exciting escapades of a puppy. As events unfold, Chico’s over-protection of the family and aggressiveness finds Chico being volunteered to join the United States Army. Eventually, Chico was selected to attend Scout Dog Training at Fort Benning, Georgia and upon completion of the training he was shipped to Vietnam. Chico and I were teamed up in Vietnam and became inseparable partners. At the end of my year walking point with Chico, I was going home but I had to abandon Chico, my partner, who saved my life and whom I had grown to love. For over fifty years, since I returned home from Vietnam in April 1970, I have struggled with the guilt of having to abandon Chico. Now it’s time for me to reveal what has been hidden in my heart since 1970. It’s time for the world to be introduced to Chico and his story. Chico, my Superhero, saved my life, but I couldn’t return the favor, so my mission is to save 50,000 dogs in his honor by using a portion of the proceeds from this book, “Chico’s Promise,” to help pay dog rescue fees for people who love dogs as much as I do. 

My Love for Dogs


Through the years, I’ve rescued a few dogs from shelters and each one became a valued member of our family. First, there was Benny. This poor dog looked like he had been abused and was in failing health. My wife, Nancy and I thought he would live only a short time. The veterinarian told us he was an English setter and explained what to do to remedy his ailments. To our amazement, Benny rebounded and was an entertaining member of our family for over ten years. Following Benny’s death, Nancy and I bought an English setter puppy named Belle and she was with us for twelve years. Two years ago, we decided to rescue another English setter named Doogie.


All three dogs touched me deeply, but Benny changed my heart. Through him, I learned I had a wound in my heart that had never healed – leaving Chico behind in Vietnam.



Chico on my Mind


Chico and I were a great team. He not only saved my life, he saved the lives of many others. My first book, “From the Jungle to the Boardroom,” an Inc. magazine #1 Bestseller, is a leadership book based on my year in Vietnam walking point with Chico. Over the past eight years, I’ve written and published four additional books. But there’s been a book stuck inside me for over fifty years waiting for the right time, and that time is now. 


It is time for the world to hear from my Superhero as I imagine he might tell our story. My dream is that millions of people will read Chico’s story, fall in love with him, become inspired, and join forces to improve the treatment of dogs by eliminating abuse and abandonment. If Chico were alive today, I know he would make that promise. Therefore, I wrote “Chico’s Promise.”



Why 50,000 Dogs?


The Vietnam War officially lasted 10 years. During that time, over 4300 dogs served in Vietnam. Most of the dogs were euthanized or left to fend for themselves when the U.S. Military pulled out of Vietnam. Chico was euthanized the year after I came home. This year, 2021, is the 50th anniversary of Chico needlessly being euthanized. To honor Chico and the memory of all 4300 dogs that served in Vietnam, my goal is to help save 50,000 dogs – 1000 for each year since Chico’s death, by paying for adoption fees at no-kill shelters through proceeds from the sale of "Chico's Promise."

How Can You Help?

You, too, can become a Superhero by donating to Chico’s Promise 501c3. Help join my mission to save 50,000 dogs in Chico’s memory. Funding was recently raised through a Kickstarter project to produce 7500 copies of Chico’s Promise. This first edition printing will help provide revenue to begin paying rescue fees to no-kill shelters for those wanting to adopt a dog. But this is only the beginning.


How can you help? First, click the donate button below and select the amount you want to donate. Second, share the news about Chico’s Promise. Reaching as many people as possible via email and social media is crucial to the success of the mission. Please consider sending a link to this website to your email list and to your friends on Facebook and Twitter. Thank you for supporting Chico’s Promise.

What Readers Have Said

“Chico’s Promise” a compelling personal story, with historic truth that needs to be shared. I believe the power of this story can change lives in both dogs and the people who rescue them. It is also an inspiring story, told through the voice of a dog, pulls you in right away and takes you through a profound historic experience, filled with honesty. A beautiful testament to all war dog heroes.

L.A. Marketing Executive

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