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Paws & Effect: The Healing Power of Dogsby Sharon Sakson
Synopses & Reviews
and#8220;Reading The Possibility Dogs is like taking an amazing literary journey with a dear friend by your side. The characters you meet will enchant you, but the storyteller will capture your heart. If you love dogs, this is a canand#8217;t-miss book written by a kindred spirit.and#8221; and#8212;Jennifer Arnold, author of Through a Dogand#8217;s Eyes and In a Dogand#8217;s Heart
After a grisly search-and-rescue operation led to troubling consequences for author Susannah Charleson, she found that her relationship with Puzzle, her search dog, made a surprising contribution to her own healing. Inspired by that experience, Charleson learned to identify abandoned dogs with service potential, plucking them from shelters and training them to work with disabled human partners, to whom the dogs bring assistance, comfort, and hope.
Similar to her best-selling first book, Scent of the Missing, Charlesonand#8217;s The Possibility Dogs goes beyond the science that explains working canines to tell the stories of the dogs themselves. Like Merlin, a black Lab puppy who had been thrown away in a garbage bag and now stabilizes his partnerand#8217;s panic attacks. And service dog Jake Piper, a formerly starving pit bull mix who went from abandoned to irreplaceable. This heartwarming combination of memoir and research is sure to both inform and inspire.
and#8220;What an amazing book. Combine love, knowledge, and real-life drama with pitch-perfect writing, and youand#8217;ll end up with The Possibility Dogs. Simply brilliant!and#8221; and#8212;Patricia McConnell, author of The Other End of the Leash
and#8220;Insightful and earthy, Charleson is never maudlin. She keeps it real . . . All the stories have tremendous heart and power and you believe Charleson when she writes: and#8216;Any dog can surprise you,and#8217; and and#8216;great dogs can come in odd packages.and#8217;and#8221; and#8212;Boston Globe
Seamlessly weaving scientific research with compelling narrative, "Paws & Effect" tells incredibly moving stories of beloved pets who have supported their people through periods of ill health and other crises--with miraculous results.
A uniquely personal, moving, and inspiring journey into the rapidly emerging world of psychiatric service dogs, as Susannah Charleson works as an evaluator in shelters, plucking unwanted dogs, big and small, training them for this unique kind of service, and matching them with people in need.
An inspiring story that shows how dogs can be rescued, and can rescue in return.
With her critically acclaimed, bestselling first book, Scent of the Missing, Susannah Charleson was widely praised for her unique insight into the kinship between humans and dogs, as revealed through her work in canine search and rescue alongside her partner, golden retriever Puzzle.
Now, in The Possibility Dogs, Charleson journeys into the world of psychiatric service, where dogs aid humans with disabilities that may be unseen but are no less felt. This work had a profound effect on Charleson, perhaps because, for her, this journey began as a personal one: Charleson herself struggled with posttraumatic stress disorder for months after a particularly grisly search. Collaboration with her search dog partner made the surprising difference to her own healing. Inspired by that experience, Charleson learns to identify abandoned dogs with service potential, often plucking them from shelters at the last minute, and to train them for work beside hurting partners, to whom these second-chance dogs bring intelligence, comfort, and hope.
Along the way she comes to see canine potential everywhere, often where she least expects it and#8211; from Merlin the chocolate lab puppy with the broken tail once cast away in a garbage bag, who now stabilizes his partnerand#8217;s panic attacks; to Ollie, the blind and deaf terrier, rescued moments before it was too late, who now soothes anxious children; to Jake Piper, the starving pit bull terrier mix with the wayward ears who is transformed into a working service dog and, who, for Charleson, goes from abandoned to irreplaceable.
Dogs have always been our friends and changed our lives for the better. But they may save our lives as well. Seamlessly weaving scientific research with compelling narrative, Paws & Effect tells incredibly moving stories of beloved pets who have supported their people through periods of ill health and other crises—with miraculous results:
*Little Ben, a Chihuahua who can sense impending epileptic seizures
*Abdul, a Golden Retriever/Lab mix, who was the worlds first service dog and helped his owner by retrieving keys and phones, medicine from countertops, water from the refrigerator, and could even hand in credit cards at the grocery store
*A Dalmation named Trudii, whose obsessive behavior prompted her owner to seek a medical examination that revealed melanoma
About the Author
Sharon Sakson earned an MFA in creative writing from the New School. She is a journalist and television producer who has worked for ABC, NBC, and local stations in Baltimore, Chicago, and San Francisco. Sharon is also an American Kennel Club dog-show judge. She lives in Princeton, New Jersey.
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