At loose ends with her daughter leaving home and her husband on the road, Sue Halpern decided to give herself and Pransky, her under-occupied Labradoodle, a new leash - er, lease - on life by getting the two of them certified as a therapy dog team. Smart, spirited, and instinctively compassionate, Pransky turned out to be not only a terrific therapist but an unerring moral compass. In the unlikely sounding arena of a public nursing home, she led her teammate into a series of encounters with the residents that revealed depths of warmth, humor, and insight Halpern hadn't expected. And little by little, their adventures expanded and illuminated Halpern's sense of what virtue is and does - how acts of kindness transform the giver as well as the given-to.
Funny, moving, and profound, A Dog Walks into a Nursing Home is the story of how one faithful, charitable, loving, and sometimes prudent mutt - showing great hope, fortitude, and restraint along the way (the occasional begged or stolen treat notwithstanding) - taught a well-meaning woman the true nature and pleasures of the good life.
©2013 Sue Halpern (P)2013 Tantor
I generally liked the story, and appreciated the writing style and unique perspective of the author, so it took me a little while to figure out that the reason I wasn't fully engaged with this book was because of the narrator. I'm not sure if the narrator sounded patronizing, trivializing, or just too pragmatic for this text, but I did not emotionally connect with the book, and I think it was largely because of the way it was read.
Greedy, voracious reader since age five. After a number of eye injuries & surgeries, reading is hard. So now, I listen.
I imagined this would be a light-hearted collection of goofy dog anecdotes from this therapy-dog owner, and I love a good goofy dog story. Instead, it is a self-indulgent narrative by a quite silly and shallow woman who imbues her dog with human-like reason and emotion. She is amazed to find that people who are old, infirm in body or mind, or alone are yet enjoying life, looking forward, making friends, and are not suffering in silence, but are serene in silence. The author is stunned and (falsely, it feels) humbled by her previous fears and ignorance. Yikes!! keep this dope away from MY nursing home, should I end up in one.
The narrator is one whom I have heard and not enjoyed before. She sounds like an old kindergarten teacher reading to Story Circle, all raised eyebrows, exaggerated emotions, and crazy character voices. Karen White. I will definitely remember to avoid this name in the future.
I was so excited for this book, as a staff member of a nursing home who has brought my dog with me as part of the "family" for over 10 years. There was no plot and joy to this book and perhaps that wasn't the intention, but it was certainly unclear what the purpose was. It was more of an unorganized editorial. And the reader didn't even sound interested in what she was saying.
I love being read to.
I hoped the book would be about the therapeutic process of giving and receiving. I was not disappointed in the least. The author did an excellent job of researching and exploring deep truth and mystery. I am so thankful she allowed me to learn from her experiences. The reader's voice was perfect.
Retired former trial and corporate lawyer practicing his craft for over 40 years. Loves legal thrillers, mysteries, and dog related stories.
Absolutely. I would put it in my top 10 books I have listened to in the past. An earlier reviewer of this book said it is "A book about a dog that is ultimately a book about humanity… a beautiful, honest, joyful accounting of what matters.” -Terry Tempest Williams, author of Refuge and When Women Were Birds. I couldn't say it better. While I do therapy dog work it would make no difference in my opinion of this book as I believe anyone will enjoy listening to it.
When the author thought her dog "Pransky" was going to be a total failure when she took the Good Canine Citizenship test to become a therapy dog.
I have not but I thought Karen White's narration was spot on.
It made me think more than anything of the fleeting time we all have on this earth and how your greatest wealth is your health. It also made me realize that death is the common denominator for all of us regardless of your wealth, position, or race. Last, but not least, it made me realize that DOG is GOD spelled backwards and this book amply demonstrates such through the marvelous writing of Sue Halpern. Most of us have so much but give too little. However, it is through people like Sue Halpern and her dog Pranksy that motivates us all to give back even more as we have taken so much. Damn, I wish I could write like her!
God bless Pranksy....................
A great book for looking at the end of life, how to make the most of life and what makes a fullfiling life. A quick and easy read
Having done pet therapy some years ago at several nursing homes, assisted living homes and adult day care centers and more, I was re-experiencing the gift it was for me as well as for so many people we touched. At the time it was amazingly empathetic and gentle parrots we visited with! They were always on their best behavior and the residents and staff loved us!
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