From the author of the critically acclaimed bestseller, Scent of the Missing, comes a heartwarming and inspiring story that shows how dogs can be rescued and can rescue in return.
For her first book, Susannah Charleson was praised for her unique insight into the kinship between humans and dogs, as revealed through canine search and rescue. In The Possibility Dogs Charleson chronicles her journey into the world of psychiatric-service and therapy dogs trained to serve the human mind, a journey that began as a personal one. After a particularly grisly search led to a struggle with PTSD, Charleson credits healing to her partnership with search dog Puzzle. Inspired by that experience and having met dogs formally trained to assist in such crises, 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.
From black Lab puppy Merlin, once cast away in a garbage bag, who stabilizes his partner’s panic attacks to Ollie, the blind and deaf terrier who soothes anxious children, to Jake Piper, the starving pit bull mix who goes from abandoned to irreplaceable, The Possibility Dogs illuminates a whole new world of canine potential.
©2013 Susannah Charleson (P)2013 Blackstone Audio
Two great passions - dogs and books! Sci-fi/fantasy novels are my go-to favorites, but I love good writing across all genres.
For all the efforts my friends and I put into pulling dogs and cats from kill shelters, rounding up foster homes, and lobbying for laws mandating humane treatment and spay/neuter, none of that may be as effective at making the case to stop the mass killing of dogs as this book. With a calm and persuasive authorial voice, Susannah Charleson clearly shows with personal examples what a mostly untapped resource is sitting in our pounds and shelters. This book is an entertaining and poignant presentation of some of the ways that dogs can be utilized and trained as human assistants (for both physical and psychological disabilities) and clearly shows that our years of breeding dogs to work for us and with us has resulted in many animals with a proclivity to learn and assist - it's not a breed specific characteristic. I absolutely loved Susannah Charleson writing in both this book and her first book, Scent of the Missing, but I did not think her narration with this second book was as good as the first. For some reason, she has adopted the style of some professional narrators of kind of "tailing off" (no pun intended) her voice at the end of some phrases which can make it a little hard to hear especially with background noise (like in the car). However, I still highly recommend this very engaging audio book to anyone who cares about dogs or is interested in the types of therapies (and they are now MANY) in which dogs can assist (and potentially be trained by their owners).
Likes: Cozy mysteries, esp w/cats, books on workings of the brain/autism, not-too-dark fantasy. Dislikes: Animal cruelty, torture scenes.
I only give low performance marks if something about the performance makes it hard for me to enjoy the book. I actually like Charleson's voice, a dramatic whisper, and it is great for dramatic and serious moments. But she talks like that all the time even when describing at length how dogs receive a treat. But the real reason for the low mark is that the whispering made it hard to hear when listening in the car on my GPS.That aside I did like the book, and I am a cat person rather than a dog person, but the stories of the dogs in this book were very moving. Also liked the educational aspects of the rules for service dogs and the different tasks they do and how they are trained. I was hoping we might get some details about how a service dog is used for a child with autism but we didn't, but that is just because I am an autism mom so I would have found that interesting. Mostly, we see a lot of OCD. The book did drag a little at points though. I was pleased we didn't go into detail on any animal cruelty. I liked how Charleson brought us up to date on various characters at the end. Good wrap up.
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