August 4, 2019 | sobczakd
It's International Assistance Dog Week! From August 4 through August 11, we celebrate service dogs who help those with disabilities. Service dogs help individuals become more independent so they can live their best life. A service dog is highly trained. They may assist with basic tasks like helping to open a door or bringing the phone to the owner or alerts others if the owner is in distress. It takes as long as two years to train a service dog. Interested? Explore the American Kennel Club's article on Service Dog Training 101 or check out these resources from our collection!
In this spectacular memoir, Luis and Tuesday brought their healing mission to the next level, showing how these beautifully trained animals could assist soldiers, veterans, and many others with mental and physical disabilities. They rescued a forgotten Tuskegee airman, battled obstinate VA bureaucrats, and provided solace to war heroes coast-to-coast. As Luis and Tuesday celebrated exhilarating victories, a grave obstacle threatened their work. Luis made great progress battling his own PTSD, but his physical wounds got so bad that he was wheelchair-bound. He needed to decide whether to amputate his leg and carry on with a bionic prosthesis. Even as he struggled with dramatic emotional and physical changes, ten-year-old Tuesday was lovingly by his side through it all. Luis' death in December 2016 was another terrible tragedy of the invisible wounds of war. This book was his last letter of love to his best friend, Tuesday, and to veterans, readers, friends, and fellow dog lovers everywhere. Never more timely than now, Tuesday's Promise is an inspiring story of love, service, teamwork, and the remarkable bond between humans and canines.
Stefany Shaheen takes readers on an emotional journey as she tries everything to manage her daughter Elle's deadly and unpredictable disease, all while juggling a family of four children. Overcoming the skepticism that a dog can provide answers that medical science is still seeking, the family finds a resounding sense of peace and reassurance through Coach's near miraculous abilities as a medic-alert dog, specially trained to detect dangerous changes in blood sugar levels. Elle & Coach is a story of determination and finding hope in the most unlikely of places.
A highly decorated captain in the U.S. Army, Luis Montalván never backed down from a challenge during his two tours of duty in Iraq. After returning home from combat, however, the pressures of his physical wounds, traumatic brain injury, and crippling post-traumatic stress disorder began to take their toll. Haunted by the war and in constant physical pain, he soon found himself unable to climb a simple flight of stairs or face a bus ride to the VA hospital. He drank; he argued; ultimately, he cut himself off from those he loved. Alienated and alone, unable to sleep or bend over without pain, he began to wonder if he would ever recover. Then Luis met Tuesday, a beautiful and sensitive golden retriever trained to assist the disabled. Tuesday had lived amongst prisoners and at a home for troubled boys, blessing many lives; he could turn on lights, open doors, and sense the onset of anxiety and flashbacks. But because of a unique training situation and sensitive nature, he found it difficult to trust in or connect with a human being-until Luis. Until Tuesday is the story of how two wounded warriors, who had given so much and suffered the consequences, found salvation in each other. It is a story about war and peace, injury and recovery, psychological wounds and spiritual restoration. But more than that, it is a story about the love between a man and dog, and how together they healed each other's souls.
Donnie Kanter Winokur and her husband, Harvey, never could have imagined the heart-wrenching struggle that becomes their new reality after they decide to adopt two infants from Russia. As Iyal and Morasha grow, it becomes clear that Iyal's development is drastically lagging behind his sister's. By age four, he has a devastating diagnosis: fetal alcohol syndrome. But naming their battle provides little relief as Iyal and his family try to cope with the lifelong impact of his invisible disability. As the Winokurs' marriage is unraveling, Donnie and Harvey hang on to the last shreds of their own promise.
Desperate to alleviate her son's constant rages and their crushing toll on the family, Donnie comes up with an innovative, untested, four-pawed solution: a golden retriever service dog named Chancer. Chancer is specially trained to give Iyal a unique love he desperately needs. But in this true-life tale infused with moments of despair, tenderness, and humor, Chancer turns out to be what the entire family has needed to stay--and grow--together.
A decade ago, former military counterintelligence officer Terry Henry joined his precocious young daughter, Kyria, on a trip to a nursing home in order to allow its residents to play with their family dog, a golden retriever named riley. Terry was astounded by the transformations that unfolded before his eyes. Soon after, Terry and Kyria started their service dog organization, paws4people, with the goal of pairing dogs with human beings in need of healing, including traumatized and wounded war veterans and children living with physical, emotional, and intellectual disabilities. In A Dog's Gift, award-winning journalist and author Bob Drury movingly captures the story of a year in the life of paws4people and the broken bodies and souls the organization mends. The book follows the journey of pups bred by the organization from their loving, if rigorous, early training to an emotional event that terry and Kyria have christened "the bump," where each individual service dog chooses its new owner through an almost mystical connection that ignites the healing process. incorporating vivid storytelling, insights into canine wisdom, history, science, and moving tales of personal transformation, A Dog's Gift is a story of miracles bound to be embraced by not only the 60 million Americans who own dogs, but by anyone with a full heart and a loving soul.
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 – from Merlin the chocolate lab puppy with the broken tail once cast away in a garbage bag, who now stabilizes his partner’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.
From two-time National Book Award nominee Melissa Fay Greene comes a profound and surprising account of dogs on the front lines of rescuing both children and adults from the trenches of grief, emotional, physical, and cognitive disability, and post-traumatic stress disorder. The Underdogs tells the story of Karen Shirk, felled at age twenty-four by a neuromuscular disease and facing life as a ventilator-dependent, immobile patient, who was turned down by every service dog agency in the country because she was "too disabled." Her nurse encouraged her to tone down the suicidal thoughts, find a puppy, and raise her own service dog. Karen did this, and Ben, a German shepherd, dragged her back into life. "How many people are stranded like I was," she wondered, "who would lead productive lives if only they had a dog?" A thousand state-of-the-art dogs later, Karen Shirk's service dog academy, 4 Paws for Ability, is restoring broken children and their families to life. Long shunned by scientists as a manmade, synthetic species, and oft- referred to as "Man's Best Friend" almost patronizingly, dogs are finally paid respectful attention by a new generation of neuroscientists and animal behaviorists. Melissa Fay Greene weaves the latest scientific discoveries about our co-evolution with dogs with Karen's story and a few exquisitely rendered stories of suffering children and their heartbroken families. Written with characteristic insight, humanity, humor, and irrepressible joy, what could have been merely touching is a penetrating, compassionate exploration of larger questions: about our attachment to dogs, what constitutes a productive life, and what can be accomplished with unconditional love.