All About Animals discussion

The Possibility Dogs: What a Handful of "Unadoptables" Taught Me About Service, Hope, and Healing
This topic is about The Possibility Dogs
23 views
Past Group Book Discussions: > The Possibility Dogs: What a Handful of "Unadoptables" Taught Me About Service, Hope, and Healing

Comments Showing 1-48 of 48 (48 new)    post a comment »
dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by Barbara, Founder and Moderator (new) - rated it 5 stars

Barbara (lv2scpbk) | 1256 comments Mod
May 2014 book group pick - Discuss it here:


message 2: by Barbara, Founder and Moderator (new) - rated it 5 stars

Barbara (lv2scpbk) | 1256 comments Mod
Anyone start reading this yet? I started reading it but I'm not too far on it yet.


Jami (jamikap) I just started it this week; I am listening to it on audio and am almost half-way through. I am absolutely loving this book!


message 4: by Susannah (new)

Susannah Charleson | 5 comments Hello! Thanks for the invitation to join, extended by a group member, and thanks Barb, for helping me find my way here.

Jami -- I'm so glad you're enjoying 'The Possibility Dogs', and especially on audio, as I very much loved narrating the book, even though it's a marathon job (8 hours a day in the recording booth for four days; your throat literally gets muscle sore -- crazy!).

At any rate, thank you for the invitation. I'd be glad to answer any questions anyone might have, particularly the what-comes-after for some of the dogs and handlers whose stories are included[with spoiler alerts and spacing to prevent spoilers, I promise). I just saw one of the handlers working an agility course with his second dog a couple of months ago! A beautiful thing to see.

All best, Susannah


message 5: by Barbara, Founder and Moderator (new) - rated it 5 stars

Barbara (lv2scpbk) | 1256 comments Mod
I really like this book also. I feel bad for that dog that everyone had to pass to do their job. I'm still toward the beginning of the book.

And, Susannah, Glad you made it here.


Jami (jamikap) Susannah wrote: "Hello! Thanks for the invitation to join, extended by a group member, and thanks Barb, for helping me find my way here.

Jami -- I'm so glad you're enjoying 'The Possibility Dogs', and especially o..."


I'm so happy you are joining us, Susannah! First, I have to say, I normally am not a fan of most authors narrating their books, but I was pleasantly surprised to find that this is not the case with you. You are an excellent narrator, and I really like the narration as well as the book; your long days and hard work are paying off. I am enjoying your company on my commutes to and from work :)

As for the book, I can't wait to start discussing it. I was hooked from the start when you talk about the invisible disabilities and service animals. I work for a state civil rights agency, and I investigate discrimination complaints, so I see this every single day. I have handled quite a few disability discrimination complaints, mainly in the area of employment, but also public accommodation and housing including cases of "companion animals" as opposed to "service dogs." In my opinion, people are generally aware and do not question service dogs for the blind or those with obvious mobility issues, but tend to suspect those with disabilities that are not clearly visible, such as fibromyalgia, mental disabilities, etc. This is one area that needs to be brought to the public's attention, and I am glad that your book is there to help with that!


message 7: by Barbara, Founder and Moderator (new) - rated it 5 stars

Barbara (lv2scpbk) | 1256 comments Mod
Jami wrote: "In my opinion, people are generally aware and do not question service dogs for the blind or those with obvious mobility issues, but tend to suspect those with disabilities that are not clearly visible, such as fibromyalgia, mental disabilities, etc. This is one area that needs to be brought to the public's attention, and I am glad that your book is there to help with that! ,..."

This is why I have never applied for a wheelchair sticker for parking. I can be okay with short distances, but we go somewhere when we have to park about a 1/2 mile away, I have some problems sometimes. With a heart condition it's not visible and people look at me and think I'm fine.

I've have been thinking lately it would be great to have a dog who could alert me when my heart is out of control and I need to do something about it.


message 8: by Barbara, Founder and Moderator (new) - rated it 5 stars

Barbara (lv2scpbk) | 1256 comments Mod
Dogs would be great to alert someone with diabetic problems also.


message 9: by Susan (new) - added it

Susan (susankroupa) | 6 comments Susannah wrote: "Hello! Thanks for the invitation to join, extended by a group member, and thanks Barb, for helping me find my way here.

Jami -- I'm so glad you're enjoying 'The Possibility Dogs', and especially o..."


Oh, how wonderful to have you here for the book discussion!


message 10: by Susannah (last edited May 04, 2014 04:51AM) (new)

Susannah Charleson | 5 comments Thanks so much for the welcome!

I agree that the arena of service dog partnership is a troubled one -- on both sides -- with active discrimination against those with invisible disabilities (and sometimes with visible ones) and, on the other side, plenty of people buying $20 "service dog" vests and slapping them on their pet dogs and taking them out into public situations which they (both owner and pet) not only have no legal right to, but also are ill-prepared for. For the business owner, it can be a truly no-win situation. The questions that may be asked "Is this a service animal?" and "What task(s) does this dog do for you?" do prevent excessive interrogation of someone with a legitimate disability (a good thing) and a business owner's right to ask a service team to leave if the dog is misbehaving is also a good thing, but this means that bad interactions almost always rise to the level of a scene, and there are bystanders who will side with the misbehaving dog team and there are customers who will walk out *because* of the misbehaving dog team, and so often employees are left with a troubling decision to make.

Lately, I'm doing a lot of talks both to service dog groups (on why a high standard of obedience and task commitment is so crucial, and happily, I'm mostly preaching to the choir with this), but also talking to business groups about what service dogs are, what they can do, how they can serve all kinds of disabilities and ... here's the critical point ... how to tell if a dog meets the service dog Public Access standard. Yes,even well-trained dogs from the big programs have occasional balks or lapses, but these are occasional, over and done quite quickly usually. The dog that is highly reactive to noise, petitioning for food from servers or other eaters in a restaurant, barking, whining, jumping up on people and scratching, etc. has not been trained to a service standard, and if the dog is creating a nuisance, I can guarantee that dog is not focused on his/her job beside the handler. Could you or I throw spitwads at the guy in the next cubicle and put out an accounts receivable balance sheet at the same time? No. :)

I do feel a sea change coming with regard to the law and service dog partnerships. I don't think it will be super soon, because there's no infrastructure in place for it, but I do believe there will come a time when service teams must earn a credential at the national level, administered by federal appointees, very similar to the way flight students are tested to become pilots. A flight certificate is granted by the FAA at a national level, but the exam to earn that certificate is administered by "designated examiners". I think we will have a designated examiner process coming with service dogs. The big programs will likely have their own, and the smaller, independent programs or the owner-trainers will have to go to an examiner available to them.

In many ways, this would be a very good thing. Documentation verifying disability would be required (probably sent in to an agency well before the exam), and a dog team's ability to meet the Public Access standard would be verified by a qualified third party examiner.

There would be kinks to this plan, and of course, expense is one of them. Those with disabilities often do not have discretionary funds for travel, exam sessions, etc., and current law makes service dog partnership fiscally a little more available to them.

That's my best guess at what's coming in the next decade. Not tomorrow and, ideally, a very, very fair and considered process would be implemented (whatever it is). But I think the current situation is reaching critical mass very fast.

(Thanks so much for the kind words for my narration, too, Jami!)


Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin | 22 comments Susannah wrote: "Hello! Thanks for the invitation to join, extended by a group member, and thanks Barb, for helping me find my way here.

Jami -- I'm so glad you're enjoying 'The Possibility Dogs', and especially o..."


Welcome Susannah! I just finished your book and I love it so much. I have mental disabilities and would love to learn more about dogs for these things. I always thought it wasn't fair we didn't have dogs for all disabilities. Thank you so much for this book!


message 12: by Jami (new) - rated it 5 stars

Jami (jamikap) Our State law was amended in the past few years to include the requirement that a service dog has to be trained by a recognized service dog trainer. I imagine that the Legislature enacted that provision in response to complaints from business owners regarding the issue that you discussed, Susannah, and your prediction regarding credentialing.

I get that there are both sides to this issue, just as there are in employment cases with disabilities. We see employers who won't accommodate someone with a simple change that won't change the essential job functions or cause an undue hardship, but then there are the employers who go above and beyond and accommodate everything on the person's request list, even though they aren't required to. Some of my most fascinating cases are in the disability area, as it is a case-by-case situation and requires an individualized assessment of that person's needs.

On another note, when I got to the part about you driving Misty frantically to the vet, I was driving in my car to work and listening at the time. My heart sunk when you talked about the traffic blocking the way, and I wanted to press my foot on my own car's accelerator so you could get there faster, LOL! I know that feeling; our e-vet is about 25 minutes away (luckily they are open 24/7, which is a godsend), but my issue is the weather. We can get awful snow storms in the winter, and a few years back, my senior rescue dog, Winston, bloated on a stormy night. You should have seen me driving in that mess, but we got there in one piece! I can definitely relate to that sinking feeling of needing to get there in time. I felt just awful when you discussed your feelings of guilt, like if you had just woken up sooner, etc. I imagine everyone in this group has been at that point at one point or another.

I'm listening to Roscoe's story at the moment! Can't wait to get in my car tomorrow again and see what happens!!!!


message 13: by Susannah (new)

Susannah Charleson | 5 comments Yes -- that heart-clenching drive to the vet. How many of us have taken it and will again? (I just took it again Monday night at 1 AM with my search dog!)


message 14: by Susannah (new)

Susannah Charleson | 5 comments Melissa wrote: "Susannah wrote: "Hello! Thanks for the invitation to join, extended by a group member, and thanks Barb, for helping me find my way here.

Jami -- I'm so glad you're enjoying 'The Possibility Dogs',..."


Melissa wrote: "Susannah wrote: "Hello! Thanks for the invitation to join, extended by a group member, and thanks Barb, for helping me find my way here.

Jami -- I'm so glad you're enjoying 'The Possibility Dogs',..."


Melissa, thank you! We are seeing some amazing work done by service dogs trained to assist with mental health disorders -- particularly panic attacks, night terrors, agoraphobia and compulsive behaviors -- but there are other fine things done out there for other conditions. Truly amazing work between a dog and a partner, built on trust. I'm so honored to get to watch the process!


message 15: by Susannah (new)

Susannah Charleson | 5 comments Susan J. wrote: "Susannah wrote: "Hello! Thanks for the invitation to join, extended by a group member, and thanks Barb, for helping me find my way here.

Jami -- I'm so glad you're enjoying 'The Possibility Dogs',..."


Hey, Susan! Glad to be here!


message 16: by Skye (new)

Skye | 193 comments Glad you made it here, Susannah!
And for those of you who don't know yet - Susannah just received the Maine Golden Retriever Club's 2014 Honorary Member, following former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and Capt Luis Montalvan and received the "much coveted" MGRC Heads-or-Tails coin sent with the good news. Our mutual friends Suzan Morris and Jon Morris sent in the originating nomination!
Very nice, Susannah!


message 17: by Skye (new)

Skye | 193 comments For those of you who may not know very much about Susannah, here is the little I do know. She is from TX and wrote about her Golden in her first book (the chapters about her life at home with her dogs were excellent). She also was the keynote speaker at an IAABC conference. This is her second book.


message 18: by Skye (new)

Skye | 193 comments We have all seen Dog Rules but Susannah posted these on her FB page and I just have to share them. Usually, there are 10, maybe 12 rules, but Susannah posted nearly 100 - all of them priceless! https://www.facebook.com/notes/susann...


message 19: by Jami (new) - rated it 5 stars

Jami (jamikap) Susannah wrote: "Yes -- that heart-clenching drive to the vet. How many of us have taken it and will again? (I just took it again Monday night at 1 AM with my search dog!)"

Hope all is okay with your search dog!!!!!


message 20: by Jami (new) - rated it 5 stars

Jami (jamikap) I finished the book this morning (perfect timing: right as I pulled into the parking lot at work!!!) and I absolutely loved it. I certainly intend to get Scent of the Missing in the near future and look forward to future books!

One thing I mentioned earlier was that I enjoyed Susannah's narration of the book. As I finished the book, I realized that one of the reasons that made it work is that her empathy for both the humans and the animals came through.

I was interested in the end to read about her non-profit group. Susannah, how is that going? Also, do you have plans for future books?


Jolene Dretzka (blaqkat_13) | 92 comments I just got my book in the mail today, ordered it from Amazon. I was so excited! I picked this book to read this month because I love the topic, psychiatric service dogs. I've heard of them before & always felt they made sense, but I like that someone has written a book explaining to the rest of the world what they are & giving those who already know about them the fine details. My ex-stepmother has one(yes, oddly I still talk to the woman) & I've been wondering if one would help me too, perhaps this book will help me decide. Anyway, I'm also studying to become a dog trainer & any extra info about service dogs of any type is of great interest to me. I've always felt that you can never read too many books on a subject you want to become a part of, I not only may need a dog like this, but I hope to train dogs like this some day. I read the back jacket of the book & saw all the praise from other authors etc.,but the one that stood out to me, really caught my eye, was the quote from Temple Grandin. I love Ms. Grandin, her history & everything she's done. I try to read everything she writes & any books about her. I think she does great things for animals, I'm even reading Animals in Translation currently. Anyway, what I was getting at is that Temple Grandin is a hero of sorts of mine & if she loved the book then it has to be a great book. I'm excited to start this group, this is my first book I'll be reading with you guys & I think it's going be a great way to start my relationship with this animal book group. Thank you for letting join this group & I'm excited about not just this book, but the future books I will be reading with you. Now lets get to reading ;-)


Jolene Dretzka (blaqkat_13) | 92 comments I forgot to add that even though I've only read a few pages of the book that I'm already loving it & I'm enjoying the authors writing style too (that's always an important part of the book for me). I don't want to put it down ;-)


message 23: by Jami (new) - rated it 5 stars

Jami (jamikap) Jolene wrote: "I forgot to add that even though I've only read a few pages of the book that I'm already loving it & I'm enjoying the authors writing style too (that's always an important part of the book for me)...."

I felt the same way about the book, Jolene. I really enjoyed it from the outset. Good luck with you studies to become a dog trainer!


Jolene Dretzka (blaqkat_13) | 92 comments Jami wrote: "Jolene wrote: "I forgot to add that even though I've only read a few pages of the book that I'm already loving it & I'm enjoying the authors writing style too (that's always an important part of th..."

Thank you Jami ;-)


Jolene Dretzka (blaqkat_13) | 92 comments OK, so this is what Ive gotten from the book now that I am 35 pages in, still not far, but there is so much to process in those couple pages. First I love the story about how Bob fell in Love with Haska. Second, Susahhah's dog Puzzle helping her fix her OCD problems was sweet whether it was accidental or not. Finally the sweetest & most tear wrenching was of her friend Erin & her 2 dogs Misty & Smokey & how in her last few days she would wake to find the giraffe they played fetch with placed in her hands by Smokey while she slept, That brought tears to my eyes. Susannah puts so much heart into every story & example whether it's her personal experience or not to the point where you feel like you are there with the people. These stories are truly great examples of why dogs are able to help people with psychiatric issues. If you ever doubted that a dog is fit to help someone with these issues this book WILL change your mind ;-)


Jolene Dretzka (blaqkat_13) | 92 comments ....I almost forgot to add this to my last post: The one thing that surprised me the most, & I hadn't heard of, was Therapy Dogs being trained & used to deal with the grief-stricken such as those in recovery areas like the ones they had set up during 9/11. I feel that is one of the most amazing & needed use of a Therapy dogs, but until Ms. Charleson brought it up I never knew that Therapy dogs were used for anything other than Hospitals & senior centers. Wow, I don't know why I had such a hard time phrasing this. Perhaps it's my excitement over the topic, LOL ;-)


message 27: by Skye (new)

Skye | 193 comments Jolene wrote: "....I almost forgot to add this to my last post: The one thing that surprised me the most, & I hadn't heard of, was Therapy Dogs being trained & used to deal with the grief-stricken such as those i..."

Jolene, you might also be interested in Healing Companions by Jane Miller. I believe her book on psychiatric service dogs was discussed here. Here is my review: http://dogevals.blogspot.com/2013/07/...

I have been a dog trainer for about 20 years, if you would like to email me off-line.


Jolene Dretzka (blaqkat_13) | 92 comments Skye wrote: "Jolene wrote: "....I almost forgot to add this to my last post: The one thing that surprised me the most, & I hadn't heard of, was Therapy Dogs being trained & used to deal with the grief-stricken ..."

Wow! Thank you Skye ;-) I appreciate the suggestion which I'm sure I'll look up & read as soon as I'm done reading the pile of books I'm currently reading. As, you may already know, if you read my previous comments, this is my first book with this group as I have just joined (the end of April). I also think I will probably take you up on your offer to email you, I would love picking the brain of an experienced Trainer. So far everyone in the group has been super friendly.


message 29: by Jane (new)

Jane Miller (janemiller) | 15 comments Jolene,
Nice to meet you. I am the author of the first book ever written about psychiatric service dogs, "Healing Companions: Ordinary Dogs and Their Extraordinary Power To Transform Lives," and am here to help any way I can. please feel free to contact me at jmiller@oberlin.net. You might like to read this article about my work and passion. See:
https://www.thedodo.com/community/jan...
he-healing-power-of-psychiatr-548298905.html or
thedo.do/RMh0Kd
. Thanks Skye. Take care, Peace and gratitude jane
www.healing-companions.com


Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin | 22 comments Jolene wrote: "OK, so this is what Ive gotten from the book now that I am 35 pages in, still not far, but there is so much to process in those couple pages. First I love the story about how Bob fell in Love with ..."

I agree with you Jolene! The way Misty and Smokey acted toward Erin was like they knew and they were trying to comfort her. I almost couldn't get through that part. I also loved that Erin did whatever she had to do while dying, to make sure they had a forever home.


Jolene Dretzka (blaqkat_13) | 92 comments First I want to thank Jane for her suggestion & comment, Thank you Jane ;-)
Now I was hoping someone could help answer a question I have about something that has been bothering me. Since there are so many people on this discussion board who knows so much about Psychiatric Service Dogs (PSD's), perhaps someone knows the name of a documentary movie I'm looking for. A while back I saw a documentary about PSD's that help the ex-military suffering from PTSD. The documentary was created to raise money for this service, I think, & is fairly new (I think it came out in 2012 or 2013). Anyway, as I have been reading this book it reminded me of this movie, unfortunately I forgot the name & want to see it again, perhaps buy it. I thought it was called Rescue Me, but all I can find under that name aside from the firefighter TV show is a 2005 movie about the over population of animal shelters. If anyone understands what I'm referring to please comment with the title. Thanks again, everyone here has been so friendly & helpful ;-)


Jolene Dretzka (blaqkat_13) | 92 comments I'm sorry I didn't wait for a response, but it was driving me so nuts that I kept looking despite the fact I just asked. The name of the movie was Shelter Me(2012) & is introduce by actress Katherine Heigl. While the movies entire focus isn't the ex-military using Psychiatric Service Dogs, it does cover it. It's a very good movie & I suggest it to anyone interested in this type of documentary, I also believe they cover shelters dealing with crowding & trying to adopt out & prisons using prisoners to train service dogs. I know I didn't type a great synopsis, but it is a very good documentary/ movie that partly covers the subject we've been reading about. Probably a great way to celebrate finishing this book, for those who already have, by watching Shelter Me. It can be found on Netflix Instant for those who have it.


Jolene Dretzka (blaqkat_13) | 92 comments ...So, it's been forever since I've seen Shelter Me, but just for those curious, a better synopsis is it's a movie about finding great homes & uses for shelter dogs. One of the uses is turning them into psychiatric service dogs, which is why I think people who have read Possibility Dogs might be interested in seeing it ;-)


message 34: by Susan (new) - added it

Susan (susankroupa) | 6 comments Skye wrote: "We have all seen Dog Rules but Susannah posted these on her FB page and I just have to share them. Usually, there are 10, maybe 12 rules, but Susannah posted nearly 100 - all of them priceless! htt..."

Oh, I love all of these! Thanks for posting it. I think my labradoodle's favorite would be this one:

The Golden Rules #72 -- I don't turn off the TV in the middle of your movie. Let me sniff across this bush a little longer -- last time you said 'Leave It!' just when things were getting good.


message 35: by Susan (new) - added it

Susan (susankroupa) | 6 comments Jolene wrote: "OK, so this is what Ive gotten from the book now that I am 35 pages in, still not far, but there is so much to process in those couple pages. First I love the story about how Bob fell in Love with ..."

I agree! Such moving stories!


Jolene Dretzka (blaqkat_13) | 92 comments So, I understand that training your own Psychiatric Service Dog can be a challenge that not everyone is suited for. Still, I'm curious about the financial difference between getting a ready trained service dog & training your own. Susannah mentions that the pertained dogs can be upwards of the thousand dollar mark, if I'm correct, correct me if I'm not, & says that training your own does save some money. As far as I've read that's pretty much all she says on the matter of money, which is fine, I'm just curious. Is it a small or significant difference monetarily? Does anyone actually know any of the figures?


message 37: by Barbara, Founder and Moderator (new) - rated it 5 stars

Barbara (lv2scpbk) | 1256 comments Mod
That's a good question Jolene. Hopefully someone can answer that.


message 38: by Barbara, Founder and Moderator (new) - rated it 5 stars

Barbara (lv2scpbk) | 1256 comments Mod
I agree with others about the story with Misty and Smokey.

I really enjoyed reading about the testing in chapter 8.


Jolene Dretzka (blaqkat_13) | 92 comments Barbara wrote: "I agree with others about the story with Misty and Smokey.

I really enjoyed reading about the testing in chapter 8."


That's too funny Barbara, that's exactly what chapter I'm on right now ;-)


message 40: by Jane (new)

Jane Miller (janemiller) | 15 comments In response to your question Jolene. I want to answer by stating that presently I am one of the only organizations training PSDs for those severely limited in their ability to function due to their mental illness and qualify under the ADA. The organizations presently are focused on providing PSDs for veterans. I work with the handler client from the very beginning of the process starting with finding the right shelter dog for that person's specific needs and then we work together moving from basic training to public access and task training . The costs depend on many variables the dog, the handler/clients training skills and commitment to consistent training/practicing. Many owner trainers work with trainers which can add up cost-wise depending on the trainers fees. Other owner trainers benefit from Sue Ailsby's Training levels and do more of the training on their own which obviously cost less. Most organizations like mine are non-profits so the costs are covered through fundraising and grants. I hope this helps and would be happy to provide more information about PSDs. I do discuss costs in my book.
Jane Miller, LISW, CDBC, AABP-CDBC,
Executive Director, Healing Companions, Inc.
Author of, “Healing Companions: Ordinary Dogs and Their Extraordinary Power To Transform Lives.”
www.healing-companions.com
Oberlin, Ohio
jmiller@oberlin.net
800-457-0345


Jolene Dretzka (blaqkat_13) | 92 comments First I must say how saddened & disappointed I was to find that Misty didn't make it to the end of the book, she sounded like such a great & loyal doggy. At least she had all the love in the world that she deserved, both from Erin & then Susannah. On to brighter things, I loved the bit about Jake & Maddye harassing each other, it made me laugh out loud. As for Jake's looks, I think the author, her friends, & colleagues are all being a bit hard on Jake's looks. I think Jake, both in puppy-hood & grown is extremely adorable.


message 42: by Barbara, Founder and Moderator (new) - rated it 5 stars

Barbara (lv2scpbk) | 1256 comments Mod
Hey Jolene, I was saddened too about Misty. We must be reading about the same pace with this book. I got past the Jake intro too. I don't think any dog could ever be ugly. I love them all.


message 43: by Susan (new) - added it

Susan (susankroupa) | 6 comments I read most of this book some time back and am re-reading it for this discussion (or trying to--been swamped lately)and I was blown away again at Susannah's lyric prose and heartfelt honesty. I was in tears several times in the first 30-35 pages. I love good narrative non-fiction and (in my opinion)this ranks up there with the best.


Jolene Dretzka (blaqkat_13) | 92 comments Real quick, there could be some spoilers in this comment, so, if you haven't read to chapter 19 or beyond yet, please only proceed if what I'm about to type won't ruin your reading experience ;-)
I am totally loving every moment of this book, I will say again, the writing style of a book is the most important part for me & Susannah Charleson's writing style is smooth, & as Susan J. put it, "heartfelt". I am close to being done & am going to be sad when there is no more to read. I particularly like how almost every other chapter is about Jake Piper being trained & every other is someone else & their experience with a psychiatric & or emotional service dog. Each additional non-Jake story touches on a different part of what these dogs can do for people in need. It breaks the topic up nicely & keeps your interest, I think, by bouncing back & forth. I am really intrigued by chapter 21's story with Nancy & Lexie. It really paints a clear picture of tougher side of having one of these dogs & having to defend yourself & your dogs rights. It shows how ignorant & intolerant people can be to those with invisible disabilities & the animals that help them. It shows the difficulty for some who have to defend themselves & their dogs on top of their psychiatric problems, how outsiders can inflame their problem by pushing confrontation on people who have a hard enough time leaving their house, not to mention talking to people outside their family. It's sad people like Nancy's neighbor exist, yet amazing how the connection between a person & their service dog can be so strong it will drive person to do things that might otherwise be impossible for them to do, like stand up for their rights & their dogs rights. The other part of Nancy's story that I loved was the last paragraph of the chapter where it shows how Lexie is so in tune to human need that she is willing to give love to those she doesn't know. I thought it was beautiful & amazing how Lexie could see & understand something in that stranger needed her love. It's truly amazing how some dogs are just meant to be guardians of humans in need & Lexie is one of the finest examples of a dog being a natural born Guardian to a humans emotional wounds. It's just amazing that their are dogs out their that are so ready to share their love with anyone who needs it, whether they know you or not. My biggest curiosity has to do with something that came up in chapter 19, the passing of a psychiatric/emotional service dog. I'm curious if anyone has anymore information about how the problem of either an early death or simply old age in a psychiatric service dog is approached when the human still needs more years of assistance. I know, just like any animal, service or not, that they can not be replaced. Still, I imagine, just because the dog passed on that the psychiatric disability doesn't just go away. So, does anyone know how a situation like this is handled, is their a morning period where the person is suggested that they do not get a new service dog or do they simply go from one service dog to another? I don't know if I'm asking the question right. I guess what I'm trying to say is it can't be easy losing a service dog, perhaps even harder on the person than losing a pet, so do they try & get another dog when the time is right or do they try & move on without another? If anyone understands the question I'm asking & has an answer to it I would love to hear your answer & thoughts & discuss the issue a bit, despite the sad nature of the topic. Perhaps the possible early loss of a psychiatric service dog may be reason for some people to steer away from getting one, I don't know. I think what can be gained from the experience with the dog is worth the inevitable loss & tears. Anyway, this book has truly shone a light on an important subject & I feel Susannah Charleson has done a great job writing about it. Thank you Susannah for sharing your love & interest in these dogs with us & the many mini stories within only made the topic better. Well, I got 66 pages to go, can't wait to discuss my feeling on the ending with you guys. This has been a great book to start my reading relationship with this book group, it certainly makes me excited thinking about the many future books I plan to read & discuss with everyone here. Yay!


Jolene Dretzka (blaqkat_13) | 92 comments I just finished the book & it was hard coming to terms that the the book had ended. I'm going to miss reading about Jake Piper & the rest of Susannah Charleson's fluffy crew. I loved that she gave a little follow-up at the end of the book on some of the people she wrote about earlier in the book. As a future dog trainer & someone who may need a dog like thins in the future, I felt it was very informative & it will become a permanent part of my dog training book collection.


message 46: by Barbara, Founder and Moderator (new) - rated it 5 stars

Barbara (lv2scpbk) | 1256 comments Mod
Thanks for the review and your thoughts on the book Jolene. I'm still reading it. I have to get it done here soon too cause I have to get it back to the library.


Jolene Dretzka (blaqkat_13) | 92 comments Barbara wrote: "Thanks for the review and your thoughts on the book Jolene. I'm still reading it. I have to get it done here soon too cause I have to get it back to the library."
Thanks, Barbara. It was a great first book to read with you guys & I hope to read many more books of equal or greater interest with this group. You are also a wonderful moderator. I love how much you interact with everyone & how quick you are at answering questions.


message 48: by Barbara, Founder and Moderator (new) - rated it 5 stars

Barbara (lv2scpbk) | 1256 comments Mod
Thank you Jolene.


back to top