Tuesday, February 9, 2016

For dog lovers

Have an animal in your home? Lots of us do. I have suggested cat stories before, since I have three cats of my own, so now I’m writing about dogs, which are the animals I grew up with. Dogs bring pleasure to our lives, but they can also do a lot more. Enjoy the following reads. 

The Second Chance Dog, A Love Story, by Jon Katz. 
In 2007, a few years after purchasing Bedlam Farm in upstate New York, Jon Katz met Maria Wulf, a quiet, sensitive artist hoping to rekindle her creative spark. Jon, like her, was introspective yet restless, a writer struggling to find his purpose. He felt a connection with her immediately, but a formidable obstacle stood in the way: Maria’s dog, Frieda. A Rottweiler-shepherd mix who had been abandoned by her previous owner in the Adirondacks, where she lived in the wild for several years, Frieda was ferociously protective and barely tamed. She roared and charged at almost anyone who came near. But to Maria, Frieda was sweet and loyal, her beloved guard dog and devoted friend. And so Jon quickly realized that to win over Maria, he’d have to gain Frieda’s affection as well. While he and Maria grew closer, Jon was having a tougher time charming Frieda to his side. Even after many days spent on Bedlam Farm, Frieda still lunged at the other animals, ran off into the woods, and would not let Jon come near her, even to hook on her leash. Yet armed with a singular determination, unlimited patience, and five hundred dollars’ worth of beef jerky, Jon refused to give up on Frieda, or on his chance with Maria. Written with stunning emotional clarity and full of warm yet practical wisdom, The Second-Chance Dog is a testament to how animals can make us better people, and how it’s never too late to fine love. 

James Herriot’s Favorite Dog Stories, by James Herriot. 
When James decided he wanted to be a vet, he knew that he wanted to be a dog doctor, so he could spend all his time with dogs. As everyone knows, James Herriot became much more than a dog doctor. But no animal was dearer to his heart, and no animal provided him with more heartwarming and wonderful tales, then man’s best friend. Enjoy ten of James Herriot’s most beloved stories about dogs. There is Jock the sheepdog, rescued from neglect by a doting mistress. There is Brandy, a mutt who’s only happy (and healthy) when he’s digging in a dustbin. Others are Border collies, dachshunds, and even Tricki Woo, the memorable Pekingese. In the books pages the celebrated Yorkshire vet brings to life these animals’ human counterparts, painting them with warmth and humor in equal measure. This collection of tales is a welcome gift from one of the greatest storytellers of our time. 

Haatchi & Little B; the inspiring true story of one boy and his dog, by Wendy Holden. 
When Owen, known to his family as “little buddy” or “Little B, met Haatchi, the lives of one adorable little boy and one great, big dog were destined to change forever. Owen has a rare genetic disorder that leaves him largely confined to a wheelchair. He also found it difficult to make friends. Haatchi was abused and left for dead on railroad tracks. He was struck by an oncoming train, and although his life was saved, his leg and tail were partially severed. He was massively disabled and totally dispirited. But then Little B’s father and stepmother decided to introduce the big dog and the boy to each other, and an unbelievable bond was formed that transformed both boy and dog in miraculous ways. This story is a true story of a little boy and a very special big dog and the most wonderful pair you will ever read about. 

Elle & Coach; diabetes, the fight for my daughter’s life, and the dog who changed everything by Stefany Shaheen. 
When her oldest daughter, 8 year old Elle, was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, Stefany confronted a terrifying new reality; without constant monitoring and treatment, Elle could face grim consequences, even death. Treatment meant shots of insulin, testing blood sugar levels, pricking fingers numerous times a day. Tests have to be done before meals, snacks, activities, before bedtime, during the night and several other times during the day. When Elle’s blood sugar levels repeatedly dropped without warning the stress took its toll on the entire family. Along the way Stefany and Elle heard stories about the growing field of medic-alert dogs; four-legged friends who are celebrated for having the ability to detect seizures, alert people with diabetes when blood sugar levels rise too high or fall too low, and several other medical conditions. They decide to give a dog a try. Enter an adorable, hardworking yellow Lab named Coach. When he joined the family, life gradually improved. Elle seemed at ease for the first time since her diagnosis. Could a dog really make a difference in Elle’s life? Would Coach have a positive effect on her health? The journey had struggles, humor and inspiration, but they did arrive at an answer. A compelling story of overcoming, Elle & Coach reminds us of the power of the human-animal connection, and the profound nature of a mother’s love for her daughter. 

Lessons from Tara; life advice from the world’s most brilliant dog, by David Rosenfelt.
Loyal readers of the Andy Carpenter series are familiar with Tara, Andy’s golden retriever sidekick. This book tells you about David and how he became a slightly nutty canine rescuer and the dog that started it all. Here is a book about the inspirational pooch who taught David everything he knows. Through Tara and many other dogs he has saved over the years, David learned about being able to share his emotions, about guts and resilience and so much more. This book is infused with David’s trademark wry and self-deprecating sense of humor and will move readers to tears and laughter. 

--Arlette Dubord, Technical Services Assistant

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