The Possibility Dogs: What a Handful of ‘Unadoptables’ Taught Me About Service, Hope, and Healing

Susannah Charleson, Author
Susannah Charleson. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $27 (288p) ISBN 978-0-547-73493-4
Reviewed on: 03/18/2013
Release date: 06/04/2013
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You don’t have to be an animal lover to be moved by this beautifully written and impassioned account of the author’s work rescuing dogs from shelters and training them to be service animals. Some go on to assist the visually impaired, while others help soldiers returning from combat to deal with post-traumatic stress disorder. Others aid sufferers of obsessive-compulsive disorder, allowing them to stay on task. While plenty of writers have shared their experiences of animal empathy, few have done so as well as Charleson (Scent of the Missing). An emotional highpoint is her description of Lexie, “a very light blond retriever from a bad situation who could use a little rescuing herself.” Charleson teams Lexie up with Nancy, an online friend who has treatment-resistant depression. Nancy is given new opportunities to function by her service animal. This is the rare book that can change minds about the reality of animals’ emotional lives. (June)
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