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Dog Culture: DogPatch
Interview with Sue Halpern
Author of A Dog Walks into a Nursing Home
Sue Halpern
In 2009, her daughter away at school and husband traveling the world for work, Sue Halpern found herself in a quiet home, and restless. Pransky, her seven-year-old dog, was bored. Both were ready for a new engagement. Halpern wondered: could Pransky call on her Labrador and Poodle roots and become a service dog? Could they work together to bring joy to some new corner of their world? Author of...
Dog Culture: Reviews
Mr. and Mrs. Dog: Our Travels, Trials, Adventures, and Epiphanies
Published by Univ. of Virginia Press
The World Sheepdog Trials in Wales are the Olympics of the herding-dog world. Rather like an open-air ballet, highly trained, highly intelligent dogs move flocks of willful sheep with minimal long-distance direction from their humans. This was the rarefied environment into which Donald McCaig took his Border Collies Luke and June (the Mr. and Mrs. Dog of the title) to compete. His account of how...
Dog Culture: Reviews
Frankenstein’s Cat: Cuddling Up to Biotech’s Brave New Beasts
Published by Scientific American/FSG
When the first fully adult animal—Dolly, a sheep— was successfully cloned in 1996, it made headline news around the world. Since then, the practice of meddling in animal biology has speeded up exponentially. Humans have been tinkering with animals for centuries, of course— witness the incredible spectrum of dog breeds—but the new tools scientists have been adding to their toolboxes over the last...
Dog Culture: Reviews
A Dog Walks into a Nursing Home: Lessons in the Good Life from an Unlikely Teacher
Published by Riverhead
What do you do when your bright and gregarious dog is bored senseless? Sue Halpern hit upon the perfect solution: put her to work. Pransky, Halpern’s Labradoodle, was six years old and a proven quick study when the two began training as a therapydog team. Once they began making their visits to the local “county home,” Halpern’s belief in Pransky’s skills was confirmed; her partner was very good...
Dog Culture: Reviews
E. B. White on Dogs
Published by Tilbury House, Publishers
This marvelous collection of classic essays, letters and assorted writings from master wordsmith E. B. White was assembled by his granddaughter and should be on the bookshelf of every person who cherishes good prose and good dogs. White, a dog enthusiast, was a keen observer, and his witty and concise writings predate the blogosphere by nearly a century. Nonetheless, his personable storytelling...
Dog Culture: Reviews
The Soul of All Living Creatures
What Animals Can Teach Us About Being Human, Published by Crown
 the-soul-of-all-living-creatures
With its title calling to mind a quote from Hippocrates — “The soul is the same in all living creatures although the body of each is different” —this book is a thoroughly engaging and thoughtful consideration of the ways in which humans can benefit from closer attention to the ways of animals. Dr. Virga describes his conversion from emergency room clinician to behavioral vet medicine, then shares...
Dog Culture: DogPatch
Q&A with author of Wilderness
In Conversation: Lance Weller and Katherine Griffin
Q&A Weller, Wilderness
First things first: tell us about your dogs. We have a Border Collie, an English Mastiff and one who has a lot of Shepherd in her, and maybe a little Dane. And then we have a mutt we found in a parking lot; he was really on his last legs. We were going to take him to the pound, but he gave me the look, and that was that. Then he promptly threw up all over the car. Who was your first dog? Her...
Dog Culture: Reviews
Book Review: The Possibility Dogs
Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Possibility Dogs - Susannah Charleson
One of our favorite books was Charleson’s first, Scent of the Missing, about training both herself and her dog, Puzzle, for search-and-rescue work. This time, in The Possibility Dogs, she takes a similar approach but refocuses it on training dogs (all of whom are rescues) for psychiatric service and therapy duty. She learns how to evaluate dogs in order to find those who might have the right...
Dog Culture: Reviews
Book Review: Wilderness
Published by Bloomsbury
Lance Weller, Wilderness
Wilderness is an achingly beautiful book. It takes you deep into the heart of a Civil War veteran scarred by nearly unspeakable tragedies and losses, and traces his ultimate redemption, which begins the moment a red-blond dog steps out of the forest and into the light of his cook fire. When we meet this man, Abel Truman, he lives in a shack by the sea on the wild coast of Washington state, alone...
Dog Culture: DogPatch
Newborn Puppies
Bichon Frise/Chihuahua/Pekinese Mix, 12 days old
Traer Scott, photographer of Shelter Dogs and Street Dogs, has now turned her lens on some of the sweetest creatures on earth: puppies in their first 21 days of life. Her recently released book, Newborn Puppies, captures these vulnerable, wobbly, utterly adorable beings about to embark, as she says, “on the great adventure of growing up.” More than just a collection of pretty faces, the book also...

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