Chancer: How One Good Boy Saved Another

By Kim Young, January 2018, Updated April 2018

This is a heartwarming story of a childless couple who adopted two babies from Russia. It quickly became clear that one, Iyal, suffered from fetal alcohol spectrum (FAS) disorder as well as other developmental issues. As he grew, his behavior became increasing unpredictable, a challenge for the whole family to navigate. Although her husband was skeptical, Winokur wisely sought assistance from 4 Paws for Ability, which trains dogs to assist special-needs children. Into their lives came Chancer, a young Golden Retriever. From the beginning, Chancer’s gentleness and attention comforted the troubled boy. Chancer, who had his work cut out for him, not only brought relief to Iyal, but also helped the family draw back together. Along the way, the story also shines a light on FAS, an under-discussed disorder. This new memoir is both illuminating and poignant.

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