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In a Dog's Heart: What Our Dogs Need, Want, and Deserve--and the…
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0679643710, Hardcover)A Letter from Jennifer Arnold
Dogs are fascinating to me. That’s a good thing since working with them is my career. Twenty years ago, I founded a program called Canine Assistants and began teaching service dogs to work with people who have physical disabilities. We now have around 120 dogs with whom we are working at any given time and over 1,000 dogs already placed with recipients around the U.S. (and in five other countries.) My husband, Kent Bruner, is the staff veterinarian for Canine Assistants and he, our 9-year-old son Chase, and I live on the farm that is the program’s headquarters.
I started the program because I used a wheelchair for several years, due to the effects of an auto-immune disease, and I know first-hand how difficult even the simplest tasks can be when your body doesn’t do as it’s told. I’m also a lifelong animal lover so combining my own struggle with my great passion made sense.
Every day that I work with dogs, my adoration for them increases. I spend a great deal of time thinking about why dogs are so willing to help human beings. Is it because we feed and care for them or is it because they love us--often more than they seem to love themselves? The latter is closer to the truth I believe. A friend of mine recently said, “Dogs are the last truly nice guys on the planet.”
Loving and appreciating dogs as I do, the popular concept of having to dominate them physically and emotionally in order to “show them who is boss” breaks my heart. In fact, is based on a flawed understanding of canine genetics. Dogs do not understand the “mind games” this methodology employs. It also brings out the absolute worst in our own species. I am committed to helping people understand a better, kinder way to live and work with dogs.
I am certain that understanding and communication are the keys to a better relationship with our canine companions. In 2010, I wrote a book called Through a Dog’s Eyes that explains what we know, through both science and anecdotal evidence, about how dogs perceive the world. I explain why I teach dogs, not train them. It was a start.
Now, I have written a book called In a Dog’s Heart, about what our dogs want and need from us and why it’s important that we give it to them. In this book, I write about some practical things like food, veterinary care, exercise, and selecting a dog. I also write about breed bans, aggression issues, and guardianship vs. ownership.
At times I am straightforward to the point of bluntness about the wrongs we are doing to our dogs in the name of training. In some circles, I’m already being criticized for what I have written. I wish I could tell you that the unpleasantness doesn’t bother me a bit. I can’t. I am all too human. But, it won’t stop me. I owe dogs too much to be silent. We all do.
(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:55:37 -0400)
Shares inspiring and scientifically important stories of dogs who have changed the world, from a rescued Labrador who detects bombs on the Israeli border to a Lab-Golden mix who provides comfort to child cancer patients at an Atlanta hospital.
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