Today’s topic: service dogs
Today I talked to Carol Lea Benjamin, the award-winning author of books about dog behavior and training, including “Mother Knows Best”, “Second-Hand Dog” and “Dog Training in Ten Minutes”, as well as the Shamus-Award, winning “Rachel Alexander and Dash” mystery series about her service dog.
Carol has been awarded the Dog Writers of America’s highest honor, The Distinguished Service Award for Extraordinary Achievement and Communications Excellence and in 2003, she was elected to the Hall of Fame of the International Association of Canine Professionals for “a lifetime of dedication to dogs and their training.”
Her latest book, co-written with Denise Wall (who breeds and trials with Border Collies) is “Do Border Collies Dream of Sheep?”.
Written in alternating chapters with Denise, who bred her dog, Sky, “Do Border Collies Dream of Sheep?” is the true story of how two littermates grow up and into their jobs, one to be a sheepdog, the other a service dog.
It is an exploration of how dogs’ instincts were passed down to them by their wild wolf ancestors, of how their personalities, characters, responses to us and the world they live in and even the games they play are informed and colored by the work they were originally bred to do.
And it’s the love story of humans and dogs, one that has passed the test of time.
“Do Border Collies Dream of Sheep?” is the story she’s been wanting to tell since her first service dog, a rescue dog named Dexter, saw a need and volunteered to help in a way that, back then, no one knew a dog was capable of doing, thus becoming the first service dog ever to work with Crohn’s disease.
So this is also an exploration of how dogs help us when we are sick or in pain, electing themselves to do whatever they can to keep their mixed-species pack as healthy as possible, just as their ancestors have always done in the wild.
And of course, get a copy of Carol’s delightful book from Amazon (click the picture below) or www.barnes&noble.com or www.outrunpress.com
Comments are welcome here and on her blog
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