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THE RIGHT DOG FOR THE JOB by Dorothy Hinshaw Patent


Ira’s Path from Service Dog to Guide Dog

by Dorothy Hinshaw Patent & photographed by William Muñoz

Age Range: 8 - 11

Pub Date: May 1st, 2004
ISBN: 0-8027-8914-5
Publisher: Walker

Ira is an appealing golden retriever puppy who grows into his job as a guide dog in this latest effort from a prolific and respected science writer for children. At first Ira is trained by an elementary school teacher in Montana who also works with an organization training service dogs to help people with disabilities other than blindness. Later Ira transfers to a program run by Guide Dogs for the Blind in California and then becomes a guide dog for a man in Washington State. Though this switch in Ira’s training is a little confusing to follow, it allows the author to explore the similarities and differences in training between service dogs and guide dogs. There isn’t much explanation of why people need service or guide dogs, as Patent’s focus is on Ira and his development, with thoughtful acknowledgment of the children who help with the dog’s training along the way. High-quality photographs illustrate Ira’s journey from cuddly puppy to confident working guide dog. (author’s note, list of organizations, bibliography) (Nonfiction. 8-11)