A celebration of the many ways service dogs help humans.
"Dogs of courage," as defined by Rogak (And Nothing But the Truthiness: The Rise (and Further Rise) of Stephen Colbert, 2011, etc.), are not unique in that they possess courage—all dogs, she asserts, are born with it—but humans have the ability to draw out this courage in ways that benefit both the dogs and the people working with them. The author gives a broad overview of dogs in service today, as well as the history of dogs providing support in a myriad of settings. She profiles guide and assistance dogs, fire and police dogs, medical research-assistant canines, wildlife and conservation dogs and therapy dogs. Training programs were instituted when World War I began, and dogs have served in the military since. As Rogak notes, there is overlap between the different types of service dogs and the skills that are called upon; the benefits that therapy dogs provide through steadfast companionship and support offer a form of therapy to anyone working closely with them. There are also distinctly different training requirements for different types of service. A dog trained in providing therapy support, particularly when the service is being provided to children, must acquiesce to having their ears and tails tugged on by little hands, whereas a police dog by necessity requires sharper self-preservation instincts. Rogak also shares brief profiles of specific dogs working in the various service arenas.
Will give dog enthusiasts plenty of reinforcement for the assertion that dogs are man’s best friend.