In The Golden Bridge, Patty Dobbs Gross provides both personal and professional advice on how specially bred and trained dogs help to facilitate communication for children with autism and other developmental disabilities. This important information compendium is a guide for parents dealing with the social, emotional, and educational issues of raising children with challenges. Myths and labels concerning autism are explored, examined, and redefined. While focused on children, the advice that Gross shares will be immensely helpful for anyone involved in breeding, raising, and training dogs to mitigate any type of disability at any age.The Golden Bridge provides advice about living with autism, animal-assisted therapy and autism, training an assistance dog to work with a child with autism or a developmental disability, and using an assistance dog to deal with a child's grief. This impressive volume also contains a vast list of resources, including web sites, for follow-up information, a section on books about autism, and a directory of assistance dog providers.
Mention the words “Seeing Eye,” and most people will associate them with guide dogs for the blind and partially-sighted. Mention the name “Dorothy Harrison Eustis,” and most people will not recognize it, even though she is the woman responsible for founding The Seeing Eye, the first guide dog school in the United States. Since its inception eighty years ago, The Seeing Eye has trained thousands of people who are visually impaired to use guide dogs. The success of the program has spawned guide dog schools across the country and around the world, and the concept has been further expanded to include service dogs for people with other kinds of disabilities. Drawing on correspondence, private papers, and newspaper accounts of the day, Miriam Ascarelli chronicles the life of Dorothy Harrison Eustis from her upper class childhood in Victorian Philadelphia to her years as a young mother in the upstate New York boomtown of Hoosick Falls, her widowhood, her failed second marriage to a man thirteen years her junior, and the confluence of events that led to her launching The Seeing Eye. In doing so, Ascarelli reveals both a driven woman and a very private person who shunned media coverage of herself but actively courted it for her organization.
Dogs know when we are feeling down. They love it when we are happy and seeking friendship and fun, and they understand when we are feeling sad and desperate. This book presents a series of real-life tales of the positive effects dogs have had on people at the end of their lives, chronicling the visits by two therapy dogs, Woody and Katie, to patients in a south Florida hospice facility. Through twenty-one stories, infused with humor amidst the sadness, Michelle Rivera, an experienced animal therapist, explores the many ways in which animals can ease human suffering. Her book begins with the deeply personal story of her own mother Katherine’s illness and dying appeal to have the company of a dog, and proceeds to tell the stories of patients young and old who the author was inspired to visit with her “hospice hounds.” As well as demonstrating many of the techniques of animal therapy, Rivera argues powerfully that not allowing pets in health care facilities is a counterproductive policy that deprives patients of comfort at the time they need it most. Some of the stories were previously published in Hospice Hounds (2001), but the author has substantially expanded her introduction and added an invaluable final section that gives practical tips on training and certifying your dog to be a therapy animal.