In her newly published book, New Lives: Stories of Rescued Dogs Helping, Healing and Giving Hope, Joanne Wannan tells the stories of abused, abandoned and discarded dogs who are now playing the roles of heroes in animal therapy, and as service dogs. From a Dalmatian who was scheduled to be euthanized to one of Michael Vick’s fighting bit pulls, the dogs in Wannan’s book have overcome tremendous obstacles, yet have gone on to work with humans, creating NEW LIVES for them both.
Lottie Dot was instead abandoned by her breeder in the middle of a ferocious Oklahoma winter storm. The little pup was rescued by her son, and Patricia Belt quickly claimed Lottie Dot as her own. When it was discovered that Lottie was deaf, Patricia taught her dog sign language and enrolled her in classes to become a “therapy dog.” Today Lottie volunteers at hospitals, gives demonstrations at a school for deaf children, and participates in a reading program, which promotes literacy by having children read aloud to a dog. “Lottie can’t hear these precious kids read a single word,” Patricia says. “She listens in a different way; with her heart.”
As a part of Michael Vick’s dogfight operation, Dr. Leo, as he is now affectionately called, was doomed. When authorities stepped in, they disbanded the operation and ordered that each pit bull be evaluated and placed with rescue organizations if possible. Dr. Leo was found to be non-aggressive, but filled with anxiety and lacking in socialization skills. “It’s not that he wasn’t friendly; he just didn’t understand about love, or what he was here for,” his new owner Marthina McClay comments. Dr. Leo is now w wonderful “therapy” dog, visiting patients in a chemotherapy ward, and acting as an ambassador for abused dogs everywhere when he visits a juvenile detention home.
Dropped from a four story building ,and landing on his backside, Dobie, a tiny black Labrador retriever puppy, was left for dead. Thanks to the love of Richard Bartel anddonations of over $90,000 to the University of Minnesota Foundation, Dobie is now alive, well and an active participant in Therapy Dogs International that provides well-trained dogs who visit hospitals, schools and senior homes.
Wannan’s stories are filled with the reality of animal abuse, but also with love, hope and information on the many organizations around the world that help with rescue, housing and adoption of discarded dogs. As Wannan puts it, “These are truly inspiring stories of dogs that were once ‘throwaways,’ and of the lives they have changed.”
Dr. Marty Becker, the resident veterinarian on Good Morning America says, “This book will appeal to animal lovers of all ages, to those interested in learning about animal therapy and to those who advocate for shelter dogs. But mostly, it will appeal to anyone who loves a heart-warming story, where the underdog triumphs in the end.”
For more information: Joanne Wannan, 705-444-6386; firstname.lastname@example.org; www.3BlackDogs.org.
Via EPR Network
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