We are familiar with seeing eye dogs, service dogs, military working dogs, dogs trained to assist Law Enforcement, and dogs who work in search and rescue.
Now, more and more as time goes by, scientific studies are finding that dogs can be trained to help people with chronic medical conditions, both physical & mental, and to detect diseases such as Cancer and Parkinson's.
Doctor Dogs, written by Maria Goodavage, relates many of these studies, along with a number of stories of individual canines and the people they are helping. The emotional element in this book is as powerful as the science. The book jacket states:
You don't have to be a dog lover to care deeply about what we are learning from these dogs – and if you're not a dog lover, you will be by the end of this book!
|Doctor Dogs by Maria Goodavage|
Published in 2019, Doctor Dogs relates a globe-trotting journey made by journalist and author Maria Goodavage who visited top research centers around the United States, throughout Europe and England and as far away as Japan. Through her excellent story-telling we meet many fantastic dogs, learn of their training in various areas and discover how they are impacting (and actually saving, in many cases) the lives of people whose well-being depends on these highly skilled personal MDs (medical dogs).
A Collection of (Trained) Canines in Doctor Dogs
From Angus to Zen......
- Angus (Clostridium difficile-detection dog)
- Baby Boo (cancer detection dog)
- Bob (autism-assistance dog)
- Bud (seizure-alert dog)
- Daisy (cancer detection dog)
- Dexter (seizure-alert dog)
- Duke (crisis-response dog)
- George (cancer detection dog)
- Hank (psychiatric service dog)
- Jedi (diabetic alert dog)
- Leo (educational-aide dog)
- Nina (seizure alert dog)
- Parker (cancer detection dog)
- Sally (malaria detection dog)
- Zen (Parkinson's alert dog)
As you can see from the list above, dogs can be trained to help and assist in many different ways. The training described is fascinating. Dogs can learn to 'alert' to impending seizures (giving the patient time to find a safe place to sit or lie down), or alert to diabetic highs and lows, especially helpful in children with Type I diabetes who are too young to recognize when they are in trouble.
There are Doctor Dogs who can detect cancers and Parkinson's Disease. There are psychiatric service dogs who have proven to be invaluable to children with autism and people suffering from PTSD, both returning soldiers of war and civilians with trauma-induced PTSD.
These abilities and feats dogs are being trained to do are just a few of the areas of medicine, and more, being researched at this time.
Maria Goodavage, Author
|Maria Goodavage (Source: Wikimedia)|
The dogs trained for these medical specialties are carefully matched to the individuals they will serve and are almost always of a calm nature. Labrador Retrievers are a popular breed in this field, but just about any breed who is friendly and calm can be trained to be a good Doctor Dog.
These Doctor Dogs absolutely love what they are doing. They adore and become very attached to their 'people'.
What is their paycheck for their lifesaving work? All they need are heartfelt praise and a tasty treat or favorite toy. I'd say that's the easiest fee to pay any doctor.
(c) Doctor Dogs Book Review by Wednesday Elf 3/14/2020
ReviewThisReviews Contributor Diana Wenzel (RenaissanceWoman) has written several articles here about her therapy dog Finn. Click Here to meet this delightful dog doing his own service in this field of special hero dogs.
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