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Publisher's Summary

New York Times best-selling author Maria Goodavage takes us on a thrilling, delightful, globe-trotting journey to discover the heartwarming and fascinating new world of doctor dogs.

In this groundbreaking audiobook, Goodavage brings us behind the scenes of cutting-edge science at top research centers, and into the lives of people whose well-being depends on their devoted, highly skilled personal MDs (medical dogs). With her signature wit and passion, Goodavage explores how doctor dogs are becoming our happy allies in the fight against dozens of physical and mental conditions.

We meet dogs who detect cancer and Parkinson’s disease, and dogs who alert people to seizures and diabetic lows or highs and other life-threatening physical ailments. Goodavage reveals the revolutionary ways dogs are helping those with autism, anxiety, depression, schizophrenia, and post-traumatic stress disorder. And she introduces us to intrepid canines who are protecting us from antibiotic-resistant bugs, and to dogs who may one day help keep us safe from epidemic catastrophe. Their paycheck for their lifesaving work? Heartfelt praise and a tasty treat or favorite toy.

The emotional element in Doctor Dogs delivers as powerfully as the science. You don’t have to be a dog lover to care deeply about what these dogs are doing and what we are learning from them - although if you’re not a dog lover, you probably will be by the end of the audiobook.

©2019 Maria Goodavage (P)2019 Penguin Audio

Critic Reviews

"Goodavage has done it again, with her fascinating investigation into the world of doctor dogs. Goodavage has expertly synthesized the latest scientific research on how dogs can even save us from invisible dangers lurking in our bodies. A testament to the extraordinary connection between dogs and ourselves, and one more piece of evidence that their love for us truly knows no bounds." (Brian Hare, New York Times best-selling author of The Genius of Dogs)

"Doctor Dogs is fascinating, beautifully researched and written - and deeply moving. Maria Goodavage takes the reader around the globe - from laboratories developing a better e-nose or working to understand what compounds dogs may be alerting to in cancer samples, to homes where service and detection dogs are saving the lives of their owners on a daily and even hourly basis, and to facilities doing sophisticated and nuanced training with dogs that have fine noses and love treats, toys, and praise. The reader will meet seizure-detection dogs, dogs who can detect the dangerous bacterium c-difficile, and dogs who can calm their humans suffering from PTSD. Goodavage doesn’t shy away from the training challenges, the sometimes disappointing study results, and the problems with dishonest organizations taking advantage of desperate families. But the reader comes away feeling hope and profound admiration for the complex new roles that dogs are playing in helping humans - and for the dedicated researchers, trainers, and owners who work tirelessly and lovingly with our best friends." (Cat Warren, author of the New York Times best seller What the Dog Knows)

"This is a fascinating book about the amazing ways dogs can, and do, help people with physical and emotional problems. The title isn’t stretching the truth: They really are 'Doctor Dogs.' On the other hand - and I mean this as a compliment - they would make terrible lawyers." (Dave Barry, Pulitzer-Prize winning and New York Times best-selling author of Lessons from Lucy: The Simple Joys of an Old, Happy Dog and dozens of other books)


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  • Sandra M Ellenwood
  • 10-11-19

Marvelous account of dogs abilities to help man

Marvelous stories of what dogs have been able to be trained for to assist man. Also how some of these animals provide these actions simply out of love and caring for their human friend.

2 people found this helpful

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  • truthseeker
  • 24-04-21

Brilliant, eye-opening

Well-written and thorough, this book covers the many ways in which dogs help people with medical problems, from diabetes to PTSD to autism. A magnificent job!

1 person found this helpful