In her book, “Loyal“, Rebecca Ascher-Walsh details “38 stories of Bravery, Heroism and the Devotion of Dogs”. A heartwarming and tender illustration of the impact dogs have on our daily lives and how they help us with our challenges. When I think of dogs who make a difference I think of:
Guide dogs for the blind, hearing impaired, and the disabled (mobility and daily tasks)
Therapy dogs who visit the sick in the hospital
Arson Sniffing Dogs
Search and Rescue Dogs
Bomb Sniffing Dogs
Medical Alert Dogs who alert a handler that a medical need is imminent (low blood sugar, epilepsy are 2 common alerts)
I was pleased to see that “Loyal” also draws attention to a few of the lesser known circumstances that dogs help us and our neighbors every day which includes:
Animal Assisted Therapy for Special Needs Kids
Community Outreach for Police (Conversation is easier with a dog around, people approach dogs much more eagerly than uniformed officers)
Locating Endangered Species
Prison Dogs (programs help prisoners and shelter dogs by pairing the dog up with a prisoner for obedience and care)
Teach Fire Safety at Schools
Teach Compassion to at risk Youth
Emotional support in the courtroom for children and adults who’ve had to face their abusers in court
Helping Veterans with PTSD
This easy to read book is 160 pages of short stories about devoted dogs who help their partners and their communities. You can browse through the book and read a few stories or sit down and read from cover to cover. I won’t kid you, “Loyal” is an emotional read. It is both uplifting and poignant.
Stories range from Elle, a dog who promotes the positive aspects of the American Pitbull Terrier, with her calm, patient, and loving nature, to Drago, a dog who offers a calm, friendly presence to help people overcome tragedy.
Each picture brings the story of each dog alive and snippets of “fun facts” offer even more information.
Compact and enjoyable, I wholeheartedly recommend this book!
National Geographic sums it up with this:
“For anyone who has experienced the extraordinary affection of a dog, Loyal is a lasting celebration of the joys of canine companionship.”
About the Author by National Geographic:
Rebecca Ascher-Walsh, a journalist who specializes in celebrity and lifestyle coverage, has a soft spot for four-legged stars. Ascher-Walsh has also authored Devoted: 38 Extraordinary Tales of Love, Loyalty, and Life with Dogs. In addition to sharing the stories of amazing animals and volunteering at a high-kill shelter in Manhattan, Ascher-Walsh is a founding director of the Deja Foundation, an organization devoted to raising funds for the care of rescue dogs.