Posted in Doggone Good Reads!

“Tuesday’s Promise”

Tuesday’s Promise is a tail-wagging sequel and continuation from Luis Carlos Montalvan’s first book, Until Tuesday

Having served two tours in Iraq, Montalvan begins by describing his post-wartime experiences, including what he calls the “invisible wounds of war.” These “invisible wounds” devastatingly include the alarmingly high suicide rate among veterans. To be more specific, Montalvan outlines that veterans die by suicide at a rate of 22 per day, 1 every 65 minutes, and 8,000 each year. Montalvan intimately invites readers into his narrative by discussing his reintegration into civilian life as well as detailing his experiences with posttraumatic stress disorder, depression, anxiety, and suicidal ideations. In addition to his invisible wounds, the author also discusses his experiences with chronic physical pain and the life-altering decisions he has had to make with respect to his physical condition.

“Tuesday’s Promise”

He transitions by educating readers about the historical context of the human-canine relationship. For example, it is suggested that dogs assisted hunter-gatherers and evolved alongside their human counterparts by detecting threats, tracking food sources through their keen sense of smell, herding livestock, enhancing the agriculture industry, and providing border protection. More recently, dogs have been introduced into the medical scene by offering support and assistance to individuals with disabilities including, but not limited to, blindness, psychiatric disorders, seizure response, etc. For Montalvan, it is his service dog, Tuesday, who assists him in mitigating his disabilities, fostering a sense of independence, and ultimately enhancing his quality of life.

Through his narrative, readers gain insight into the many challenges that individuals with service dogs experience, specifically related to their public access rights. Montalvan shares a unique experience he had with Tuesday upon attempting to attend an appointment at the VA, wherein he was denied access, treated unjustly, and “required” to provide a service dog identification badge for Tuesday. In the words of Montalvan, this experience “felt infuriating, too stupid for words.” It was experiences, such as this, that motivated Montalvan to serve as an advocate to educate others about the work of service dogs and the public access rights of their partners.

With Tuesday by his side, Montalvan traveled nationwide as a public speaker, advocate, and educator. It was his mission to utilize his relationship with Tuesday as a means to help others feel respected, connected, loved, and embraced — characteristics that humans and animals alike both want and need!

Montalvan died by suicide in 2016 and was reunited in Heaven by his best pal, Tuesday, in 2019.  In memoriam of two national heroes, thank you for your service.  Thank you, Tuesday, for your gift of life that you provided to your partner in the years leading to his death.



More books by Luis Carlos Montalvan:

Tuesday Tucks Me In (Children’s Book)

Tuesday Tucks Me In
Photo Credit: Goodreads

Tuesday Takes Me There (Children’s Book)

Tuesday Takes Me There
Photo Credit: Goodreads

Until Tuesday

Click here to read more about Until Tuesday!

Posted in Doggone Good Reads!

“Dog Medicine”

“Dog Medicine,” written by Julie Barton, is a phenomenal read that offers insight into the emotional support and companionship offered by our best fur friends.  Throughout the book, Barton details her experiences with mental illness and utilizes a heartfelt approach to depict how her best fur friend, Bunker, aides in alleviating her debilitating symptoms.

Dog Medicine 2

“Dog Medicine” is a relatable read for those with and without mental illness.  The author emphasizes the supportive role of Bunker in adding structure, routine, and purpose in her days.  With Bunker, Barton is able to return to her normal activities, including socializing, working, caring for herself, and living independently.  In her book, Barton states, “I want to get out of bed.”  Readers can interpret from this statement exactly how dogs can serve as a natural antidepressant.  Through the development of their bond, it is observed that Bunker serves as a source of safety, provides comfort and companionship, promotes mindfulness, and encourages laughter.  “Dog Medicine” exemplifies what we, as a social species, need but are often neglected.  The author highlights how she has become more attuned to her own emotional experiences by observing and attending to Bunker’s emotional needs.  Through immersing oneself in “Dog Medicine,” readers begin to understand exactly how Bunker shaped Barton’s mental health recovery by teaching her how to embrace, welcome, experience, and ultimately accept pleasant and unpleasant emotions.  Barton succeeds in creating a powerful anecdote about the healing effects of animals and the human-canine bond.  “Dog Medicine” is a Doggone Good Read that is sure not to disappoint!


Visit Julie Barton’s Blog here:  https://byjuliebarton.com/

An in-depth interview of Julie Barton and “Dog Medicine” can be found here:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RikLo6TQB7g

 

 

 

Posted in Doggone Good Reads!

“Craig & Fred”

“Craig & Fred,” written by Craig Grossi, is a doggone good read that is certain to raise the question “Who rescued who?” A heartwarming story, “Craig and Fred” details the unique circumstances that brought man and dog together as one.  Grossi utilizes an easy-to-read narrative to depict his inter and intranational journeys alongside his best four-legged pal, Fred.

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Told through the eyes of an eight-year Veteran of the United States Marine Corps, readers can expect to gain insight into Grossi’s wartime experiences, including the often difficult transition to civilian life.  In sharing his story, the author outlines how Fred served as a social lubricant, allowing for more seamless discussion of difficult war stories.  Throughout their experiences together, Fred faithfully served (and continues to serve) as a constant source of companionship, comfort, and guidance, and their relationship together truly embodies the human-canine bond.  Through this inspiring story, readers gain clarity into why dogs really are man’s best friend.  Although the question remains of “Who saved who?,” it is clear that both Craig and Fred played important roles in one another’s journeys toward healing and recovery!

Interested in following along on the many journeys of Craig and Fred?  Follow them on social media!
Facebook:  /FredTheAfghan
Twitter:  @fredtheafghan
Instagram: @fredtheafghan

Posted in Doggone Good Reads!

“Scent of the Missing” & “The Possibility Dogs”

“Scent of the Missing” and “The Possibility Dogs,” both written by Susannah Charleson, provide readers with an inside look into the world of working dogs.  In “Scent of the Missing,” Charleson discusses the emotional and logistical components of her work alongside canine search and rescue teams.  She shares her passion for canine search and rescue (SAR) with readers by describing her own experiences becoming a SAR team with her dog, Puzzle.  Here, readers learn about the work ethic, flexibility, and emotional and physical strength necessary to execute SAR fieldwork.  This is an inspiring read that will leave you wanting to offer thanks and gratitude to the humans and animals who devote their time and energy toward uniting loved ones near and far!

Scent of Missing 2

The focus of “The Possibility Dogs” is largely on the role of psychiatric service dogs in mitigating mental illness symptoms and diagnoses.  In addition, Charleson provides insight into the process of selecting, testing, and placing shelter dogs to become working service dogs.  As with many of the “Doggone Good Reads” found on Sit, Stay, Blog, “The Possibility Dogs” equates the human-animal bond as an affinity toward one another.  Charleson provides fresh perspectives into what it means to experience love and loss within the context of the human-animal bond, including a dog’s ability to recognize grief in their human counterparts.  Readers can also expect to be introduced to and educated on the concept of Black Dog Syndrome and the impact this has on shelter and adoptable dogs.  Charleson has taken her writing one step further through the foundation of her nonprofit organization, Possibility Dogs, Inc., which seeks to train appropriate shelter dogs for work as service dogs, emotional support dogs, and therapy dogs.  “The Possibility Dogs” is a tail-wagging good read based on raw personal experience that is nothing short of remarkable and memorable!

Possibility Dogs

If you’re interested in learning more about the world of working dogs, visit http://possibilitydogs.org.

Additional information about the author, Susannah Charleson, can be found here:  http://susannahcharleson.com/

Up next on this avid reader’s list from Susannah Charleson: “Where the Lost Dogs Go”

Where the lost dogs og
Photo Credit: http://susannahcharleson.com/#!/books/

Posted in Doggone Good Reads!

Haatchi & Little B: The Inspiring Story of One Boy and His Dog”

“Haatchi & Little B,” written by Wendy Holden, is a twist of heartwarming and gut-wrenching.  Holden begins by introducing readers to the saddening story of Haatchi — an Anatolian Shephard who began his life misguided by humans.  Haatchi’s fate appears dismal.  That is, until he is introduced to Little B, a young boy with a rare genetic disorder called Schwartz Jampel Syndrome.  Little B experiences physical limitations that negatively impact his independence, comfortability, and sense of self.

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Image Credit: Google Images

While the story of Haatchi initially invites feelings of upset and fury, readers experience firsthand how a twist of fate, dependability, relatability, trust, and unconditional love brighten the future for both Haatchi & Little B.  This story is nothing short of remarkable and is a tail-wagging good read about the unbreakable bond between a boy and his dog!

Want more Haatchi & Little B?  Check out this video: 

 

Posted in Doggone Good Reads!

“Thunder Dog: The True Story of a Blind Man, His Guide Dog, & The Triumph of Trust”

“Thunder Dog,” written by Michael Hingson and Susy Flory, is a remarkable, awe-inspiring story about the trust and triumph of a guide dog team.  Hingson, who is blind, writes about his guide dog, Roselle, who was by his side as he worked in the World Trade Center on 9/11.  Roselle can be described as a devoted, committed, and hardworking assistance dog who was trained by Guide Dogs for the Blind in San Rafael, California.  Together, Hingson and Roselle portray a human-canine relationship built on trust, understanding, and dependability.  

In “Thunder Dog,” Hingson provides a near minute-by minute recollection of his experiences during 9/11.  He depicts how the power of the human-animal bond and the trust in his partner, Roselle, ultimately led both of them to safety. Through this story, readers learn about blindness and the role that guide dogs play in mitigating this disability and promoting independence.  Hingson also provides a raw, insightful look into his life with blindness, while educating his readers about “Courtesy Rules for Blindness.”  He promotes person-first language and encourages readers to take interest in others for who they are, not for their disability.  This tail-wagging good read will certainly leave you on the edge of your seat and wondering how the bond between Hingson and Roselle could get stronger with each turn of the page! 

Click here to read more about Michael Hingson and his guide dog, Roselle! 

canva-rainbow,-rain,-nature,-weather,-umbrella,-colourful-MACZWVy2lSYThis post is dedicated to those who lost their lives due to the events of September 11, 2001, including Roselle who ultimately crossed the Rainbow Bridge in June 2011.  

Posted in Doggone Good Reads!

“The Divinity of Dogs: True Stories of Miracles Inspired By Man’s Best Friend”

“The Divinity of Dogs,” written by Jennifer Skiff, takes an inside look into the healing power of the human-animal bond. Through a series of short stories about our encounters with dogs, Skiff teaches readers how to lead a life with nonjudgment, empathy, kindness, dependability, and love. Readers can expect to find stories about the role of assistance dogs in promoting independence, adoption of shelter dogs, and the therapeutic role of dogs on healing our mental and physical ailments. Each chapter in this tail-wagging good read contains emotional firsthand accounts of how dogs and their human counterparts ultimately save one another physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Emphasis should be placed on the emotional aspect of this book as many of the chapters are a reflection of the heroic stories of beloved pets who have since crossed the rainbow bridge. The “Divinity of Dogs” is a true testament to the phrase “Who rescued who?” and is a tail-wagging good read for dog lovers everywhere!

This post is dedicated to those who (thanks to their beloved pets) know what it is like to love and be loved.

Posted in Doggone Good Reads!

“Paws & Effect: The Healing Power of Dogs”

“Paws & Effect,” written by Sharon Sakson, is a tail-wagging good read that focuses on the remarkable impact of the relationship between humans and canines. Sakson creatively utilizes each chapter to convey factual and anecdotal information related to, among other things, the therapeutic role of the human-canine bond. “Paws & Effect” provides readers with an in-depth look into the foundational beginnings and current roles of assistance dogs to promote independence and overall wellness in humans. In addition to learning about the therapeutic impact of assistance dogs, readers can expect to learn about the astounding nature of military working dogs and the incredible bond formed between these animals and their handlers. Sakson bravely takes a dive into controversial topics by providing scientific insight into seizure alert dogs and olfactory detection of melanoma from our furry friends. “Paws & Effect” displays a phenomenal balance between personal accounts and existing scientific evidence of the healing power of dogs in mitigating physical and mental ailments in their human counterparts. An exquisite read, “Paws & Effect” is a must-read for dog lovers near and far!

Posted in Doggone Good Reads!

“Until Tuesday”

Until Tuesday is a tail-wagging good read that focuses on the intimate relationship between a veteran and his service dog, Tuesday.  Luis Carlos Montalvan, deemed a “highly decorated captain” in the U.S. Army, served two tours in Iraq.  Post-Iraq, he found Pinella Until Tuesdayhimself experiencing a host of mental and physical disabilities.  Montalvan reports that the crippling aftermath of serving in combat caused him to experience debilitating posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, depression, and chronic physical pain.  He coped unhealthily, often relying on alcohol, isolation, and alienation from others as a means to manage every day life.  Each day was seemingly a constant battle for Montalvan “until Tuesday.”  Tuesday was a beautiful golden retriever trained by East Coast Assistance Dogs.  Through his training, Tuesday learned many cues, including how to open doors, turn on lights, and sense and respond to the onset of anxiety and flashbacks.  For Montalvan, he did just that and more.  Tuesday connected with Montalvan like none other and provided him with the service he needed to more healthily manage both his mental and physical disabilities.  Through Until Tuesday, readers learn about the manifestation of posttraumatic stress disorder, anxiety, alcoholism, depression, and physical ailments in Montalvan’s life.  We learn about the horrific extent of the many issues that our nation’s veterans face upon reintegrating into civilian life, and we gain a first-hand account of the therapeutic and healing power of the human-canine relationship.  With Tuesday’s help, Montalvan developed the confidence and courage to become a nationally recognized advocate for veterans with PTSD.  Until Tuesday provides an avenue for readers to learn about “man and dog,” “war and healing,” “ability and disability,” and “spiritual restoration.”

Montalvan reportedly died by suicide in 2016.  In memoriam of a national hero, thank you for your service.  Thank you, Tuesday, for your gift of life that you provided to your partner in the years leading to his death.

More books by Luis Carlos Montalvan:

Tuesday Tucks Me In (Children’s Book)

Tuesday Tucks Me In

Tuesday Takes Me There (Children’s Book)

Tuesday Takes Me There

Tuesday’s Promise

Tuesday's Promise