The Underdogs

Melissa Fay Greene

From two-time National Book Award nominee Melissa Fay Greene comes a profound and surprising account of dogs on the front lines of rescuing both children and adults from the trenches of grief, emotional, physical, and cognitive disability, and post-traumatic stress disorder.

The Underdogs tells the story of Karen Shirk, felled at age twenty-four by a neuromuscular disease and facing life as a ventilator-dependent, immobile patient, who was turned down by every service dog agency in the country because she was “too disabled.” Her nurse encouraged her to tone down the suicidal thoughts, find a puppy, and raise her own service dog. Karen did this, and Ben, a German shepherd, dragged her back into life. “How many people are stranded like I was,” she wondered, “who would lead productive lives if only they had a dog?”

Melissa Fay Greene visits with Marcie and Lovey to discuss her new book, The Underdogs, in Episode 123 of the Working Like Dogs radio show. Melissa shares the story of remarkable founder of 4 Paws for Ability, Karen Shirk, and how the dogs they train continue to change the lives of children and their families living with autism, diabetes, seizures and other disabilities. You’ll experience firsthand Melissa’s genuine passion for the children, parents and dogs and how she brings their stories of unconditional love to life in her heart-warming new book.

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