The Education of Will: Healing a Dog, Facing My Fears, Reclaiming My Life

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Bestselling author and internationally renowned animal psychologist and dog trainer Patricia McConnell “gives a voice to those who can’t speak in words and provides hope for fearful animals everywhere” (Temple Grandin) in this powerful and uplifting memoir about healing.

World-renowned as a source of science and soul, Patricia McConnell combines brilliant insights into canine behavior with heartwarming stories of her own dogs and their life on the farm. Now, she reveals that it wasn’t just the dogs who had serious problems. For decades Dr. McConnell secretly grappled with her own guilt and fear, which were rooted in the harrowing traumas of her youth.

Patricia is forced to face her past by her love for a young Border Collie named Will, whose frequent, unpredictable outbreaks of fear and fury shake Patricia to her core. In order to save Will from this dangerous behavior, she must find her own will to heal, and along the way learn that will power by itself is not enough.

Interweaving enlightening stories of her clients’ dogs with tales of her deepening bond with Will, this is a “compassionate account of the reclamation of the author's life from abuse and shame. An uplifting story of hope about how both dogs and humans need "a sense that they are not helpless victims" (Kirkus Reviews).
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About the author

Patricia McConnell, PhD, CAAB is an Ethologist and Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist who has consulted with cat and dog lovers for over twenty years. Her nationally syndicated radio show, Calling All Pets, has played in more than 110 cities for fourteen years. She is the behavior columnist for The Bark magazine and a Consulting Editor for the Journal of Comparative Psychology. She has retired from her position as Adjunct Associate Professor in Zoology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She is the author of ten books on training and behavioral problems, as well as the critically acclaimed books, The Other End of the Leash: Why We Do What We Do Around Dogs, For the Love of a Dog: Understanding Emotion in You and Your Best Friend, and Tales of Two Species.

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Additional Information

Publisher
Simon and Schuster
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Published on
Feb 21, 2017
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Pages
288
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ISBN
9781501150203
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Language
English
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Genres
Biography & Autobiography / Personal Memoirs
Pets / Dogs / Training
Self-Help / Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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A warm and entertaining memoir about what happens when you foster fifty dogs in less than two years—and how the dogs save you as much as you save them. 

When Cara felt her teenaged children slipping away and saw an empty nest on the horizon, she decided the best way to fill that void was with dogs—lots of them—and so her foster journey began.

In 2015, her Pennsylvania farm became a haven for Operation Paws for Homes. There were the nine puppies at once, which arrived with less than a day’s notice; a heart- worm positive dog; a deeply traumatized stray pup from Iraq; and countless others who just needed a gentle touch and a warm place to sleep. Operation Paws for Homes rescues dogs from high-kill shelters in the rural south and shuttles them north to foster homes like Cara’s on the way to their forever homes.

What started as a search for a good dog, led to an epiphany that there wasn’t just one that could ll the hole left in her heart from her children gaining independence—she could save dozens along the way. The stories of these remarkable dogs— including an eighty-pound bloodhound who sang arias for the neighbors—and the joy they bring to Cara and her family (along with a few chewed sofa cushions) fill the pages of this touching and inspiring new book that reveals the wonderful rewards of fostering.

When asked how she can possibly say goodbye to that many loveable pups, Cara says, “If I don’t give this one away, I can’t possibly save another.” Filled with humanity and hope, Another Good Dog will take the reader on an journey of smiles, laughs, and tears—and lead us to wonder how many other good dogs are out there and what we can do to help. 

From New York Times bestselling author Jon Katz comes a wise, uplifting, and poignant memoir of finding love against all odds, and the power of second chances for both people and dogs.
 
“I had no idea that Frieda would enter my life and alter it in the most profound way, but that’s one of the beautiful things about animals. They change you, and you almost never see it coming.”
 
In 2007, a few years after purchasing Bedlam Farm in upstate New York, Jon Katz met Maria Wulf, a quiet, sensitive artist hoping to rekindle her creative spark. Jon, like her, was introspective yet restless, a writer struggling to find his purpose. He felt a connection with her immediately, but a formidable obstacle stood in the way: Maria’s dog, Frieda.
 
A rottweiler-shepherd mix who had been abandoned by her previous owner in the Adirondacks, where she lived in the wild for several years, Frieda was ferociously protective and barely tamed. She roared and charged at almost anyone who came near. But to Maria, Frieda was sweet and loyal, her beloved guard dog and devoted friend. And so Jon quickly realized that to win over Maria, he’d have to gain Frieda’s affection as well.
 
While he and Maria grew closer, Jon was having a tougher time charming Frieda to his side. Even after many days spent on Bedlam Farm, Frieda still lunged at the other animals, ran off into the woods, and would not let Jon come near her, even to hook on her leash. Yet armed with a singular determination, unlimited patience, and five hundred dollars’ worth of beef jerky, Jon refused to give up on Frieda—or on his chance with Maria.
 
Written with stunning emotional clarity and full of warm yet practical wisdom, The Second-Chance Dog is a testament to how animals can make us better people, and how it’s never too late to find love.

Praise for The Second-Chance Dog
 
“No one speaks the language of a dog like best-selling author Jon Katz. His latest heartwarming memoir about finding love after struggling through a broken relationship . . . gives testament to how dogs can make us better human beings.”—The Free Lance–Star

“[An] intimate story of falling in love with a woman and her extremely protective pet dog . . . Bittersweet in its telling, Katz reminds readers of the importance of human and animal connections.”—Kirkus Reviews
 
“In this heartwarming story of love and redemption . . . dogs and humans alike get second chances at life, love, and growth. . . . This moving work is recommended for readers who want a true-life love story, for dog lovers seeking a book with a happy ending (the dog doesn’t die!), for seniors who think that receiving a Medicare card means that love is out of the question, and for dog trainers who want to learn more about Katz’s philosophy of dog training.”—Library Journal

“The story [Katz] tells gives hope that no animal is beyond help, as long as enough love and patience are thrown in.”—Minneapolis Star Tribune
The Other End of the Leash shares a revolutionary, new perspective on our relationship with dogs, focusing on our behavior in comparison with that of dogs. An applied animal behaviorist and dog trainer with more than twenty years experience, Dr. Patricia McConnell looks at humans as just another interesting species, and muses about why we behave the way we do around our dogs, how dogs might interpret our behavior, and how to interact with our dogs in ways that bring out the best in our four-legged friends.

After all, although humans and dogs share a remarkable relationship that is unique in the animal world, we are still two entirely different species, each shaped by our individual evolutionary heritage. Quite simply, humans are primates and dogs are canids (like wolves, coyotes, and foxes). Since we each speak a different native tongue, a lot gets lost in the translation.

The Other End of the Leash demonstrates how even the slightest changes in your voice and the way you stand can help your dog understand what you want. Once you start to think about your own behavior from the perspective of your dog, you’ll understand why much of what appears to be doggy-disobedience is simply a case of miscommunication. Inside you will learn
• How to use your voice so that your dog is more likely to do what you ask.
• Why “getting dominance” over your dog is a bad idea.
• Why “rough and tumble primate play” can lead to trouble–and how to play with your dog in ways that are fun and keep him out of trouble.
• How dogs and humans share personality types–and why most dogs want to live with benevolent leaders rather than “alphawannabees!”

In her own insightful, compelling style, Patricia McConnell combines wonderful true stories about people and dogs with a new, accessible scientific perspective on how they should behave around each other. This is a book that strives to help you make the most of life with your dog, and to prevent problems that might arise in that most rewarding of relationships.
The true story of a lost dog’s journey and a family’s furious search to find him before it is too late.

Saturday, October 10, 1998. Fielding Marshall is hiking on the Appalachian Trail. His beloved dog—a six-year-old golden retriever mix named Gonker—bolts into the woods. Just like that, he has vanished. And Gonker has Addison’s disease. If he’s not found in twenty-three days, he will die.

The search begins. Fielding and his father, John, are dispatched to the field. They have the family’s other dog, Uli, in tow. Combing the trails, Fielding and his father bond like never before. Fielding’s sister, Peyton, calls and talks him through some of his lowest moments. And—at home—Fielding’s mother, Virginia, sets up a command center.

Virginia becomes a field general. With a map and a phone book at her side, she contacts animal shelters, police precincts, general stores, community centers, newspapers, radio stations, churches, and park rangers. She is tireless. The local paper in Waynesboro, Virginia, writes a small story about the family’s search. The story hits the AP newswire. Tips—many of them of questionable authenticity—pour in from across the country. But as the search continues, the Marshalls realize they may not survive losing Gonker. Even as the wounds of their past return to haunt them and threaten to jeopardize everything, they know they have one mission: bring Gonker home.

With a big heart, intelligent humor, and a deft touch, Pauls Toutonghi tells this true tale of loss, love, and resilience. Dog Gone is by turns a story about how a family comes together in a crisis—and the way heroism can assert itself in the little things we do each day.

In Cesar’s Way, Cesar Millan—nationally recognized dog expert and star of National Geographic Channel’s hit show Dog Whisperer with Cesar Millan—helps you see the world through the eyes of your dog so you can finally eliminate problem behaviors.

From his appearances on The Oprah Winfrey Show to his roster of celebrity clients to his reality television series, Cesar Millan is America’s most sought-after dog-behavior expert. But Cesar is not a trainer in the traditional sense—his expertise lies in his unique ability to comprehend dog psychology. Tracing his own amazing journey from a clay-walled farm in Mexico to the celebrity palaces of Los Angeles, Cesar recounts how he learned what makes dogs tick. In Cesar’s Way, he shares this wisdom, laying the groundwork for you to have stronger, more satisfying relationships with your canine companions.

Cesar’s formula for a contented and balanced dog seems impossibly simple: exercise, discipline, and affection, in that order. Taking readers through the basics of dog psychology and behavior, Cesar shares the inside details of some of his most fascinating cases, using them to illustrate how common behavior issues develop and, more important, how they can be corrected. You'll learn:

• What your dog really needs may not be what you’re giving him
• Why a dog’s natural pack instincts are the key to your happy relationship
• How to relate to your dog on a canine level
• There are no “problem breeds,” just problem owners
• How to choose a dog who’s right for you and your family
• The difference between discipline and punishment
• And much more!

Filled with fascinating anecdotes about Cesar’s longtime clients, and including forewords by the president of the International Association of Canine Professionals and Jada Pinkett Smith, this is the only book you’ll need to forge a stronger, more rewarding connection with your four-legged companion.


Also available as a Random House AudioBook
Yes, humans and canines are different species, but current research provides fascinating, irrefutable evidence that what we share with our dogs is greater than how we vary. As behaviorist and zoologist Dr. Patricia McConnell tells us in this remarkable new book about emotions in dogs and in people, more and more scientists accept the premise that dogs have rich emotional lives, exhibiting a wide range of feelings including fear, anger, surprise, sadness, and love.

In For the Love of a Dog, McConnell suggests that one of the reasons we love dogs so much is that they express emotions in ways similar to humans. After all, who can communicate joy better than a puppy? But not all emotional expressions are obvious, and McConnell teaches both beginning dog owners and experienced dog lovers how to read the more subtle expressions hidden behind fuzzy faces and floppy ears.

For those of us who deeply cherish our dogs but are sometimes baffled by their behavior, For the Love of a Dog will come as a revelation–a treasure trove of useful facts, informed speculation, and intriguing accounts of man’s best friend at his worst and at his very best. Readers will discover how fear, anger, and happiness underlie the lives of both people and dogs and, most important, how understanding emotion in both species can improve the relationship between them. Thus McConnell introduces us to the possibility of a richer, more rewarding relationship with our dogs.

While we may never be absolutely certain what our dogs are feeling, with the help of this riveting book we can understand more than we ever thought possible. Those who consider their dogs part of the family will find For the Love of a Dog engaging, enlightening, and utterly engrossing.
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