BOOKS: Dogs of Courage
From ANIMAL PEOPLE, March 2013:
Dogs of Courage: The heroism and heart of working dogs around the world by Lisa Rogak Thomas Dunne Books (175 Fifth Ave., New York, NY 10010), 2012. 269 pages, paperback. $14.99.
Dogs of Courage: The heroism and heart of working dogs around the world begins with Ebony, a hyperactive giant schnauzer. Mike and Melenda Lanius, who own a cleaning business called MoldBlasters, send Ebony to a training academy to learn to sniff out mold. Ebony now works for a living, no longer bored or hyper. The work of search-and-rescue dogs is much better known. Dogs of Courage author Lisa Rogak spotlights a dog named Doc, trained by Dave Paradysz to do search-and-rescue after avalanches. Near Lake Tahoe in January 1993 an avalanche buried a night shift worker at a ski resort. Paradsyz and Doc rushed to the scene. Just before Doc found the frightened worker, recalls Paradysz, Doc’s tail spun like a propeller. Marvin, a black lab mix, twice lost homes. His future seemed bleak, but in 2002 Rhode Island SPCA president E.J. Finocchio took Marvin home and put him to work visiting hospitals. Using non-toxic watercolors, Marvin created art work by using his wagging tail as a brush. His art was sold to benefit a variety of nonprofit projects. Marvin died in 2010, but is remembered in at least two other books, and is memorialized by the Marvin Fund, which helps to pay the veterinary costs of the pets of elderly and disabled people. Rogak also describes the lives of police dogs; guide, service, and assistance dogs; therapy dogs; medical detection dogs; and wildlife detection and conservation dogs. ––Debra J. White