Working Dogs: Tales from Animal Planet's K-9 to 5 World

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9781563318436: Working Dogs: Tales from Animal Planet's K-9 to 5 World
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When is "working like a dog" a good thing?  Find out in this special book, which invites you to spend a day on the job with a groundskeeper, a chaplain, a cheerleader, a state trooper, and twenty-three other hard-working professionals who give their all for the boss and expect little more in return than a pat on the head.

Working Dogs: Tales from Animal Planet's K-9 to 5 World is a surprising and inspiring tribute to canine "colleagues" everywhere, a breed defined only by the valuable contributions they make to society, and by the gratitude and affection they kindle in the people they help.  

Some do serious work, like the German Shepherd who sinks the hopes on intercoastal drug smugglers...the scruffy mutt who comforts anxious patients in hospitals...the beagle who sniffs out trouble at the airport baggage claim.  Others ply a more humorous trade: the yellow lab who nailed a spot on a construction crew...the bulldog who leads tours and steals the show at the Minnesota governor's mansion...the golden retriever who sings not for his supper, but to record his own CD.  

You'll recognize some famous whiskers, including a certain Chihuahua whose TV commercials are muy caliente, a weimaraner model who's been repeatedly "dressed for success," a collie who's make countless baby boomers come home (at least in time for the TV show), and a Brussels griffon who helped put "Spin City" on the map for ABC.

Whether they're saving lives, lightening a load, or simply brightening a day, the remarkable creatures in Working Dogs earn more than their owners' love: They'll earn yours, too.

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Review:

Working Dogs honors those animals we know and love, who are willing to work hard for just a few snacks, a loving hand, and the challenge of the job. Authors Colleen Needles and Kit Carlson introduce us to some exemplary dogs who amaze with their drive and abilities. You'll meet Sammy the roofer; Batty the model; Hunter, a search and rescue specialist; and TV star Wesley, all of whom work as hard as their human counterparts.

These dogs often bring a special element to their work that a human cannot. Lucy, an arson detection canine, has been on the scene of no less than 900 fire scenes, searching with her keen sense of smell for evidence of flammable liquids. Tess and Cassie, both a special breed known as Karelian bear dogs, have helped humans find a way to cohabit with bears without destroying them. And Susie and Thor are physical therapists who motivate their patients to speak or move their arms to get the German shepherds to come to them.

Some of the stories in Working Dogs are downright touching, such as the one about the farmer who won Belle, a golden retriever, in a magazine contest after describing how he could use a service dog to help him maintain his family farm after he'd become paraplegic in a motorcycle accident. Wheely Willy, the chihuahua whose spinal cord injury left his hind quarters in a cart, provides a special kind of motivation during his visits to patients at nursing homes and veteran's hospitals.

The central character in each of these true stories is a dog who simply wants to be useful, loyal, and loving. Dog owners and animal lovers will recognize in the pictures and words of Working Dogs the qualities that make these canines such wonderful friends and hardworking companions. --Kris Law

About the Author:

Colleen Needles is an award-winning television journalist and president of Tremendous! Entertainment, Inc.  She is the creator of the television series "K-9 to 5," which appears on the Animal Planet network and is the inspiration behind this book.  Colleen lives in Minneapolis with her husband, three children, and two dogs.

Kit Carlson is a science and nature writer, author of Bringing Up Baby: Wild Animal Families and co-author of The Leopard Son.  She lives with her two rescued racing greyhounds, two half-grown children, and a patient husband.

Kim Levin is a New York-based photographer and owner of Bark & Smile Pet Portraits ®.  Her work has been showcased at several New York galleries.  She is the author of Why We Love Dogs and Why We Really Love Dogs.

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