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A weary-looking man stands at an intersection, backpack at his feet. Curled up nearby is a mixed-breed dog, unfazed by the passing traffic. The man holds a sign that reads, "Two old dogs need help. God bless." What's happening here? Leslie Irvine breaks new ground in the study of homelessness by investigating the frequently noticed, yet underexplored, role that animals play in the lives of homeless people. Irvine conducted interviews on street corners, in shelters, even at highway underpasses, to provide insights into the benefits and liabilities that animals have for the homeless. She also weighs the perspectives of social service workers, veterinarians, and local communities. Her work provides a new way of looking at both the meaning of animal companionship and the concept of home itself.
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Leslie Irvine is professor of sociology at the University of Colorado at Boulder. Her books include If You Tame Me: Understanding Our Connection with Animals and Filling the Ark: Animal Welfare in Disasters.Review:
Provides crucial insights for anyone interested in a deeper understanding of homelessness [and] human-animal relationships.... Taking the reader from slur and stereotype to in-depth understanding and implications for housing policy, Irvine's book is lively, well-referenced, well-organized, jargon-free, and a worthy read for students, researchers, and policymakers concerned with homelessness. (Ryan Sheppard Contemporary Sociology)
Present[s] compelling findings that companion animals enhance the lives and bolster the sense-of-self maintained by homeless individuals.... Irvine's research is a refreshing and worthwhile contribution to sociology and also, a heartfelt study of the intense bonds between humans and non-human animals. (Abigail E. Cameron Qualitative Sociology)
This is a much needed book.... [It] makes a valuable contribution by bringing a hidden issue to light, and doing so by remaining faithful to the narratives of those who provided information and access to this previously under-researched area. (Nik Taylor Social Forces)
My Dog Always Eats First is a thoroughly researched both analytically and narratively; it is astute and insightful; compassionate and humane.... Irvine neither idealizes nor advocates pet ownership among homeless individuals. She does, however, use her sociological skills to humanize the animal-human bond among even the most vulnerable segment of our society. (Cheryl Joseph Humanity & Society)
Aptly demonstrates the central role that animals (primarily dogs) play in the lives of some of the homeless community.... Highly recommended. (Choice)
A valuable contribution to knowledge.
(Zoei Sutton Anthrozo÷s)
This engaging book makes an important contribution to the literature about the life styles of the homeless population, whose circumstances are arguably among the greatest social problems in US cities. (Jayne Howell City & Society)
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Book Description Hardcover. Condition: VeryGood. A well-cared-for item that has seen limited use but remains in great condition. The item is complete, unmarked, and undamaged, but may show some limited signs of wear. Item works perfectly. Pages are intact and not marred by notes or highlighting. The spine is undamaged. Seller Inventory # 4BQGBJ00AH6Q_ns