Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Coffee with a canine: Susannah Charleson & Jake Piper

The current featured duo at Coffee with a Canine: Susannah Charleson and Jake Piper.

The author, on how she and Jake were united:
Jake Piper was brought to my doorstep by a neighbor who found the puppy following him on a morning walk. He, the neighbor, was very much allergic and couldn't do much for the puppy, but he had heard that "the lady on the corner rescues dogs" -- and so he brought him to me. Jake was probably about ten weeks old at the time. He was very small, with huge dark eyes that looked both pitiful and hopeful at the same time. Jake was dying of starvation and gastroenteritis when he came to us, but the hope won out. It was a hard struggle requiring great veterinary care...[read on]
About Charleson's new book, The Possibility Dogs, from the publisher:
An inspiring story that shows how dogs can be rescued, and can rescue in return.

With her critically acclaimed, bestselling first book, Scent of the Missing, Susannah Charleson was widely praised for her unique insight into the kinship between humans and dogs, as revealed through her work in canine search and rescue alongside her partner, golden retriever Puzzle.

Now, in The Possibility Dogs, Charleson journeys into the world of psychiatric service, where dogs aid humans with disabilities that may be unseen but are no less felt. This work had a profound effect on Charleson, perhaps because, for her, this journey began as a personal one: Charleson herself struggled with posttraumatic stress disorder for months after a particularly grisly search. Collaboration with her search dog partner made the surprising difference to her own healing. Inspired by that experience, Charleson learns to identify abandoned dogs with service potential, often plucking them from shelters at the last minute, and to train them for work beside hurting partners, to whom these second-chance dogs bring intelligence, comfort, and hope. Along the way she comes to see canine potential everywhere, often where she least expects it – from Merlin the chocolate lab puppy with the broken tail once cast away in a garbage bag, who now stabilizes his partner’s panic attacks; to Ollie, the blind and deaf terrier, rescued moments before it was too late, who now soothes anxious children; to Jake Piper, the starving pit bull terrier mix with the wayward ears who is transformed into a working service dog and, who, for Charleson, goes from abandoned to irreplaceable.
Learn more about The Possibility Dogs at Susannah Charleson's website.

Read--Coffee with a Canine: Susannah Charleson and Puzzle (July 2010).

Read--Coffee with a Canine: Susannah Charleson and Jake Piper.

--Marshal Zeringue