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A Dog Named Boo: How One Dog and One Woman Rescued Each Other--and the Lives They Transformed Along the Way Hardcover – September 18, 2012

4.5 out of 5 stars 178 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In her first book, professional dog trainer Edwards brings us the touching story of Boo, a special needs dog who becomes an unlikely hero. Edwards and her husband already have two dogs and two cats when she comes across a litter of puppies abandoned at her local pet store, and predictably falls for the slow-moving runt of the litter, whom she names Boo. What seem at first to be extreme clumsiness and recalcitrance towards housetraining turn out to be symptoms of Boo's cerebellar hypoplasia— a condition which can cause mental retardation, poor balance, and other acuity issues. Edwards weaves her own troubled past into the book: sexually abused by her father as a child, she suffered from undiagnosed learning disabilities. This gives her a particular kinship with Boo, who, on the road to becoming a service dog, encounters naysayers and struggles in classes. These parallels aside, the book is a fascinating look at what service dogs can accomplish. The stories of the lives that Boo touches are moving, although they lose some impact because there are so many. But dog lovers and those interested in service animals will enjoy this story of resilience. (Oct.)

From Booklist

As this pooch-focused memoir proves, dogs can be women’s and children’s best friends, too. Edwards, sexually abused by her alcoholic father as a girl, finds love in the form of her husband and her two cats and two dogs. She then adopts Boo, a disabled Lab mix, who is the main hero of the story. (Edwards’ other animals play supporting roles, with one getting a blind and deaf boy to relax as he rubs his toes against his fur.) Like his housemates, and in spite of his physical limitations, Boo becomes a therapy dog who helps handicapped children. He even convinces Edwards’ reluctant-to-become-a-father husband (who suffers from Crohn’s disease) that he could be a good, loving dad. (At the end of the story, the author and her spouse are on the wait-list to adopt a child.) All readers who love dogs and other animals will find much to embrace and admire in this heartwarming tale about the power of canines, told by a professional dog trainer who makes hundreds of therapy visits to hospitals, schools, and nursing homes. --Karen Springen
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Harlequin; First Edition edition (September 18, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 037389256X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0373892563
  • Product Dimensions: 5.7 x 0.6 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (178 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #904,657 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Lisa J. Edwards is a full-time professional dog trainer and behavioral consultant and the owner-operator of Three Dogs Training. (www.threedogstraining.com)

She has been a registered Delta Society Pet Partner with three of her dogs and has made more than 400 visits with her pets to hospitals, schools, nursing homes and residential care facilities.

In 2008, Boo was honored as one of five finalists for the Delta Society's national Beyond Limits Award for his therapy work with Lisa.

On October 14, 2012 A Dog Named Boo entered the Sunday Times Top Ten Paperback Bestseller list!

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
This book only reinforced for me the fact that we get the dog we need for any given time in our life. The next step to that is to be open to it and recognize it.
Lisa and Boo were meant to find each other. Watching Lisa grow in a new way and become more confident and strong in who she is, letting go of the past, and grasping what Boo could do as a therapy dog is such a blessing not only to Lisa, but to all those Boo has helped along the way. I cried, laughed, easily related to Lisa, and found myself having an even deeper understanding of the profound bond animals can have with us.
It was beneficial to me to hear from a dog trainer's point of view the different aspects of training your dog for therapy dog work. And how refreshing it was to watch as Lisa learned to focus on Boo's good things, instead of her planned agenda for what she thought he should do. This opened avenues and opportunities that would have never been. Boo and Lisa are a blessing and I'm so glad Lisa shared her story in this sweet and compassionate book.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a GREAT read! Humor, sadness, hope, frustration, determination and even training tips -- it has it all. So stop reading the reviews, get the book, get comfy and start your journey with Lisa and her family. It's well worth it!
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By jpogli on September 22, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have taken 2 of my dogs to Lisa's dog obedience classes and I must say she has a true gift for understanding and communicating with dogs. I got my copy of A Dog Named Boo today and am already half finished. Lisa and Boo's story is so touching. What could have been seen as sad and tragic, instead becomes inspirational. The book is written in a casual style that made me feel as if I was actually listening to Lisa speak. Her wit is dry and intelligent and behind all of her anecdotes is great wisdom. She has a very down-to-earth approach to training dogs that is demonstrated very beautifully in this story. This is a great read and I highly recommend it to all pet lovers.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This was one of those books I could not put down! It was so full of insight and had lots of humor that dog lovers could relate. This book would surely help dog trainers too and teach everyone about patience, persistence, and love. I think this is one of those books that should be read by anyone who has a child or pet with some disabilities as it is so uplifting! Highly recommend it for anyone who feels they are "different" or "not normal" and for educating the overall public due to preconcieved perceptions they may have about such humans or animals.
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Format: Hardcover
This is an excellent book, beautifully written in a clear, conversational style. I stayed up past midnight last night reading it. It is, of course, an inspirational and uplifting story- but for me it went further: The first thing I did when I woke this morning was to give a big hug and an extra measure of empathy to my own nutty, somewhat challenged dog. In the course of my busy life I sometimes forget how the big wide world might look from his very timid point of view, and this book reminded me to slow down and decenter. The author's ability to rise above the many challenges and obstacles that she encountered is inspiring. However, her ability to use these negative experiences to inform her understanding of canine (and human) development and behavior, and then to pass this understanding along to others- is remarkable. Highly recommended.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I really enjoyed this book. Some dog books are as much about the author as they are about the dog, but this book is about Boo the dog. The author describes how she found him and the difficulties the animal had. She tells how long it took to house-train him and the care he needed. Convinced that he was really a good dog, she trained him (I learned a lot about what therapy dogs do). Over time, she learned that she had a dog, whom others might have cast aside, who could change people's lives. After reflecting on the book, I was urged to see the good in both dogs and people. That person who gets on your nerves or the pooch who ruins the carpet could be one who makes people's lives better.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I loved this book. You get to know Boo and all the ups and downs they go through - it's hard to know who rescued who but I know it rescued me by putting a smile on my face while reading it.
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Format: Paperback
The story is relatively good. I understood why she partially focused on the dog & partly on her own life--there were obvious parallels. So, those reviewers who had disdain for the author is really unfounded. No book about an animal will ever soley be about the animal--animals cannot write & they came to be the subject of someone's literary effort *because* of the human being & their own POV. I had issues with the constant cutesy phrases & the way situations were presented. I didn't find that stuff endearing me to the story or the author. I just found it annoying & awfully twee. Plus, better editing was necessary. I will assume this went to an editor before publication...& I think because the author is unknown & the subject matter is neither compelling fiction nor non-fiction central to the human condition, the publisher probably kicked it to a junior or less seasoned editor. And it shows. So, good basis for a story, generous focus on some commendable groups servicing the disabled, & relatable writing. She should've kept in mind she had an audience & she wasn't writing in her diary.
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