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Hospice Hounds (P)

4 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1930051362
ISBN-10: 1930051360
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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Animals' assisting in the healing process is becoming a very common practice, and allowing animals to visit dying people in hospices is therefore becoming more prevalent. In Hospice Hounds, Rivera shares her experiences with dogs brightening up the final months and days of people who are near death. Many of the stories pertain to her being a volunteer at a hospice, charged with the responsibility to accompany two caring dogs, Woody and Katie, as they visit the inhabitants. She first realized the comfort that a dog could bring to a dying person when her mother demanded a dog while lying on her deathbed in Rivera's home. At that time, the family didn't have a dog, so she first found a neighbor's dog to visit, and then eventually got a much needed and wanted dog for her family. Rivera, founder of the Prayer Alliance for Animals and author of many articles on dogs, has written an endearing book on the warming influence and care that dogs can give to a dying person. Julia Glynn
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Lantern Books (April 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1930051360
  • ISBN-13: 978-1930051362
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.5 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,854,886 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Michelle A. Rivera was born in Westchester County, New York and lived the life of a gypsy, traveling all over New York State with her father who was a State Trooper, and her mother, a free spirit. She attended Marylrose Academy for Girls in Albany, New York and moved to South Florida just in time to graduate from Jupiter High and call herself a semi-native. She has worked in the field of law, medicine and journalism and even drove a taxi in Savannah for a while before living in Europe for five years. Upon returning to the states she met and married her husband John, an attorney with the Public Defender's Office, and became involved with animal rescue and rehabilitation. But her first love is humane education and animal-assisted activities. She spends most of her time visiting classrooms, libraries and Boys & Girls Clubs around Palm Beach County teaching students about the wonder of animals and the environment and our responsibility towards them. She loves all things feline but, paradoxically, is a musophile as well.Some things just cannot be explained.

Michelle is the author of several books including HOSPICE HOUNDS, Animals and Healing at the Borders of Death; CANINES IN THE CLASSROOM, Raising Humane Children through Interactions with Animals; DO DOGS HAVE BELLY BUTTONS? 100 Questions and Answers about Dogs; THE SIMPLE LITTLE VEGAN SLOW COOKER and THE SIMPLE LITTLE VEGAN DOG BOOK. She is also an essayist and has been published in the vegetarian essay book "Voices from the Garden." She is a free-lance writer/editor and along with her Certified Therapy Dogs, a READ tutor. Michelle is a blogger for and is currently working on her sixth book under contract from Purdue Press, COMFORTING CANINES(working title), Inspirational Stories of Dogs in a hospice facility. She is the founder of Animals 101, Inc., a South Florida humane education organization. She has two Certified Delta Society Therapy Dogs: Murphy, a Golden Retriever, and Tabitha, a Standard Poodle; and three rescued cats; and is a Delta Society Evaluator. Michelle is the proud grandmother of three wonderful children Austin, Alexander and Adrienne.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Babette Haggerty on May 15, 2001
Format: Paperback
This is a fantastic book. At first, I was reluctant. I thought that it would be very sad. It is heartwarming. Michele brings you into the story as though you were there. It is very well written. It demonstrates the true healing powers of our beloved companions. Don't miss reading this book!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By villageac on May 20, 2001
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The title is a little off-putting - I did not think I wanted to read about hospice patients' last days. A friend convinced me to look at it. It is fantastic. The author relates her experiences taking 2 dogs to a hospice. Each chapter is about her encounter with a different patient. Each story evolves into a parable about life, and death. You will cry. But you will also laugh and be uplifted. You will be amazed at what animals can do to lift the human spirit when it is down. I am not aware of the author writing any other books, but I would love to read more from her - she paints a picture that is so vivid, you feel like you are in the room with her and the dogs. I have given this book to many of my friends and they all are raving about it. You must read this book!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 16, 2001
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is wonderful! It describes the authors visits to a hospice facility with 2 dogs. She paints a vibrant picture of the visits. Each chapter discusses a different visit. Each chapter also describes a lesson in living - the author weaves a philosophical lesson in life into each visit. The books title may mislead. I was initially put off by the thought of reading about hospice, but it is not so much about death as it is about life. It is warm, funny, and, yes, sad too. You will cry (as my wife and I did) but you will also laugh and feel warm to read how these incredible pets did so much to smooth the hospice patients last weeks. I have lent this book to my friends and they all are raving about it.
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By Author Jane B Night on October 11, 2015
Format: Paperback
This was a book that made me cry again and again. It is extremely emotional and if you are an animal lover I think you will appreciate this book.

Katie and Woody are two dogs owned by veterinarians. They are trained as therapy dogs and taken to the local hospice regularly to visit people who are sick and their families. The stories in the book are touching, profound, and often sad.

The hospital I work at has therapy dogs and they really do change lives for patients and their families.

I think the most touching story for me was of a little boy who had lost a mother and was losing his sister to AIDS. He had been bitten by a dog previously so at first the boy is afraid of Woody but with kind reassurances he ends up finding comfort in the dog and something to do while his grandmother stands vigil for his sister.

This book was a quick read and perhaps a bit too short. I would have loved to read more particularly about how therapy dogs are trained. The books is just little stories about hospice patients and the one or two interactions they have with the dogs. I would have really enjoyed if there was to the book.

Also, the author’s message ended up being a bit confusing. Her overall message at the end of the book had little to do with therapy dogs and more to do with changing the laws so that more apartment buildings allowed dogs. Many of the people in the hospice and their family lost pets due to strict apartment rules that didn’t allow them to bring pets when they moved. This isn’t a bad message but it isn’t really what one expects the final “point” of a therapy dog book to be.

I think people who love dogs will enjoy the stories in this book and that it is worth a read (though honestly you will probably only read it one time).
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