The Underdogs by Melissa Fay Greene

Into the Wild

Read The Underdogs Online Free - From two-time National Book Award nominee Melissa Fay Greene comes a profound and surprising account of dogs on the front lines of rescuing both children and adults from the trenches of grief, emotional, physical, and cognitive disability, and post-traumatic stress disorder.

The Underdogs tells the story of Karen Shirk, felled at age twenty-four by a neuromuscular disease and facing life as a ventilator-dependent, immobile patient, who was turned down by every service dog agency in the country because she was “too disabled.” Her nurse encouraged her to tone down the suicidal thoughts, find a puppy, and raise her own service dog. Karen did this, and Ben, a German shepherd, dragged her back into life. “How many people are stranded like I was,” she wondered, “who would lead productive lives if only they had a dog?”

A thousand state-of-the-art dogs later, Karen Shirk’s service dog academy, 4 Paws for Ability, is restoring broken children and their families to life. Long shunned by scientists as a manmade, synthetic species, and oft- referred to as “Man’s Best Friend” almost patronizingly, dogs are finally paid respectful attention by a new generation of neuroscientists and animal behaviorists. Melissa Fay Greene weaves the latest scientific discoveries about our co-evolution with dogs with Karen’s story and a few exquisitely rendered stories of suffering children and their heartbroken families. Written with characteristic insight, humanity, humor, and irrepressible joy, what could have been merely touching is a penetrating, compassionate exploration of larger questions: about our attachment to dogs, what constitutes a productive life, and what can be accomplished with unconditional love.

Title : The Underdogs
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 0062218514
Edition Language : English
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 352 pages


Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader rated it ★★★★★

August 29, 2017

Review of the audio. I picked this up as an Audible deal, and I saw the high rating, the cute cover, that it was about dogs, and I went for it. It turned out that the book was about children and adults with disabilities and the service dogs who love them. Not only that, it was also filled with fa...

Taryn rated it ★★★★☆

May 26, 2016

Special needs kids who beat the odds give me lots of feelings. Dogs being heroes and saving the day give me lots of feelings. Put those two things together? ALL THE FEELINGS! 4 Paws for Ability is a nonprofit started by Karen Shirk, a woman who was told she was “too disabled” to have a service dog...

Bobby rated it ★★★★★

March 20, 2016

The cover and title of The Underdogs may lead you to think it's "just a dog book." The Underdogs is actually what I think of as a "pulse book." If this book doesn't move and inspire you, you may want to check your pulse! This book may be described as a book about the organization 4 Paws for Abili...

Michele rated it ★★★★★

November 28, 2017

Truly a most remarkable book. There are a few books that I wish every human being could read, and this is one of them. After reading this, you just can't help but understand that dogs are one of the greatest gifts we humans have the privilege of sharing our lives with. The way so many are mistrea...

Nancy rated it ★★★★☆

July 25, 2017

I dragged my way through the history of man and dogs, and stopped reading at a little over half way through the book. At that point I probably would have given the book three stars. I decided to finish reading the book, and I loved the last half of the book. A woman in a wheel chair could not get...

Hannah rated it ★★★★★

June 02, 2017

Amazing story of a woman who was told she was too disabled for a service dog, so she trained her own. That dog saved her life more than once, and then she started an agency to train dogs for disabled children whom nobody else would help. I was astonished by the quality of the writing and went loo...

Jennifer rated it ★★★★☆

April 11, 2017

Excellent look at dogs who assist those with disabilities that you wouldn't normally think of when thinking of service dogs. It is amazing the things that these service dogs do!

Beverly rated it ★★★★★

February 27, 2017

As a mother of a son with autism that recieved one of the life changing dogs that 4 Paws provides I was amazed at how well she described the feelings and the impacts on family life that we go through. It was intense for me and I had to put the book down on occasion as the emotions were overpoweri...

Carroll Murray rated it ★★★★★

January 11, 2017

I am an intermediate dog lover. Because of a dog allergy I'm unable to bury my head in a dog's fur. But I'd love to!!! This book was thrilling for me to read and I'd recommend to everyone! The dogs' effect on the children is absolute magic.

Sue rated it ★★★☆☆

October 17, 2016

Full of very touching stories. I think the last one with Iyal and Chancer was the most memorable. I got tired though of all the scientific research which interrupted the flow of stories.

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