Pick-up Dogs How Two Rescue Dogs Save the West from Being Won

Pick-up Dogs
The first few lines of Pick-Up Dogs

The stories of two rescue dogs collected in this book are just a few of the yarns in a huge library full of essays, poems, films, television programs, memoirs and comics that describe dogs’ faculties to make human lives better. Whether it be the bipolar woman who leans on her dogs for support, the young man who found companionship after a terrible break-up, or the man whose brother was shot and opened up to speak for the first time in many days with the visit of a therapy dog, when I told people I wanted to write about the healing power of dogs, almost everybody had a story.

The history of dog literature has shown that our canine friends have provided comfort in times of tragedy, direction when we’re lost and discipline when we need focus. Just about any dog has the potential to carry out these tasks. However, I believe that dogs that have experienced some form of abject tragedy tap into our psyches in a way that exposes our failures as human beings as well as our capacity to help and to heal ourselves and each other.

Rescue dogs, because they have been abandoned by one human to be “rescued” by another, know what it means to be alone, and therefore seem to be more attuned to human suffering. As a result, they offer a deep and bona fide look at healing. Those of us who adopt these dogs take part in a sort of mutual healing with the dog, which is what I have experienced with my two shelter dogs, Lupe and Marcos.

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