Afternoons with Puppy is a heartwarming account of dynamic relationships and outcomes involving a therapist, his therapy animals, and his patients over the course of almost two decades. It is a narrative of Dr. Fine's experiences and the growing respect for the power of the animals effect on his patients and himself.
Clinical psychologist Fine (The Handbook on Animal Assisted Therapy) and Eisen (literature, Nazareth Coll.) here collaborate on a book that is partly a treatise on the ways dogs, birds, and even lizards and fish can be used in therapeutic settings; partly a primer on the life lessons that animals teach; and partly a paean to Fine's pets. Fine sees his animals as "co-therapists" whose quiet presence and nonjudgmental demeanor make his patients comfortable, encourage them to confide, learn patience and self-control, and feel needed. The authors recount many heartwarming and heart-wrenching success that were initiated by Fine's birds and dogs, particularly Puppy, an abused golden retriever that he rehabilitated. Throughout, the writers expound on the virtues animals teach, e.g., "keeping life simple," "learning how to fail," and "shaking it off," which humans would do well to emulate. A good purchase for public libraries.—Florence Scarinci, Nassau Community Coll., Garden City, NY
Dr. Aubrey Fine, a clinical psychologist and a professor at California State Polytechnic University, is an internationally renowned expert on Animal Assisted Therapy (AAT). He is the editor of the classic book on the subject, The Handbook on Animal Assisted Therapy (2000) and has published other works in the areas of parent/child relationships, learning/attention disorders, and sports psychology. Cynthia J. Eisen teaches literature and mentors freshmen students at Nazareth College.