Chicken Soup for the Soul Celebrates Dogs and the People who Love Them

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Dogs. Our best friends. From thedawn of civilization, we have cherished them as our loyal companions, exuberant playmates, healing and gentle souls.

From adorable puppies with floppy ears and wobbly steps to full-grown guardinas of our love and trust, there is no other animal that compares to the dog. A playful growl, a boisterous bark, a cock of the head, an inquisitive stare - each inspires us with love and adoration.

The stoires and ...

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Dogs. Our best friends. From thedawn of civilization, we have cherished them as our loyal companions, exuberant playmates, healing and gentle souls.

From adorable puppies with floppy ears and wobbly steps to full-grown guardinas of our love and trust, there is no other animal that compares to the dog. A playful growl, a boisterous bark, a cock of the head, an inquisitive stare - each inspires us with love and adoration.

The stoires and photographs in this wonderful volume celebrate the humor, loyalty, love, courage and healing power of our canine companions. Each page in this book rejoices in the wonderful and poignant moments we share with our furry friends and the lessons of love they teach us each and every day.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780757301476
  • Publisher: Health Communications, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 10/12/2004
  • Series: Chicken Soup for the Soul Series
  • Pages: 96
  • Product dimensions: 6.36 (w) x 6.30 (h) x 0.45 (d)

Meet the Author

Jack Canfield is the #1 New York Times and USA Today best-selling author of the Chicken Soup for the Soul series. He is a professional speaker who has dedicated his live to enhancing the personal and professional development of others.

Mark Victor Hansen is the #1 New York Times and USA Today best-selling author of the Chicken Soup for the Soul series. He is a professional speaker who has dedicated his live to enhancing the personal and professional development of others.

Sharon Wohlmuth is a Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer and creator of the million-copy selling Sisters. She has worked on two previous Chicken Soup photo collections.


While Jack Canfield himself may not necessarily be a household name, it's very likely that you have heard of his famed Chicken Soup for the Soul series and nearly as likely that you have at least one of them sitting on your very own bookshelf! Having got his start as an inspirational speaker, Canfield's own story is nothing less than inspirational.

Jack Canfield had been traveling around delivering key note speeches and organizing workshops to help audiences build their self-esteem and maximize their potential when he had an in-flight brainstorm that changed his life. While flying home from a gig, Canfield realized that the very same advice he had been delivering during his in-person addresses could potentially form the basis of a book. Canfield used inspirational stories he'd gleaned over the years as the basis of his speeches, and he thought it would be a terrific idea to gather together 101 inspirational stories and anthologize them in a single volume. Upon returning home, Canfield approached friend and author Mark Victor Hansen about his concept. Hansen agreed it was a great idea, and the two men set about finding a publisher. Believe it or not, the mega-selling series was not an easy sell to publishers. "We were rejected by 123 publishers all told," Canfield told "The first time we went to New York, we visited with about a dozen publishers in a two day period with our agent, and nobody wanted it. They all said it was a stupid title, that nobody bought collections of short stories, that there was no edge -- no sex, no violence. Why would anyone read it?"

Canfield wisely practiced what he preached -- and persisted. Ultimately, he and Hansen sold the first Chicken Soup for the Soul book to a small press based in Deerfield Beach, Florida, called Health Communications. The rest, as they say, is history. There are currently 80 million copies of the Chicken Soup books in print, with subjects as varied as Chicken Soup For the Horse Lover's Soul and Chicken Soup For the Prisoner's Soul. Canfield and Hansen ranked as the top-selling authors of 1997 and are multiple New York Times bestsellers. Most important of all, the inspirational stories they have gathered in their many volumes have improved the lives of countless readers.

This year, expect to see Canfield's name gracing the covers of such titles as Chicken Soup For the Scrapbooker's Soul, Chicken Soup For the Mother and Son Soul, and Chicken Soup For the African American Woman's Soul. He and Hansen have also launched the all-new "Healthy Living" series and 8 titles in that series have already been released this year. There is also the fascinating You've GOT to Read This Book!, in which Canfield compiles personal accounts by 55 people each discussing a book that has changed his or her life. The most compelling of these may be the story of young entrepreneur Farrah Gray, who read Deepak Chopra's The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success at the age of 11 and made his first million dollars at the age of 14!

With no sign of slowing down, Canfield continues to be an inspiration to millions, who fortunately refused to give up when it seemed as though he would never even get his first book published. "Mark and I are big believers in perseverance," he said. "If you have a vision and a life purpose, and you believe in it, then you do not let external events tell you what is so. You follow your internal guidance and follow your bliss, as Joseph Campbell used to say."

Good To Know

Canfield is the founder of two California based self-esteem programs, "Self-Esteem Seminars" in Santa Barbara and "The Foundation For Self Esteem" in Culver City.

Writing the first Chicken Soup book was a lot more daunting than Canfield expected. After the first three years of research, he and Mark Victor Hansen had only compiled 68 stories -- 33 tales shy of their goal of 101 stories.

Along with co-writing dozens of full-length books, Canfield also publishes a free biweekly newsletter called Success Strategies.

Some fun and fascinating outtakes from our interview with Canfield:

"My inspiration for writing comes from my passion for teaching others how to live more effective lives. I started out as a history teacher in an all-black inner city high school in Chicago, graduated to a teacher trainer, then psychotherapist, then trainer of therapists, then large group transformational trainer and then a writer and keynote speaker. All along the way, my desire was to make a difference, to help people live more fulfilling lives. That is what I still do today. Most people don't know this but I was not a good writer in college. I got a C in composition. Nobody would have ever believed I would grow up to be a bestselling author."

"I play guitar, and I am learning to play the piano. I love movies and some TV shows. My favorites are Six Feet Under, Grey's Anatomy, House and Lost. I love to play Scrabble, poker and backgammon with my in-laws, nieces and nephews. We really get into it. I love to travel. I have been to 25 countries and try to add two or three new ones every year."

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    1. Hometown:
      Santa Barbara, California
    1. Date of Birth:
      August 19, 1944
    2. Place of Birth:
      Fort Worth, Texas
    1. Education:
      B.A. in History, Harvard University, 1966; M.A.T. Program, University of Chicago, 1968; M.Ed., U. of Massachusetts, 1973
    2. Website:

Read an Excerpt

Swimming the Mianus

My parents used to have a beautiful white clapboard house on the banks of the Mianus River, in Connecticut. The smallish river lolled past beautiful houses, dotted with green lawns, gray docks, white Adirondack chairs and small colorful boats. My parents' house had a huge lawn that rolled down to the water.

Looking across the water, you could see small boats at anchor, with their empty, rickety lobster pots stacked like building blocks thrown in a pile, bobbing up and down on the shining water. On the most memorable days, the sky was blue, the grass bright green and the whites blinding—a perfect postcard.

It was on such a day that Exley, my year-and-a-half-old German shorthaired pointer, decided he would go for a swim. He was young and sturdy and precocious. He romped around, tough and strong, still with the youthful energy and excitement of a puppy.

Exley had a solid dark chocolate head, with three large liver patches, gray flecking and white socks. He was not exceptionally big, but he had a broad chest and alert eyes. He could be a terror one minute and an absolute sweetheart the next. A hunting machine, he liked nothing better than to fall asleep with his head on my lap. He was affectionate to a fault. But his penchant for chasing squirrels, birds, cats and other animals never ended well—especially for him.

Exley loved my parents' backyard, and was fond of rooting around in the shore's black, fine, oozy mud. Though my mother loved Exley, she was never very happy to see him arrive at her house, despite my protestations, for some mischief was always imminent. This particular day was no different.

Exley and I had been working on his training, and I decided here in the quiet of my parents' unfenced backyard would be a good time to reinforce my position as the alpha male in our limited pack of two.

'Siiiit,' I said quietly, stepping back slowly. 'Sit.' I used an even, forceful tone. And it was working. I was now about twenty-five paces away. I stopped and commanded evenly again, 'Down, Exley. Down.' He got down and stayed down, and I began moving a little farther, and a little farther back. I was the master, I was the alpha male, I was in control. Finally, I was fifty to sixty paces away on our second attempt at the exercise, when I said, 'Good boy, Exley! Good boy.' I said this at the end, because no matter how I said it, quietly, excitedly, evenly, Exley would break. He was consistent in this. No matter the tone, he always broke when I praised him.

Now, Exley had always been good at coming back to me. And here he was, running toward me. Ears flapping up and down, his big pink tongue flopping like a rag doll from his mouth, a puppy­ish prance in his step, he bounced toward me. Suddenly, his eyes narrowed, his ears pricked up, his tongue drew in and his mouth closed. His gait changed from a bouncy trot to a thundering gallop. His powerful chest tightened, his stride exploded, and he raced down the slope of my parents' lawn like a horse in the Light Brigade. I tried to step in his way, but he barely lost stride, changing directions with speed and accuracy not seen since the Roman cavalry. I did not exist.

The ground shook as he approached and then shot past me. Though I felt some trepidation, and even as I was hollering, 'Exley, come here!' at the top of my lungs, I could not help but admire his grace and elegance while in a full burst of pure speed. His body bobbed like an engine piston, with the grace of a thorough­bred, but his head stayed fixed like a cheetah in mid-hunt.

And then he leapt. I can still remember yelling 'Nooooo,' in slow motion, like in a bad Burt Reynolds movie. His leap was magnificent. In mid-air, he was the image of artful grace. He rose high over the shimmering water, his front paws elegantly stretched out before him, his hind legs balancing his back, and his Goofy-like ears flapping up in the wind. And into the beautiful New England postcard Exley leapt. His splash broke the silence that only existed in the motion picture inside my head.

'Exley, come! Exley, come here now! Exley!' But there was no penetrating his thick head. I scanned the water. There were three boats in the vicinity. But where was he going? There were no birds. He had been known to swim after ducks and seagulls. He was obsessed with game of any kind. I called and called but he did not heed me. He paddled furiously. One boat missed him. Another boat passed and obscured my view. None of these ­distracted him. Then it occurred to me. He was swimming to the opposite shore!

'No! No! Come back!' I screamed and hollered, but Exley kept moving. Trying to peer between the boats and houses and other obstacles, I squinted to see what was drawing his attention. But I couldn't see a thing. I realized I needed to move quickly. I raced up the lawn, ran into the house, swiped the keys and raced to the car. I had to get to the other side.

I roared down the sun-dappled, crooked country road like Gene Hackman in The French Connection, honking at all those in my way. Getting there was no easy feat. I had to race up toward Route One, drive across the river and find the road on the opposite bank. It should have been easy, but Murphy's Law was like gravity at ten-plus that day. Finally, I raced down the road, finding the landmarks I had picked out before I left.

I searched the riverbank. I looked at houses he might have been tempted to investigate. I checked out a couple of garbage bins where he might have been tempted to dine. I worried he might have been killed by an oncoming car. I drove up and down the street making sure he wasn't crumpled on the side of the road. What had I done?! Oh, how could I let something happen to him? It was then that I noticed that on the opposite shore, people on a passing boat were pointing to something. It was Exley, crawling back onto land . . . onto my parents' lawn. He was emerging from the tidal waters, covered in mud, rising like some canine version of the Creature from the Black Lagoon. He shook himself off, his large ears flapping and his stubby little tail wagging away. I was never so happy in my life. He was safe!

Just as suddenly as he had bolted passed me into the water, I now saw him bolting toward my parents' house. The patio door was open, and again it seemed I had entered some bad made-for-television movie. He bounded faster and faster, coated in earthy slime, up the trimly cut lawn, toward the striped-awning covered patio and my parents' house. 'Noooooooo!'

Exley was banished from my parents' house that day. The mud had been tracked through the entire house. My mother screamed at him. My father screamed at him. I screamed at him. I yanked him outside to give him a bath, and when I was sure my parents weren't anywhere near, I got on the ground, and hugged him as never before. And I laughed; I laughed so heartily. I laughed because I loved him and was so happy he was alive. He licked my face and wagged his stubby little tail. He smelled awful, simply awful, and I hugged him all the more.

Carlo DeVito

©2008. Carlo DeVito. All rights reserved. Reprinted from Chicken Soup for the Soul: Celebrates Dogs and the people who love them by Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means, without the written permission of the publisher. Publisher: Health Communications, Inc., 3201 SW 15th Street , Deerfield Beach , FL 33442.

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