The Power of Wagging Tails: A Doctor's Guide to Dog Therapy and Healing

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Foreword Reviews 2011 Book of the Year Honorable Mention (Health Category)

Medical studies have consistently shown that patients benefit from therapy dog visits. One recent study of 59 adults showed that following a therapy dog visit their energy levels increased, respiratory rated calmed significantly and pain scores decreased by over 20%. Mood scores improved by over 60% with the patients feeling less tense, anxious, angry, tied depressed and...

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Foreword Reviews 2011 Book of the Year Honorable Mention (Health Category)

Medical studies have consistently shown that patients benefit from therapy dog visits. One recent study of 59 adults showed that following a therapy dog visit their energy levels increased, respiratory rated calmed significantly and pain scores decreased by over 20%. Mood scores improved by over 60% with the patients feeling less tense, anxious, angry, tied depressed and dejected.

Now in The Power of Wagging Tails, Dr. Dawn Marcus showcases the wide range of research that shows the therapeutic and healing power of dogs for people of all ages and with a wide range of health conditions. These research findings are brought to life through the personal stories of healing from dog owners across the United States and Canada.

She shows you how to unleash the healing power of your own dog, describes how to effectively add a dog to the home of someone with a chronic condition, explains how the family dog can help with chronic health conditions, and teaches how to train a companion dog to be a certified therapy dog to help others.

The Power of Wagging Tails will be of interest to dog owners, people wondering how to help family and friends coping with chronic illnesses, and individuals considering training their dogs for therapy work.

Special Features of The Power of Wagging Tails include :

  • Presentation of reliable medical research showing that dog therapy offers therapeutic benefits to people
  • First-person accounts from service dog trainers, aerobic instructors, and recognized dog training experts such as Carol Lea Benjamin
  • First-person accounts of people who have experienced dog therapy
  • Practical suggestions to help people decide if they should add a dog to their home or have a therapy dog visit.
  • Sound advice to help people decide if dog therapy is right for them
  • Practical tips on how to make dog therapy visits safe, effective, and successful for the dog, handler, and people visited
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"The Power of Wagging Tails is an in-depth look into the emotional and physical benefits of therapy dogs. It's the perfect resource for dog owners, dog lovers, and people wondering how to help family and friends cope with illness through the use of therapy dogs."-The Latham Letter, Volume XXX11, Number 3, Summer 2011

"I recommend this book to everyone because it will open you to the power which is created when we bond with animals."- Bernie Siegel, MD, Author, Love, Medicine and Miracles, 365 Prescriptions for the Soul, and Smudge Bunny

"With a clear love for dogs and a passion for medicine, Dr. Dawn Marcus has written a prescription for happiness and health that we should all take to heart. A lovely, inspiring book that every dog lover and physician should own."-Patricia B. McConnell, PhD, CAAB, Author, The Other End of the Leash and For the Love of a Dog

"Brilliant! Pet owners on the journey to becoming therapy dog handlers will be more successful thanks to her insights and thorough research."-Sheri Gintner MS, CDBC, Dog Behavior Consultant to the Western PA Humane Society and owner of Good Dog! Behavior Training

"For those who question the healing quality of dogs, The Power of Wagging Tails will be a proof positive eye opener. For those already familiar with that power, this book will delight and warm their hearts."-Dale V. Atkins, PhD, media commentator and Author, Sanity Savers: Tips for Women to Live a Balanced Life

" Dawn Marcus has written a book that highlights through moving anecdotes and intriguing research the way the dogs that touch our lives make us not only happier but healthier. The only hard thing about reading this book was at times seeing through my tears."-Julie Hill Host of DogCastRadio and Columnist

" ...We humans can learn a lesson about our own health from these remarkable furry physicians. Outstanding read!"-Jeff Marginean, Creator and Host of The My Buddy Butch Show and Author, My Buddy Butch

"...a 'must read' for anyone not familiar with pet therapy programs."-Pittsburgh Tribune June 12, 2011

"Ah, the power of a wagging tail. What a delightful sight and a clever name for a book. The Power of Wagging Tails: A Doctor's Guide to Dog Therapy and Healing is a showcase of stories woven through the prose of author Dawn A. Marcus, M.D. Dogs teach us so very much, and Dr. Marcus masterfully instructs one "tale of tails" after another.
Turn on the television, pick up a copy of FIDO Friendly magazine, surf the latest dog news online: Dogs make a difference in the lives of so many. They are extraordinarily special, our canine family members, and they ask for nothing more than to be loved, fed and given the care they deserve. Dawn Marcus writes of dogs as therapeutic and healing beings to people of all ages and with a host of health conditions. These stories are uplifting, the kind that make you get up and hug your very own dog. Having been involved in pet therapy, I can attest to the power that dogs hold within and how very special it is when we as their dog moms and dad let it come out to share with others."-Fido Friendly online

"Unlike so many dog books out there which have been written by dog enthusiasts or veterinarians, The Power of Wagging Tails is the work of a medical doctor who has acquired firsthand understanding of just how powerfully effective therapy dogs can be in the healing process of human patients. Written with beautiful eloquence that's infused with heartfelt sincerity and passion, The Power of Wagging Tails is an easily digestible, informative text as well as an inspiring manuscript. Each one of its pages is filled with real life evidence and documented indications that there truly is an incredibly sturdy bond of love, devotion and therapeutically curative power between humans and dogs. Understanding misconceptions and the feeble understanding of the general public, Dr. Marcus first clearly explains what therapy dogs are, what therapy dogs do and how therapy teams of dogs and their handlers work together to bring little bits of joy into the lives of suffering individuals. Dr. Marcus also clarifies the difference between therapy dogs and service dogs, and then dispels the fallacy that therapy dogs are exclusive to specific breeds. Every book has an audience and, of course, so does The Power of Wagging Tails. What's unique about this book's audience, however, is the fact that it is so diverse as it includes dog lovers, dog trainers, animal advocacy groups, humane societies, veterinary professionals, medical staff and their human patients. Unless my calculation is entirely off the mark, that covers just about everyone. Yes, The Power of Wagging Tails by Dawn A. Marcus, M.D. is for everyone to learn from and to be inspired by."-Dog Products online

"This book will pull at the heartstrings of anyone who has witnessed the power of the human animal bond. The touching true life stories add to the overwhelming nature of the topic. The author divides this book into sections to better enhance the topics discussed. Each section has chapters and excerpts from therapy dog handlers. The topics range from bring a dog into your life and how to choose the right dog for you and your families needs to how doctor's perceive the healing that is provided by therapy dogs. Many of the handlers interviewed for the book tell of the importance of the team and understanding the dog and what the dog wants to give back to those he/she is visiting. Therapy dogs in the book have been seeing patients that are children, adults, those with heart issues, cancer, pain and even diabetes. If you are just learning about therapy dogs and their benefits this is a must read. In addition to providing information on how the dogs interact with individuals the author also provides information on how you as an individual may lower your health risks of the diseases and diagnosis listed. The addition of the Tail Waggin' Tips provide brief synopsis of the sections being covered. In the last section of the book the author provides an exercise plan that can be carried out with your dog. This plan is complete with photographs to illustrate the movements and modifications for time and ability. What better way to create or enhance a bond between dog and owner. The benefit of this work out is that you do not have to have a therapy dog as a pet to enjoy getting fit with your pet. In my daily practice I have had the joy of witnessing several therapy dogs at work. These animals bond with clients in a pure and heart opening way that is expressed to the fullest extent by the excerpts found in this book. The stories and illustrations that the author provides bring home the power of the bond created by therapy dogs and those lucky enough to receive their visits."-Michelle King, MS, CTRS, Rocky Mountain MS Center, eMS News 43

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781936303120
  • Publisher: Demos Medical Publishing, LLC
  • Publication date: 5/19/2011
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 360
  • Sales rank: 808,198
  • Product dimensions: 8.74 (w) x 6.06 (h) x 0.66 (d)

Meet the Author

Dawn A. Marcus, MD, is neurologist and Professor in the Department of Anesthesiology at University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, working at the Pain Evaluation and Treatment Institute. Dr. Marcus is certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology.

She received her undergraduate degree in Biology at Marywood College in Scranton, Pennsylvania; she received her medical degree from State University of New York Health Science Center in Syracuse. Her postdoctoral training includes a rotating internship at St. Joseph Hospital in Syracuse and a residency in Neurology at University of Pittsburgh. Dr. Marcus joined the faculty at University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine in 1990.

Dr. Marcus has authored over 100 articles on the topics of chronic pain and headache, and has given numerous training sessions and invited lectures on the topics of chronic pain and headache in the United States and internationally. She has served as principal investigator on research projects investigating pain epidemiology, pathology, treatment, and women's issues that were funded by regional or national sources. She has also authored numerous books on chronic pain and migraine, including 10 Simple Solutions to Migraine, for which she won the 2007 Excellence in Media Award from the National Headache Foundation. Her most recent consumer book is Fit as Fido: Follow Your Dog to Better Health, (self-published) which teaches you to use your relationship with your dog to improve your general health. She has authored several books on chronic pain management for health care professionals, including the recently published Headache Simplified, Chronic Pain: A Primary Care Guide to Practical Management (second edition), Effective Migraine Treatment in Pregnant and Lactating Women, and Chronic Pain Atlas. In 2010 she authored a book on migraine for women.

Dr Marcus is a consultant for Del Monte's "Power of Paws" program, encouraging human health through dog companionship. Dr. Marcus has trained her two wheaten golden terriers to be therapy dogs.

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Table of Contents

Part I: Bringing Healing into Our Lives with Dogs
1. Living with Healing Dogs
2. Making Fido a Member of Your Personal Treatment Team and Support Network
3. Getting Involved with Pet Therapy
Part II: Dogs as Healer
4. Napoleon and Nikita as Nurses: Comforting People Needing Chronic Therapy
5. Duke and Daisy as Doctors: Sniffing out Disease
6. Dogs as Therapists
Part III: A Doctor's View of Healing Dogs Helping Medical Illness
7. Let Shadow and Sammy Ease an Ailing Psyche
8. Connecting with Bailey is Heart Healthy
9. I have Cancer: Can a Dog Help Me? 1
10. Pain and Pet Therapy
11. Managing Your Metabolism with Molly: Diabetes and Weight Control
12. Get off your Butt! Let Your Dog Show You How
13. Thanks for the Memories: Helping Seniors Connect with their Past and the Present
14. The Healing Power Witnessed by Dog Handlers

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Customer Reviews

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