Right Dog for the Job: Ira's Path from Service Dog to Guide Dog

Overview

Follow an adorable Golden Retriever as he trains to become a helper for the disabled.

Ira was not born to be an ordinary dog. A few weeks after his birth, a foster puppy trainer with PawsAbilities, Canine Partners for People with Disabilities, took him home to begin his training as a Service Dog. Service dogs help people who have a lot of difficulty moving around on their own. To become one, Ira must learn how to retrieve dropped keys; press a wheelchair sign to open doors; ride...

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Overview

Follow an adorable Golden Retriever as he trains to become a helper for the disabled.

Ira was not born to be an ordinary dog. A few weeks after his birth, a foster puppy trainer with PawsAbilities, Canine Partners for People with Disabilities, took him home to begin his training as a Service Dog. Service dogs help people who have a lot of difficulty moving around on their own. To become one, Ira must learn how to retrieve dropped keys; press a wheelchair sign to open doors; ride a bus; sit quietly in loud, distracting places; and do many other difficult tasks. Not many dogs can do all that!

Fortunately, Ira is smart and confident, and he is able to pass his Service Dog test. Unfortunately, the new facility that Ira needs to attend for more detailed training isn’t ready. What will happen to Ira? Will he be able to learn a new career as a Guide Dog for the Blind?

•This true story shows the immense impact service and guide dogs have on the lives of the disabled, and what it takes for them to have that impact.

• Adorable, full-color photographs bring children into Ira’s life and let them connect with him in a very personal way.

• See how sixth graders helped train Ira, and hear how they felt about the experience.

Tells how a golden retriever is trained as a service dog, to help someone who has trouble moving their arms or legs, and later as a guide dog for a man who cannot see.

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Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
Gr 1-5-This delightful photo-essay follows a puppy from his training to become a service dog to becoming a guide dog. In conversational tones, Patent describes Ira's training with his raiser, who happens to be a teacher, and the sixth-grade class lucky enough to participate in the process. The golden retriever then moves on to more preparation with Guide Dogs for the Blind in California, and is eventually paired with a blind man. The author keeps the focus tightly on this animal and the people around him, but manages to slip in an extraordinary amount of information about the raising and training of guide dogs. She brings life to the narrative through details-Ira learning to ride the bus, for example, and practicing the proper way to enter an elevator so that it won't close on his leash. The book comes to a satisfying conclusion when Ira and his new owner arrive at the eighth-grade graduation of the students who helped raise him. Myriad full-color photographs that will capture kids' interest accompany the text. Though the difference between service dog and guide dog is never quite made clear, this portrait of Ira is sure to hook animal lovers. Caroline Arnold's more in-depth A Guide Dog Puppy Grows Up (Harcourt, 1991) is another high-quality book on the topic. However, with appeal for a wide age range, Patent's is the right book for the job.-Kathleen Kelly MacMillan, Maryland School for the Deaf, Columbia Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Ira is an appealing golden retriever puppy who grows into his job as a guide dog in this latest effort from a prolific and respected science writer for children. At first Ira is trained by an elementary school teacher in Montana who also works with an organization training service dogs to help people with disabilities other than blindness. Later Ira transfers to a program run by Guide Dogs for the Blind in California and then becomes a guide dog for a man in Washington State. Though this switch in Ira's training is a little confusing to follow, it allows the author to explore the similarities and differences in training between service dogs and guide dogs. There isn't much explanation of why people need service or guide dogs, as Patent's focus is on Ira and his development, with thoughtful acknowledgment of the children who help with the dog's training along the way. High-quality photographs illustrate Ira's journey from cuddly puppy to confident working guide dog. (author's note, list of organizations, bibliography) (Nonfiction. 8-11)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780802789143
  • Publisher: Walker & Company
  • Publication date: 5/1/2004
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 439,459
  • Age range: 8 - 12 Years
  • Lexile: 960L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 10.14 (w) x 9.44 (h) x 0.32 (d)

Meet the Author

Dorothy Hinshaw Patent and William Muñoz have worked together on a number of photo-essays, including Homesteading and the acclaimed West by Covered Wagon, which School Library Journal starred as “a handsomely designed and well-conceived piece of non-fiction.”

Dorothy lives in Montana with her husband, and William lives in British Columbia with his family.

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