Giving Paws: Having a Service Dog for a Hidden Disability

Giving Paws: Having a Service Dog for a Hidden Disability

by Martha L. Thompson


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Martha lives with chronic illness, but is determined to stay strong enough to continue working at the zoo, which she loves. When her symptoms worsen and she starts fainting, she gets a service dog for support. With Henry by her side, she expects life to get easier, but that’s not what happens. Henry is a Chihuahua mix, much smaller than the familiar guide dogs for the blind, and Martha’s disability is not obvious, so when they go into public places people ask, “He’s so small. How does he help you?” Or, “You’re not blind, why do you need a service dog?” Martha is embarrassed by the unwanted attention and wants to give up, but Henry is not ready to retire. Giving Paws tells the story of Martha’s journey with Henry, overcoming hurdles and embracing unexpected blessings. It will appeal to all dog lovers, and will provide hope for anyone who could benefit from the support of a service dog.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781633935013
Publisher: Koehler Books
Publication date: 10/01/2017
Pages: 188
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.50(d)

About the Author

Martha Thompson is an author, whose first book, THE OXYGEN MASK RULE: How My Battle With Anorexia Taught Me to Survive, was a Finalist in the Women's Issues category of the 2012 International Book Awards. Martha is a graduate of the Juilliard School of Drama, and worked as an actor for twenty years with a variety of companies, including John Houseman's Acting Company and Joseph Papp's Public Theatre in New York, as well as many regional theatre companies. She also appeared in national commercials and sit-coms. When illness forced her to retire from acting, she found inspiration from her dog Gus to explore animal related career options. This led her to the Greater Los Angeles Zoo Association, where she became the Coordinator of Volunteer Programs, and was responsible for writing and editing a weekly newsletter called "ZOONOOZ." Martha lives in Los Angeles with her husband, 3 dogs, 5 quail and 4 turtles.

Table of Contents

Introduction 1

Gus 3

Welcome to Los Angeles 9

Building Our Family 19

Blindsided 24

Discovering the Zoo 30

Doctor’s Orders 42

That Yarn Store 51

Henry Comes Home 58

Service Dogs 101 64

The Big Test 75

Explaining Henry 83

Knowledge is Power 91

Dogs and More 98

Equal Opportunity Service Dog 104

Hagatha 114

Persecuted Fireplug 129

Promotions Panic 133

Cassie 141

Time for Change 149

Going Home 156

Lying Fallow 161

Acknowledgments 171

Bibliography 172

Resources 173

Notes 176

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