This polished photo-essay by frequent collaborators Patent and Muñoz (The Right Dog for the Job) will tug at the heartstrings of readers—especially those sympathetic to the plight of the often-maligned pit bull. In cogent, conversational prose, the author chronicles the rehabilitation journey of one of the dogs rescued in 2007 from NFL quarterback Michael Vick's illegal dogfighting operation. Named Audie by his eventual owners, the dog first spent months caged in a shelter until animal rights groups successfully petitioned the courts to allow the rescued pit bulls to be tested to determine if they were safe to handle. Placed in a permanent home, Audie gradually learned to trust people and get along with other dogs. After undergoing knee surgery, he began training for agility competition and, in a satisfying cap to his success story, now acts as a "canine coach," helping shy and fearful dogs. Muñoz's crisp, candid photos include many endearing shots of Audie—both solo and interacting with humans and other rescued dogs. Bright backgrounds and captionlike commentary keep this uplifting and informational book lively. Ages 6–9. (May)
This polished photo-essay by frequent collaborators Patent and Muñoz will tug at the heartstrings of readers. Muñoz's crisp, candid photos include many endearing shots of Audieboth solo and interacting with humans and other rescued dogs. Bright backgrounds and captionlike commentary keep this uplifting and informational book lively.”
His name is Audie now, although this black pit bull has had other names before. After being found shivering and chained to an old car axle in the woods, he was called "Number 86," after the cage he lived in. During that time, he "was being trained to participate in an illegal dog-fighting ring organized by NFL quarterback, Michael Vick." Fortunately for Audie and sixty-five of his fellow canines, the police and animal control officers raided Vick's kennels in 2007. They rescued the dogs as evidence. Through the intervention of several animal right groups, the court allowed the dogs to be tested to determine whether they would be safe to handle. Number 86 passed all the tests and was sent to foster care in San Diego. There, he received his first real name: Dutch. After he moved to a permanent home in San Francisco, his new owners thought the name Audie was a better match. So Dutch becomes Audie after the America war hero, Audie Murphy. After all, they are very much alike small, smart and brave. This is an emotional account of one dog's heartwarming and wrenching story of rescue, rehabilitation and adoption. It is a must-read for those considering fostering or adopting a rescue dog. Told in a beautiful photo essay format, the book negates the myths about pit bulls. Sample lesson plans for classroom use are included on the publisher's website. Additional information on pit bulls and their advocates, as well as a Vick case timeline and a resource list for further reading is included. After all his trials and tribulations, Audie becomes a coach for other dogs learning to live with people and animals. Michael Vick, after covering expenses for the pit bull victims and serving less than two years in prison, receives a promotion to starting quarterback in the NFL. Reviewer: Suzanne Javid
Children's Literature - Suzanne Javid
Gr 2–5—This is the story of one dog's journey from NFL star Quarterback Michael Vick's insidious dog-fighting kennel to a good home. With the help of animal-rights groups like the ASPCA and BAD RAP (Bay Area Doglovers Responsible About Pit Bulls), Audie was tested, trained, and taken into foster care. His foster family identified his needs and potential, and continued his training until they found Linda and William, who loved and adopted him. Patent and Muñoz bring to life each step of progress and show how the bandy-legged, shoe-chewing puppy grew and graduated from Canine Good Citizen and obedience classes. Due to court-ordered reparations pertaining to the Vick case, the pup received knee surgery that allowed him to participate in agility work that turned out to be one of his talents. From cowering against a wall to learning self-esteem, the pit bull became a coach to other dogs learning to live with people and animals. This book has a positive impact to counteract the myths about the breed. The back matter includes information about pit bulls, BAD RAP, advocates of the breed, the Vick case time line, and a list "for further reading and surfing."—Nancy Call, Santa Cruz Public Libraries, Aptos, CA
What happens to the dogs when dogfighting rings are broken up and the trials are over? Typically, the dogs are put to sleep, thought to be too dangerous to re-enter society. Because of the wide publicity of the Michael Vick case, animal activists were able to work to rescue all but one of his dogs; this is the story of one that survived. The little black pit bull puppy, later named after World War II hero Audie Murphy, thrives in his foster home. Soon he goes to live with a family that wants to train him for agility competitions. Audie needs surgery on his bad knees though, so not only does he still need to learn how to be a safe and social dog, he also has to recover from an operation. Audie goes through Canine Good Citizen classes and does so well he eventually helps train other dogs. He also excels in his agility training once his knees have healed. Color photographs chronicling Audie's journey are placed on vibrantly colored pages; Muñoz captures the dog's personality in frame after frame. Patent's text is straightforward, expertly providing just the right level of background and choosing kid-friendly details to illustrate Audie's experiences. Ample backmatter provides further background and resources. Audie's inspirational story is a case study in rehabilitation, one sure to appeal to animal loving children.