but a shaggy, black scamp called Sammy entered her life one day, and her world changed. The story tells how Sammy's new owner civilized his behavior through training at a local dog club. His aptitude for rally obedience enticed her to continue. Sammy, it turned out, was a pretty good competitor, except for his barking; it was Linda who had difficulty learning the sport. They spent an agonizing year attending one trial after another,
while Linda gave unclear cues, got lost in the show ring, missed stations,
and almost was tossed out of the sport altogether, until she finally began to qualify and earned a fine collection of ribbons. An introverted academic, she never quite fit in with the social world of dog people. But, in the end, she and
Sammy triumphed. The book covers their first three years together.
Linda Farris Kurtz's career as a practicing social worker and educator spanned forty-six years from 1958 to her retirement in 2004. After retiring, she adopted
Sammy, the scrappy canine subject of her memoir. She lives in Ann Arbor,
Michigan with Sammy and her husband, Ernest Kurtz, who is the author of several books, including The Spirituality of Imperfection, published by Bantam in 1993. Throughout their thirty-two year marriage, both Drs. Kurtz have researched and written on recovery from alcoholism and mental illness. Linda
Farris Kurtz is the author of one other book, Self-help and Support Groups: A
Handbook for Practitioners, published by Sage Publications in 1997.