Item description for Canine Courage by Tiffin Shewmake...
Canine Courage is the first book to take an in-depth look at dog heroism and loyalty. Canine Courage is about untrained dogs who save lives. The book explores heartwarming, sad and funny stories of heroism as it shows why dogs are heroic and explains how this unique behavior developed. Canine Courage examines the dog's natural history and behavior to take a fresh and revealing look at the relationship between people and dogs.
Ancient legends document that people have long believed in dog heroism and loyalty, and modern stories and literature show that this belief continues today. Is this belief based on fact? Despite some obviously untrue stories, like Seymour driving his owner to the vet's after the man suffered a heart attack at the wheel, the number of dog hero stories and the similarity over time give them legitimacy. This does not explain why one species would risk its life for another, behavior that seems to break the rules of survival of the fittest. Canine Courage explains how heroism and helpfulness developed, and why this behavior actually benefits the dog. Like a corporate protg who trusts his career to a mentor, dogs have based their future on their relationship with people.
Dogs save people from almost every danger imaginable--- including drowning, animal attacks, fire, speeding cars, being lost, and armed intruders. Canine Courage looks at what motivates these dogs to help. The book examines the importance of dog emotions and their sensitivity to our emotions. Canine Courage analyzes how dogs recognize danger and take the right action, like Max pulling a burning blanket off his unconscious owner or Lucason, a show dog who had never been swimming, rescuing a drowning child from a river. Some stories are miraculous and defy explanation, how could the dog Patsy have known to warn her owner just before the riverbank where he was standing collapsed? Canine Courage discusses conventional explanations for such stories and also considers the possibility of ESP.
Not all dogs are equally heroic and the book details which breeds are the most heroic (and the least) and why. Loyal behavior is related to heroism and Canine Courage looks at extreme loyalty such as Shep who waited years at a railroad station for his owner's return or Bobbie who traveled hundreds of miles to find his family. People value such loyalty; dogs like Greyfriers Bobby in England who waited by his owner's grave for years become national icons. To better understand dog loyalty, Canine Courage looks at the why this behavior would have developed and discusses whether dogs can be truly loyal or if people misinterpret the behavior because it is what they want to believe.
Dogs that rescue people from immediate danger are not the only canine heroes. Canine Courage also looks at the quiet heroism of untrained dogs that help disabled owners. Like Sport, who in the 1920s helped his paralyzed owner achieve self-sufficiency. These dogs are the models for the trained service dogs used today, especially one of the more controversial ones, seizure alert dogs. Canine Courage examines what makes these dogs want to help and how they learn what to do without training. The book includes stories of dogs with jobs, such as firehouse dogs, canine mail carriers, even a Morse code operator.
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Reviews - What do customers think about Canine Courage?
More psychology than stories of courage Nov 10, 2006
Not what I was looking for. I wanted to read stories of courage, but found mostly attempts at dog psychology. My eyes glazed over and I didn't make it to the end of the book.
A Book I'll Share With All My Friends May 2, 2003
Canine Courage is the finest, most detailed look at the unabashedly loyal friends we call dogs. What drives their loyalty? What spurs them to risk their lives for their companions? Shewmake's meticulous research has produced a credible look at an abstract concept. I laughed out loud and even cried a time or two as the book's affectionate descriptions of dog heros conjured up memories of my own canine companions. Although Canine Courage was not written for children, I plan to read it to my step-daughter.
A Must Read For All Animal Lovers Mar 7, 2003
An excerpt from Canine Courage was selected as the best book excerpt for the first isssue of Yarrow Brook Literary Review, a print extension of WordThunder.com. Canine Courage is truly a wonderful achievement that deserves greater attention.
An unabashed celebration of the loyalty of our canines Feb 8, 2003
Canine Courage: The Heroism of Dogs by Tiffin Shewmake is an extensive compendium of heroic canines who have saved human lives time and again. From how dogs are trained to help and know what to do in emergency situations; to stories of dogs rescuing people from drowning; to the distinctions that various breeds can make in providing faithful canine assistance, Canine Courage is very highly recommended reading for dog lovers and offers an impressive, fascinating wealth of information. To put it simply, Canine Courage is an unabashed celebration of the loyalty of our canine companions.
For Dog Lovers Jan 25, 2003
This is not a book of cobbled together dog stories--although there are some wonderful stories in it. This is a thoughtful, well written, book that examines some unique canine qualities within the context of their relationships with humans. Although not written for young children, I believe it is a "must read" for all dog lovers over 13 years of age.