A Dog Named Boo: How One Dog and One Woman Rescued Each Other - and the Lives They Transformed Along the Way
Lisa J. Edwards
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She thought she was rescuing an abandoned puppy.
Turns out, he was rescuing her.
The last thing Lisa Edwards needed was a new dog. But when she came across an abandoned litter on Halloween, her heart went out to the runt who walked into walls and couldn't steady his feet. Lisa--healing from past abuse and battling constant pain from a chronic medical condition--saw a bit of herself in little Boo. And when he snuggled, helpless, against her, she knew he was meant to be hers.
The dunce of obedience class with poor eyesight and a clumsy gait, Boo was the least likely of heroes. Yet with his unflappable spirit and boundless love, Boo has changed countless lives through his work as a therapy dog--helping a mute six-year-old boy to speak, coaxing movement from a paralyzed girl and stirring life in a ninety-four-year-old nun with Alzheimer's. But perhaps Boo's greatest miracle is the way he transformed Lisa's life, giving her the greatest gift of all--faith in herself.
This is the inspiring true story of "the little dog who could," but more than that, it's the story of how one woman and one dog rescued each other--a moving tribute to hope, resilience and the transformative power of unconditional love.
the dynamic human–animal bond. I didn’t realize it at the time, but he was teaching me a powerful lesson about animal-assisted therapy. Seeing how uncomfortable Lawrence was, I couldn’t help but think that if he would just open up to little Boo, he might start to feel better—to even heal faster. If only he would warm up to the little fellow. Part of the reason I was so anxious for Lawrence to warm up to Boo was that of all the dogs, I was most like Boo, with our parallel lack of confidence and
tangible. I thought, I’m finishing that kitchen, come hell or high water. My approach to anything negative is to keep busy, so the pieces of the puzzle that would allow me to process my grief were to finish the kitchen and work toward my dog training certifications. If Chuck could get his CPA facing a fatal illness, then I had no excuse to not get my professional certifications, no matter how inadequate I felt. Committing to renovate the kitchen while training Boo and pursuing certification was
punishment (pain, fear, etc.) and positive reinforcement (rewards of food, play, affection) showed not just that my intuition was right but also that there were chemical reasons why. The neurological responses in the brain and body to fear and pain fall into the general category of stress responses. The neurochemicals and hormones produced by moderate to high levels of stress impair learning (unless we’re talking about hand-in-the-fire pain and stress, which is a very powerful learning process,
amount of time. We began the program ARF (Animal Reading Friends) for kids with reading issues, but we ultimately included any child who wanted to read to the dogs. Although I suspected Boo wasn’t going to be the perfect reading dog, I knew I had to let him try. The ideal reading dog is able to relax and focus on the child without being overly energized or falling asleep. It’s also helpful for a handler to teach a dog to “look at the pictures,” either automatically whenever a book is held out
when I picked up his visiting backpack. At the sight of the backpack, Dante and Boo would dance around with happy noises and happy howling, respectively, but when Porthos saw the bag this time, he walked alongside me like a condemned man. As I locked the door before we headed to the car, Porthos lay down on the deck and exposed his belly as if to say, “Please, Mom, I don’t wanna.” The sisters were counting on us, and it was simply too late to cancel. I encouraged him into the car and promised it