Reviews for Right Dog for the Job : Ira's Path from Service Dog to Guide Dog


Booklist Reviews 2004 June #1
Gr. 3-5. The dependable team of Patent and Munoz offers an inside look at the training of a service dog. Puppy Ira goes to live with a "puppy raiser," sixth-grade teacher Sandy Welch," when he is eight weeks old. She trains him to perform tasks such as picking up dropped keys and opening doors by pressing wheelchair-access signs, and she helps him become accustomed to crowds, buses, and new situations. After additional instruction at a specialized training center, Ira becomes a guide dog for a blind piano tuner. The informative text tells the dog's story in a straightforward way, while using Ira's impact on the children in Welch's class as an effective, emotional touch point. Most of the space in the layout is devoted to the clear, color photographs, which record the dog's physical growth, developing skills, and relationships with people during his first years. The last page lists organizations providing service and guide dogs as well as a number of titles recommended for further reading. ((Reviewed June 1 & 15, 2004)) Copyright 2004 Booklist Reviews.

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Horn Book Guide Reviews 2004 Fall
In his first home with a foster puppy raiser, Ira, a golden retriever, learns about being a service dog: how to wait patiently and deal with crowds and noises. Later he goes to Guide Dogs for the Blind for specialized training. Although short on details of the training process, the book, featuring appealing if occasionally unrefined color photos, is a solid introduction to service dogs. Addresses, reading list. Copyright 2004 Horn Book Guide Reviews.

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Kirkus Reviews 2004 May #1
Ira is an appealing golden retriever puppy who grows into his job as a guide dog in this latest effort from a prolific and respected science writer for children. At first Ira is trained by an elementary school teacher in Montana who also works with an organization training service dogs to help people with disabilities other than blindness. Later Ira transfers to a program run by Guide Dogs for the Blind in California and then becomes a guide dog for a man in Washington State. Though this switch in Ira's training is a little confusing to follow, it allows the author to explore the similarities and differences in training between service dogs and guide dogs. There isn't much explanation of why people need service or guide dogs, as Patent's focus is on Ira and his development, with thoughtful acknowledgment of the children who help with the dog's training along the way. High-quality photographs illustrate Ira's journey from cuddly puppy to confident working guide dog. (author's note, list of organizations, bibliography) (Nonfiction. 8-11) Copyright Kirkus 2004 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

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Library Media Connection Reviews 2004 October
In this photo-essay, readers experience the training of a puppy for special service and then the additional training to become a guide dog for a blind person. The large color photos document the growth and education of the service dog from birth and puppyhood to final placement in service. In two years the puppies should be ready for service. The person responsible for training must expose the dog to many different situations to prepare it to be reliable in all situations. When the time comes for Ira to go for more training, Guide Dogs for the Blind takes him to train as a guide dog. Ira must learn new skills like wearing a harness and crossing the street safely. Finally, Ira graduates and becomes a guide dog. Readers will experience a range of emotions as they read about service dogs and the people they serve. This story has a very special human-interest ending. The book includes a list of organizations that care for and train service or guide dogs and a brief bibliography. Students will enjoy learning how dogs are trained to provide special services, and this book will fill that need for books related to disabilities. Recommended. Daniel R. Beach, Library Media Specialist, Concord Elementary, Anderson, South Carolina © 2004 Linworth Publishing, Inc.

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School Library Journal Reviews 2004 June
Gr 1-5-This delightful photo-essay follows a puppy from his training to become a service dog to becoming a guide dog. In conversational tones, Patent describes Ira's training with his raiser, who happens to be a teacher, and the sixth-grade class lucky enough to participate in the process. The golden retriever then moves on to more preparation with Guide Dogs for the Blind in California, and is eventually paired with a blind man. The author keeps the focus tightly on this animal and the people around him, but manages to slip in an extraordinary amount of information about the raising and training of guide dogs. She brings life to the narrative through details-Ira learning to ride the bus, for example, and practicing the proper way to enter an elevator so that it won't close on his leash. The book comes to a satisfying conclusion when Ira and his new owner arrive at the eighth-grade graduation of the students who helped raise him. Myriad full-color photographs that will capture kids' interest accompany the text. Though the difference between service dog and guide dog is never quite made clear, this portrait of Ira is sure to hook animal lovers. Caroline Arnold's more in-depth A Guide Dog Puppy Grows Up (Harcourt, 1991) is another high-quality book on the topic. However, with appeal for a wide age range, Patent's is the right book for the job.-Kathleen Kelly MacMillan, Maryland School for the Deaf, Columbia Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.

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