Review: The Possibility Dogs: What a Handful of “Unadoptables” Taught Me About Service, Hope, and Healing


The Possibility Dogs: What a Handful of “Unadoptables” Taught Me About Service, Hope, and Healing by Susannah Charleson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I love a good story of redemption, and The Possibility Dogs serves up a great tale of how certain “unadoptable” dogs were trained to be of service to people with varying conditions. Susannah Charleson introduces us to Jake Piper, a pitbull-German shepherd-poodle mix discovered in deplorable conditions in the author’s neighborhood. And while stories of other rescues and their partners intermix with Jake’s main story, I was very entertained by how Charleson set up trials to determine service dog worthiness. Most of her Pomeranians for one reason or another aren’t suitable, but abandoned Jake shows promise.

What shines through in this story is a sense of belonging and purpose. Charleson’s search-and-rescue partner Puzzle (featured in the previous book Scent of the Missing, which I hope to read) basically accepts Jake Piper as one of her own. Later on, when Puzzle is ill for a few days, Jake has concern both for Puzzle’s welfare as well as Charleson’s anxiety over the situation.

So whether you’re an dog lover or not, I recommend The Possibility Dogs. The story of the human-animal bond is really one of love, hope, and healing. In this crazy world, we could certainly use some of that.

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