A Dog Walks Into a Nursing Home: Lessons in the Good Life from an Unlikely Teacher

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Riverhead Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated, 2013 - Biography & Autobiography - 312 pages
3 Reviews

In late adolescence, Pransky was bored: she need a job.  And so Sue Halpern decided to give herself and her underoccupied Labradoodle a new leash - er, lease - on life by getting the two of them certified as a therapy-dog team. Pransky proved to be not only a terrific therapist, smart and instinctively compassionate, but an unerring moral compass as well.  In the unlikely-sounding arena of a public nursing home, she led her teammate into a series of encounters with the residents that revealed depths of warmth, humor, and insight Halpern hadn't expected. Little by little, their adventures expanded and illuminated Halpern's sense of what goodness is and does - how acts of kindness transform the giver as well as the given-to.
Funny, moving, and profound, A Dog Walks into a Nursing Home is the story of how one virtuous - that is to say, faithful, charitable, loving, and sometimes prudent - mutt showed great hope, fortitude, and restraint (the occasional begged or stolen treat notwithstanding) as she taught a well-meaning woman the essence and pleasures of the good life.
'Affectionate and deeply affecting, written with a light hand and a keen eye, this is a wonderful story of great things - namely, love, life, human kindness, and dogs.' Susan Orlean, author of The Orchid Thief and Rin Tin Tin: The Life and the Legend
'Halpern is a writer of immense talents and enormous heart.  A joyous and moving account of how seemingly small gifts of kindness can make a profound difference.  An not to the recipient alone.' Geraldine Brooks, Pulitzer Prize - winning author of People of the Book and Caleb's Crossing
'This is a gem of a book, a beautiful, wise, and bighearted story about companionship and the true nature of virtue.' Diane Ackerman, author of One Hundred Names for Love
'With uncommon wit and insight, Sue Halpern has written a book about a dog that is ultimately a book about humanity . . . A beautiful, honest, joyful accounting of what matters.' Terry Tempest Williams, author of Refuge

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Review: A Dog Walks Into a Nursing Home: Lessons in the Good Life from an Unlikely Teacher

User Review  - Stephanie A. - Goodreads

The bite-sized bits about actual visits to nursing home patients were interesting, but they felt few and far between amidst a sea of references to research/studies and philosophy. Read full review

Review: A Dog Walks Into a Nursing Home: Lessons in the Good Life from an Unlikely Teacher

User Review  - Heidi Marleau - Goodreads

A thoroughly enjoyable book. Sweet, insightful and instructive. My husband is thinking about going forward with getting our dog trained and certified to be a therapy dog so this was a perfect read ... Read full review

About the author (2013)

Sue Halpern is the author of five previous books. Her writing has appeared in The New York Review of Books, The New York Times Magazine, Time, The New Yorker, Parade, Rolling Stone, and Glamour, among others. She has been a Rhodes Scholar and a Guggenheim Fellow and is a scholar in residence at Middlebury College. She lives with her husband, the writer Bill McKibben, and Pransky in Ripton, Vermont.

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