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Six Legs and a Leash
Stories of a Therapy Dog
Author: Judy Lester Brown
Publisher: Dog Ear Publishing
4010 W.86th St., Suite H
Indianapolis, IN 46268
Short description: Six Legs and a Leash is inspirational Christian literature, with first-hand information about the selection, training, testing, and work of a therapy dog. Real-life vignettes provide a glimpse of the synergistic relationship of the client, dog, and handler. A selection of children’s sermons is not only a useful resource for anyone who has a ministry with children, but it is also inspiring devotional reading.
The book may be ordered in quantity from Dog Ear Publishing (866-823-9613 and ask for Adrienne or Shel) or, books may be ordered individually from Amazon.com (http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=Six+Legs+and+a+Leash%2C+Stories+of+a+Therapy+Dog).
One dollar from every book sold will be donated to the children’s ministry of Greenfield Christian Church and one dollar will be donated to Pet Partners®, an organization for the training, registering and support of therapy dog teams.
Schedule of book signings
Get a special author's discount and an autographed copy of Six Legs and a Leash at one of these special events.
(Personal note: Our lives have become "complicated" with the sale of our present home, moving to a rental house by the end of August, and planning to build a new home nearby. We have canceled book signing events and special programs until the first of September. We are still making our hospital and nursing home visits every week.)
Mt. Comfort United Methodist
Church Oct. 13
New Pals, New Palestine
United Methodist Church Nov. 18
A few weeks ago Reggie and my visit to Hancock Regional Hospital didn’t go quite as we expected. Here’s what happened.
Reggie and I have greeted each patient in the activity room in Reflections. Now Reggie is looking high and low for the stuffed squirrel that has been “hidden” by the patients with help from a caregiver. Suddenly he lifts his left front foot and refuses to put it on the floor. He cannot, or will not, walk a step. Taking his foot in my hand, I gently manipulate all the joints from his shoulder to his toes. Reggie does not flinch for show any indication of pain. But he still will not put his foot on the floor. I examine his foot pads and between his toes for a sharp object which might be causing the problem and find nothing. A caregiver produces an elastic wrap and we wrap Reggie’s leg from above his knee down. He still will not put any weight on his foot.
What do to?! Reggie obviously can’t walk. We can’t carry this 125-pound dog from the second floor to the parking lot. Then a nurse calls the Maintenance Department, “Do you have a dollie big enough for Reggie?” Within minutes two employees from maintenance wheel in a low dollie that will accommodate Reggie comfortably.
I coax Reggie by getting on the dollie myself and offering a treat. With help from a caregiver, we managed to get him on the dollie. We have quite an entourage, with two maintenance personal, one caregiver, and assortment of others who join our procession, as we go down the hall to the freight elevator through the lobby to the parking lot. Reggie sits quietly, looking somewhat like a Cleopatra on a barge floating down the Nile.
Once home, with Reggie settled down, I have a quick consultation with the veterinarian. After hearing my description, he advises me to keep Reggie quiet for a few days. The vet doesn’t think Reggie’s leg is broken, probably just a sprain or strain, and it should improve each day.
A month later, Reggie is back at work. He still favors the injured leg somewhat, and is reluctant to do anything that puts a little extra pressure on it.
While we still don't know exactly what happened, I am overwhelmed by the quick and empathetic response from the hospital staff. It is a pleasure to know and work with these thoughtful and caring people.
What Reviewers are saying about Six Legs and a Leash:
"What an inspirational book! As you read Judy's account of the many moments of magic that she and Reggie create as a therapy dog team; you feel you are right next to them visiting with the people. As you walk with this delightful team, you will smile each time you read how Reggie makes another genuine connection with someone who is alone, disconnected, or in despair.
"In sharing her path from therapy dog 'as her dream' to therapy dog 'as a reality,' Judy mixes humor with very insightful and practical information for anyone thinking about getting a dog to become a visiting therapy team. Judy has a special ability to work Reggie, her therapy dog, and his strengths and weaknesses into life lessons for children. She presents these 'Reggie Lessons' in a way that the reader could easily apply them in their own therapy dog work.
"Though Judy credits Reggie as being the 'teacher,' Judy does a masterful job recounting their therapy visits in such detail that the reader can learn many different ways to incorporate a therapy dog when visiting patients. Reggie and Judy are indeed 'six legs and a leash' - teachers both!"
Sally Irvin, PhD, executive director, Indiana Canine Assistant Network.
"Six Legs and a Leash is a delightfully told story of how God has used Judy Brown and Reggie, her giant schnoodle, to minister to others. No bones about it, ministry with a 120-pound dog isn't without its challenges. Their story is funny, moving, and inspiring as they take a message of hope and encouragement to patients in hospitals, residents of nursing homes, and children in the worship services of Judy's home church. I highly recommend this book. It shows how God can use those who are willing to leave their comfort zone and follow his call."
Charles Kirkpatrick, founder and president, Sermons 4 Kids, Inc.
"Six Legs and a Leash tells the uplifting story of the making and mission of a canine/human partnership and the people whose lives Reggie and Judy touched. The therapeutic power of animals to bring a smile and brighten a day is only one of the lessons you will learn from this memoir and guide."
Fred Graham, former chief anchor for Court TV, law correspondent for CBS News, legal writer for The New York Times.
About the Author
The author, Judy Brown, began writing almost as soon as she could hold a pencil. She continued to document her life events while attending the University of Kentucky, where she majored in journalism. In addition to her free-lance writing, which resulted in publication in several magazines, Judy has worked as a feature writer for two daily newspapers and as vice president and director of marketing for a local bank. She is now retired. Six Legs and a Leash is her first book.
Animals have always played an important role in Judy's life. As a child, growing up on a farm,she raced her horse across the open fields. She helped out on the farm, caring for and showing lambs and calves as a part of 4-H Club projects.
In 1955 she married her college sweetheart, Herb Brown, an animal scientist with a passion for animals. After their son, Scott, arrived, dogs were incorporated into their family life. Judy soon discovered that she enjoyed training and working with dogs.
Sharing her faith with young people has always been a part of Judy's Christian commitment. She began working with children in her church while she was a teenager. In college she taught a Sunday School class for teenage girls. After their marriage she and Herb have continued to work with children, teenagers, and young adults in churches wherever they have made their home.
Judy says that her personal philosophy can be summed up in the following quote (source unknown.)
"I will do the best I can, with what I have, where I am, for Jesus' sake, today."
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