My Old Dog: Rescued Pets with Remarkable Second Acts

If Masterpiece Theatre staged a canine series, the cocker spaniel on the cover of My Old Dog could host: sage, dignified, decked out in a tasteful jacket and ready to tell stories. Readers who accept the invitation and read about "Rescued Pets with Remarkable Second Acts" will enjoy heartwarming drama and happy endings.

"My Old Dog celebrates successful senior-dog rescue stories," writes Laura T. Coffey in her introduction to the book, which is divided into sections: Finding the Good Life, highlighting dogs in their golden years that found homes with humans, including George Clooney and novelist David Rosenfelt; Healing, featuring dogs paired with people with special needs; Helping, with the story of the department store Nordstroms and its nine-acre, humanitarian oasis for aging animals; and Retiring with Purpose, tales of service dogs that simply changed jobs.

Each dog--19 in all, ages seven through 18--has a sometimes incredible story of near-death, abandonment and hopelessness. Chaney, who "retired with purpose," was reunited with his Marine two years after their tour of duty, when Corporal Matt Hatala needed help to overcome PTSD. Their success, and Chaney's receipt of an American Humane Association's Hero Dog Award, typifies the uplifting "second acts" in the book.

Lori Fusaro's stunning portraits--delightful canine candids, some with humans--open each dog's chapter with two-page spreads.

"How You Can Help" (also illustrated with endearing gray-muzzled canines) provides tips for caring for an older dog, plus 11 pages of organizations dedicated to senior-pet assistance. November is "Adopt a Senior Pet Month." Here's your inspiration. --Cheryl Krocker McKeon, manager, Book Passage, San Francisco

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