A Dog Walks Into a Nursing Home
Lessons in the Good Life from an Unlikely Teacher
By Sue Halpern
(Riverhead Books, Hardcover, 9781594487200, 310pp.)
Publication Date: May 16, 2013
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At loose ends with her daughter leaving home and her husband on the road, Sue Halpern decided to give herself and Pransky, her under-occupied Labradoodle, a new leash--er, lease--on life by getting the two of them certified as a therapy dog team. Smart, spirited, and instinctively compassionate, Pransky turned out to be not only a terrific therapist but an unerring moral compass. 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. And little by little, their adventures expanded and illuminated Halpern's sense of what virtue 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 faithful, charitable, loving, and sometimes prudent mutt--showing great hope, fortitude, and restraint along the way (the occasional begged or stolen treat notwithstanding)--taught a well-meaning woman the true nature and pleasures of the good life.