Official Review: A Service Dog Life by Kimberly Kiely

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Official Review: A Service Dog Life by Kimberly Kiely

Post by CataclysmicKnight » 17 Aug 2017, 12:51

[Following is an official review of "A Service Dog Life" by Kimberly Kiely.]
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4 out of 4 stars
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Although I've seen service dogs a couple times in my life, I never really knew much about what they actually did. There isn't much a dog can do, I thought, and assumed they were basically there for emotional support and to bark loudly if their handler fell or passed out... Oh, how wrong I was! A Service Dog Life by Kimberly Kiely is a creative little book (34 pages according to Amazon) that focuses on exactly what you'd think - the life of a service dog. However, what makes it unique is that it's told through the eyes of Jäger, a German Shepherd who works for his Mommy, Kimberly (the author).

After a brief introduction from the author that gives a little medical information about herself, Jäger takes over. Jäger is a sweet, hard-working German Shepherd whose full name (Jäger Von Schatten III) means "Hunter of Shadows" in English, something he thinks is "so cool"! Jäger then goes through various things he can do for his Mommy and how he learned them (like the practice he went through to be able to pick up tiny things like jewelry without swallowing them!) and how he has even learned to behave while at a noisy restaurant or movie theatre for hours. Throughout the book there are also various photos to illustrate all the things Jäger talks about.

I was really amazed at how many different things service dogs can do. "Brace", for example, has Jäger brace himself so that his Mommy can get up, lean against him when she's losing her balance or even act like a railing while going up stairs. He can also pick up all sorts of objects - from a cell phone to jewelry to toothpaste and other toiletries - without hurting them and can even put his own toys away (something I can't even say about many human beings). He uses the bathroom in a specific part of the yard that's made just for him and can even do it on command so that when his Mommy is going to go out he won't have to use the bathroom once they're out. In one of the later chapters, he mentions that he's surprised when people ask who he's supposed to be helping because his Mommy isn't in a wheelchair, and that's ridiculous - he says that many disabilities aren't seen on the outside and that not only does he help with her various neurological and skeletal issues, service dogs can also help people with epilepsy and diabetes. After reading the book, I can definitely say I can see how handy a service dog would be!

The photos throughout the book are excellent, and with so many the book works very effectively with children of any age. It's really cool to see him in action, actually holding different items, in his potty spot, bracing for her, putting his toys away, etc. Kimberly stated that she wrote this book to help explain service dogs to her own young son and people everywhere who have little knowledge of service dogs (like me!), including those who don't realize just how much they may benefit from one. With the photos and the fun way "Jäger" explains his training and what he can do, it's easy to say it succeeded at all of those goals.

I really enjoyed A Service Dog Life. It masterfully walks the fine lines between humor and information as well as between a "working" dog and a dog that's loved and not just a tool or servant. The photos were all excellent and illustrated everything incredibly well. My rating of the book is 4 out of 4 stars, and I can't recommend it enough for those who are interested in having a service dog, those who have one and have kids, anyone who knows someone with a service dog or people who just love dogs in general.

A Service Dog Life
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Post by El-kanah » 20 Aug 2017, 08:55

Great review. This is an eye opener especially for me as it is for you.

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Post by Afuglsan » 21 Aug 2017, 09:18

Dogs are amazing! It is simply incredible what they can learn to do. Very cute book and good review.

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Post by readandsmile » 22 Aug 2017, 00:14

Wow, I love animals especially dog. i like your review. How happy I am to have a dog like the dog on this story. thank you for that well written review.
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Post by jenjayfromSA » 23 Aug 2017, 08:39

I live with a service dog so this is a book I will have to get. Our clever boy helps Dad with his post traumatic stress disorder, PTSD, grounding him when he gets flashbacks, protecting him and keeping people away when he goes out as he can't stand crowds and people around him. There is so much a dog can do!

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Post by CatInTheHat » 23 Aug 2017, 16:05

I would have loved to have had this book a few years ago. I taught 1st grade at the time. One of the assistants in the building had a service animal. The kids were always asking questions that I had a hard time answering, beyond the basics.
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Post by NellyKay » 30 Aug 2017, 04:09

With this book, I can call dogs the most helpful and must have pet in every home. In fact they've gone beyond pets to make you feel like the pet while they run all your errands, definitely a must read

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Post by morde » 30 Aug 2017, 14:16

I have never considered having a pet, so for this I'll just skip. Nice review though.

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Post by GCamer » 17 Sep 2017, 06:22

My dog recently just turned one year old and he could follow many commands already. Even though he's not trained as a service dog, you could see how smart he is with the way that he communicates. He can sense your emotion and I think that's what makes dogs great. I think this book is a wonderful way to teach people about the importance of service dogs. It should be spread to many people especially those who do not treat dogs fairly. Thanks for the great review.

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Post by tamdlyte » 17 Sep 2017, 07:00

I am a horse trainer in real life and know that given enough time, any animal can be trained to do quite amazing things within physical limitations. What I AM amazed about is that more people don't know this! If we can train kids, we can certainly train dogs! LOL We need more and various service animals just to acclimate people to the idea that we share this world with other living, breathing, helping entities. Like this reviewer said, "I never really knew much about what they actually did." It's the job of people who "know" to teach the people who don't know.

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Post by hsimone » 17 Sep 2017, 07:48

Dogs are such amazing animals. So loyal, kind, and always there for you no matter what. I love this idea of the author teaching both children and adults what it means to be a service dog. It's great to hear that humor is woven, as well as, great photos are included in this short read. Thank you for another lovely review!
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Post by rusyalana » 17 Sep 2017, 08:50

I do not deny the fact that dogs are really of great importance to people as they help a lot in various spheres of life. No wonder they are called "men's best friends". But I'm a cat person and though cats are much meaner than dogs and they show their character way more frequently I still love them.

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Post by Bettychi55 » 17 Sep 2017, 09:19

Not really into dogs. I am however thrilled by the abilities the possess. I guess in this most often lonely world, one could really find that supportive companion in a service dog. Nice review. Just like you I find the information about service dogs very new.

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Post by dauntlesswitch » 17 Sep 2017, 09:43

I love dogs and they're part of our family. I've always admired service dogs because they're always there for their mom/dad. It's time people appreciated those dogs. Thank you for the wonderful review, will definitely check this book out.
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Post by DeboraSilva » 17 Sep 2017, 09:46

This book seems like an eye opener. I am a special needs teacher and I see practically everyday the joy and happiness that it can bring to have a friend and a companion to rely on. Thank you for the wonderful review, I will give a try for sure.

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