By Patricia H. Wheeler, Phd.

Therapy Dogs in Action

Their Stories of Service and Love

Therapy Dogs in Action: Their Stories of Service and Love is a collection of over 80 heart-warming stories from the dogs’ points of view about their experiences as therapy dogs with lessons for the readers. Also includes 30 testimonials about the benefits of therapy dogs. Patricia Wheeler has been a therapy dog handler since 2002 and taken her dogs to numerous places in the San Francisco Bay Area—schools and colleges, nursing homes and rehab centers, assisted living and memory care facilities, military events, and more. Her dogs have done over 4,000 hours of visits and all have earned AKC’s Therapy Dog Distinguished Title. They are certified through the Alliance of Therapy Dogs (ATD). Dr. Wheeler is a Tester/Observer for potential therapy dog teams for ATD. The book is appropriate for children and adults of all ages. It’s a great book to have when waiting at airports, offices, and elsewhere or when one needs to take a short break and relax.

By Patricia H. Wheeler, Phd.

Successful Tails

The Wonders of Therapy Dogs

Successful Tails: The Wonders of Therapy Dogs (Sneak Peek: Successful Tails: The Wonders of Therapy Dogs) is a collection of more than 350 heartwarming stories and over 200 testimonials by people whose lives have been touched by over 50 therapy dogs featured in this book. The book also contains poems, quotes, and photos. It provides numerous examples of the impact these therapy dogs have had when working in a variety of settings and programs with people of all ages, ranging from infants to centenarians, and who have an array of challenges in their lives—physical, emotional, social, and cognitive. The book is a tribute to (wo)man’s best friend and an unforgettable glimpse into the lives these dogs have touched. The testimonials and stories run the gamut of emotions—some will make you laugh and others will make you cry. If you are not already a dog lover, you will be after reading this book.

The Author

Patricia H. Wheeler

Pat has had four dogs that have worked as therapy dogs. She has been a therapy dog handler since November 2002. She has over 4,000 hours as a therapy dog handler. Her Black lab, Lawrence, the Livermore Lab, had about 1,800 hours of service before passing away of cancer on December 21, 2013. Lawrence was one of six therapy dogs nationwide recognized by the AKC Humane Fund Award for Canine Excellence in 2012. Albert was rescued off the street in Livermore and was a therapy dog from May 2005 until he passed away on January 4, 2014. He had about 1,400 hours of service. We think he was a Black lab/Border collie mix. In July 2013, Pat obtained Maddie, a Black lab, from a local breeder. She adopted Wylie in October 2014 from Tony LaRussa’s Animal Rescue Foundation. Pat and her dogs are registered with the Alliance of Therapy Dogs (ATD), formerly Therapy Dogs, Inc., which is headquartered in Cheyenne, WY. Pat is also a Tester/Observer for ATD.

Comments about “Therapy Dogs in Action—Their Stories of  Service and Love”

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I have enjoyed reading these heartwarming stories. Readers can learn much about what therapy dogs can do for people. These stories can be a starting point for talking about challenges we face and how to cope with them, based on interactive lessons from the therapy dogs.

Dr. Kelly Bowers, Superintendent, Livermore Valley Joint Unified School District

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These therapy dogs have helped so many of our veterans. I encourage you to read about the dogs’ experiences and learn more about the love and support these dogs provide to veterans.

Hon. Catharine B. Baker CA State Assemblymember (ret.), 16th Assembly District

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This is the kind of book adults buy for kids and read for themselves. These charming stories, told from the dogs’ point of view, show how small acts of kindness spread farther than anyone could imagine.

Lani Longshore, President, Tai-Valley Branch of the California Writers Club, Pleasanton, California.

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What a heartwarming and inspiring book! Pat Wheeler’s passion and dedication for being of service through her amazing dogs, radiates through their fascinating stories of comfort and emotional healing that only man’s best friend can provide.

Darlene Wilson, Director of Volunteer Services, UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital, Oakland

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As the mayor, I have attended many events in the community and been at sites where these four dogs work. These comforting canines seem to instinctively know what people need and then provide it with unflinching acceptance and unqualified love. They live to serve and love. In this book, they share their heartwarming stories about their experiences as therapy dogs.

John Marchand, Mayor, City of Livermore, California

Comments about “Successful Tails—The Wonders of Therapy Dogs”

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Successful Tails is a heartwarming collection of stories and photos of therapy dogs at work. I predict you will enjoy getting to know these extraordinary dogs and the people who love them and, perhaps, even fall in love with them. I know I did.

Susy Flory

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The stories and testimonials contained in these pages will open your eyes to the world of therapy dogs and how beneficial they can be for people. The services that therapy dogs provide are far-reaching and can be life-changing.

Congressman Jerry McNerney (CA)

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The therapy dogs help us to see something other than just the world around us. They help all of us to see that, in this world, there is a gentler side. They help our veterans to navigate the dark landscapes, which are the memories that followed our service men and women home. 

Livermore (CA) Mayor John Marchand

The Books

Successful Tails: The Wonders of Therapy Dogs, and
Therapy Dogs in Action: Their Stories of Service and Love.

Why Therapy Dogs?

Therapy dog sessions are helpful in schools and colleges, health care facilities, in programs for troops and veterans, and in other organizations.

Resources

Links to Pat's favorite organizations.