Reading is one of the luxuries of being completely unscheduled. Two of the books I've read in the past two weeks are dog-related and well worth your time.
1. A Dog Named Boo, Lisa J. Edwards
Boo is a special dog in that he has unique gifts as a therapy dog, and he is also "special" as in special needs. Edwards is losing faith in her abilities as a trainer when it takes a year to housebreak Boo. Then she learns that he has a congenital brain disorder called cerebellar hypoplasia. Boo helps Edwards and her husband heal from painful memories of their abusive childhoods; by the end of the book they are ready to have a child themselves. Meanwhile Boo is working miracles among struggling children. He was a finalist for Delta Society's 2008 Beyond Limits award. Is his power a result of his disability, or in spite of it?
2. Dog Sense, John Bradshaw
Are dogs pack members waiting for an opportunity to steal top dog status from their owners? Are they just tame little wolves? Do they feel the same emotions humans do? How does emotion influence learning and training? These are only a few of the questions that John Bradshaw, an animal behaviorist, answers with the most up-to-date research into canine science.
"After nearly fifty years of almost total neglect, this extraordinary uplift in scientific interest in the domestic dog has been driven partly by the increasing role that dogs play in detecting substances such as explosives...and the attendant realization that humans need to better understand how dogs perform these tasks...Finally, it should not be forgotten that many biologists are dog lovers too...such scientists are often keen to apply their skills to improving dogs' lives."
-from the introduction to Dog Sense
I learned a lot from this book and I'm betting you would too.