Portraits of Assistance Dogs and Their People
by Jeanne Braham
with photographs by Robert Floyd
Few of the 65 million dog owners in the United States would dispute the notion that a dog’s presence in their lives nurtures emotional and physical well-being. But for some people with disabilities, the presence of a highly trained assistance dog in their lives is utterly transformative. Another Language focuses on one year in the life of the NEADS/Dogs For Deaf and Disabled Americans program in north-central Massachusetts, one of the oldest and largest assistance dog training centers in the U.S.
Through profiles that celebrate the healing bonds between service dogs and their people, these oral histories backed by the power of photographs bring to life the stories of sixteen people who have worked with NEADS. Through these stories told in their own words, you’ll meet an Iraq war veteran, people who use wheelchairs or who have balance problems due to debilitating disease, trainers who raise service puppies and others who work with NEADS’ human clients, and more. Writer/interviewer Jeanne Braham, along with photographer Robert Floyd, portray these human/canine partnerships in a way that’s respectful, compassionate, and compelling.
144 pages, Soft Cover with flaps, color photographs throughout.
About the Author:
The author of five books on American arts and letters, Jeanne Braham has taught literature and creative writing at a number of colleges and universities including Allegheny College, Smith College, Hampshire College, the University of New Hampshire, and Clark University. She is the founding editor of Heatherstone Press, a fine arts publisher of poetry chapbooks.
About the Photographer:
Robert Floyd is a working photojournalist, an award-winning nature and wildlife photographer, and the owner/director of the Robert Floyd Photo Gallery and Learning Center in Southampton, Massachusetts. He has worked for and been published by the United States Department of the Interior, The Nature Conservancy, The Sierra Club, and the Massachusetts Audubon Society, and his images are displayed in many private collections, boardrooms, and universities.
The importance of assistance dogs cannot be overstated, and Jeanne Braham has done a wonderful job of describing them. The photos are spectacular, and no one will read this book without gaining insight into the relationship of these dogs and the people who benefit from their good sense and loyalty. It’s a must read for anyone who has such a dog, and even more a must-read for anyone who needs one but does not have one. Congratulations to Braham for putting this all together, and congratulations to the dogs she describes. —Elizabeth Marshall Thomas
Anthropologist and author Elizabeth Marshall Thomas’s books include the best-selling The Hidden Life of Dogs and The Social Life of Dogs.
In crisp and lucid prose Braham records the lives of a dozen individuals and their canines, ranging from hearing dogs to walker dogs for balance to trauma dogs for returning vets with PTSD. Those of us who have dogs for pure pleasure marvel at the skills these animals have mastered and their intense loyalty to the humans they care for. A rich story, well told. —Maxine Kumin
Pulitzer-prize winning poet Maxine Kumin’s most recent collection is Where I Live: New and Selected Poems 1990-2010.
Jeanne Braham’s book Another Language profiles independence, hope and opportunity. These portraits highlight our mission of matching the very best trained assistance dogs to our client’s individual needs, whether our Canines for Combat Veterans, Dogs For Deaf and Disabled Americans, or our new program Trauma Assistance Dogs. We at NEADS are thrilled to see the work we do every day portrayed so eloquently in these pages. —Gerry DeRoche
Gerry DeRoche is Chief Executive Officer of NEADS/Dogs For Deaf and Disabled Americans