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Book Review: Man’s Best Friends: True Stories of the World’s Most Heroic Dogs by John McShane

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Dogs have been helping humans live better lives for thousands of years, and now in Man’s Best Friends: True Stories of the World’s Most Heroic Dogs by John McShane the reader experiences dogs that help us in times of trouble. Dogs are amazing creatures and in their history with us have risked, and often lost, their lives in their quest to support their human companions. The book allows us to look into the intelligence, devotion, and astonishing courage dogs show when helping humans in distress, and some of the stories are mind-boggling to the point of almost defying belief.

Many of the dogs featured in Man’s Best Friends have been specially trained to help humans, a task they eagerly set about regardless of the physical risk they may face as a result. Then there are the family pets that, when danger threatens, react with total disregard for their own well-being, caring only about one thing: protecting the humans they love.

Their stories are varied and range from dogs that share people’s daily lives to those of legends. They include Roselle the Labrador, who led her blind owner to safety from the carnage of the World Trade Center; Toby the Golden Retriever who performs the Heimlich Maneuver when he sees his owner choking; Moti the German Shepherd who throws himself in front of a bullet meant for his owner during an armed robbery; and Beauty the Spaniel who knows her owner has fallen into a hypoglycemic coma and awakens his wife so he can be rushed to the hospital whiere his life is saved.

Then there are the dogs of legends like Balto and Togo, two of the Seppala Huskies who traversed more than 600 miles of snow and ice to bring life-saving medicine to an isolated town, and Swansea Jack, the black Labrador Retriever who rescued almost 30 people from drowning and who had a statue erected in his honor.

McShane has presented an interesting variety of true dog stories that include big dogs, pocket sized pups, purebreds, and mixed breed mutts – all who have risked their lives to look after their human companions. The book features a beautiful insert of full-color photographs that capture the tender moments between dogs and their people. Man’s Best Friends is a gripping and uplifting collection of tales that honors the valor, intelligence, and heart of four-legged heroes around the world.

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About Kathleen Riley-Daniels

Adventurer, Photographer, Author, Artist, Cooking, Genealogy, Dogs, Horses, Marketing and oh so much more.
  • I recently lost my best friend – LUCKY. He truly was an angel. He was the best thing in my life after my two daughters. He was always there to listen to my problems. He gave me the best lessons on how to live life. He always did what he thought was what would make me the happiest. We got him to one last Christmas and his enthusiasm for opening his presents was the same as when he was a puppy. He loved our family and protected us from strangers who came to the door. He was always thinking about us and how to please us every day. He never complained about the food or the lodging or his living conditions. He never wanted for anything except to be with us. I miss him so much and think of him every day. I have left his collar on the living room floor where he used to sleep and watch and play with us. I love you, Lucky. Up in Dog Heaven, I know that you found your missing leg that we had to amputate last year and that you’re using it every day to play with all the other guardian angels that have also passed from this place. God Bess you, my honest and true friend.