DOCTOR DOGS-MARIA'S LATEST BOOK

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At this minute, somewhere in the world, enthusiastic dogs are detecting COVID-19. They’re behind the scenes, working for treats and toys, as they sniff out the scent of the pandemic all over the world: the United States, England, Germany, France, the Netherlands, Australia, Chile, Spain, Finland, the UAE, Bahrain, Lebanon, and more. Most of the work being done now is to teach them the scent and determine their accuracy, but two countries are already successfully using dogs to screen incoming passengers at airports.

In Doctor Dogs: How Our Best Friends Are Becoming Our Best Medicine (Dutton - Penguin Random House), now in paperback, New York Times bestselling author Maria Goodavage reveals the fascinating ways dogs are saving lives every day in their emerging roles as “doctor dogs” and—in new, exclusive pages— how these dogs are training to detect COVID-19 to slow or stop the spread of the pandemic. The dogs’ primary tool for these medical feats? Their astonishingly sensitive noses, which can sniff in parts per trillion, as well as in 3-D, and their brains are well equipped to make sense of scents. With the right training, they can easily pick up the scent of various diseases—including COVID-19.

As seen on the Today show, The Doctors, and in People magazine, this groundbreaking book is an in-depth and engaging investigation of the cutting-edge science behind how dogs are able to detect disease and aid people who suffer from a wide range of physical and mental health conditions, including cancer, seizure disorders, Parkinson’s, diabetes, PTSD, autism, and schizophrenia. Prophetically, DOCTOR DOGS also broached the possibility that dogs could one day help rein in a pandemic—and now, Goodavage shares how COVID-detection dogs could help societies re-open more safely, adding an extra layer of assurance that people who enter countries, states, airports, schools, businesses, sporting events—anywhere they’re deployed—are free of the disease.

Goodavage traveled around the world to see firsthand the advancing technologies involving dogs and their super noses. In a remote village in Japan she chronicled the world’s first scientific cancer screening by canines. She witnessed the awesome power and sensitivity of the canine nose as dogs sniffed out cancer, malaria, and deadly bacteria at a research center in England, colorectal cancer in the Netherlands, ovarian cancer in Philadelphia, and the superbug C. difficile at a hospital in Vancouver. She interviewed a team that trains diabetic alert dogs
in Rome and spent time with a Croatian family and their daughter’s autism assistance dog, Bob. During her extensive U.S. travels, she uncovered riveting stories of the lifesaving power of highly skilled doctor dogs—from canines who can sniff out seizures in advance to dogs who help their people cope with mental illness, from terrifying hallucinations to crippling anxiety.

In Doctor Dogs, Goodavage balances a deep dive into science and medicine with warm storytelling about the people who have these dogs in their lives. One doesn’t have to be a dog lover to be engrossed in and inspired by the narrative, as well as be charmed by the humor inherent in some of the stories of the dogs, who are performing life-saving tasks for the simple rewards of a treat, a toy, or a pat on the head.

© 2020 by Maria Goodavage