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Drawing on her work at a shelter, her experiences living with two rescue dogs of her own, and years of research, bestselling author and Boston Globe columnist Amy Sutherland takes us on an unforgettable journey into the special world of rescue and shelter dogs - and the growing number of dedicated people who are deeply invested in saving these precious lives.

Terrified Penny Jane; brassy but filthy Dixie Lou; tough-guy Dingo; and the crazed, nippy jester, Walter Joe. These are not your average cute-and-cared-for, well-trained pups - these are shelter dogs. Scared, aggressive, so painfully shy that they can't look you in the eye, they have languished so long without attention that they are slipping into a dark place, and soon will no longer be able to bond with people.

A member of the elite corps of volunteers at Boston's Animal Rescue League, Amy Sutherland began walking shelter dogs in 2001 and has patiently helped train canines with serious behavior problems. Rescuing Penny Jane is the story of her adventures with these remarkable dogs, from working at a shelter, helping dozens of animals discover that the right person can give them love, hope, and a whole new life, to adopting two rescue dogs of her own and fostering half a dozen more. In addition to her touching, funny, and insightful anecdotes, Sutherland travels the country talking to leading shelter experts, animal behaviorists, and activists.

An affecting, entertaining portrait of the relationships between shelter dogs and those who care for them, Rescuing Penny Jane is a book that dog lovers and all who care about animals will treasure.

About the Author

Amy Sutherland

I left my career as a newspaper features writer behind in 2001 to write the first of my three books, "Cookoff: Recipe Fever in America". For a year I crisscrossed the country interviewing chili heads, cowboys, state fair cooking champs, and a few cheats. Next I headed to Moorpark Community College in southern California, where the top school for exotic animal trainers can be found, for "Kicked Bitten and Scratched".

My book chronicles the year I shadowed students through this improbable, magical, grueling program. I met my first binturong. I went on walks with the baboons, the cougars and the wolf. All of this understandably went to my head, which became apparent for all when I wrote a column for the New York Times on how I improved my marriage by using animal training techniques I had learned at the school. That insane outburst earned me a movie deal (Lionsgate-Summit) and the contract for my third book, "What Shamu Taught Me About Life, Love and Marriage".

Along the way, I've written for magazines and newspapers as well as taught journalism at Boston University. Currently I write the Bibliophiles column for the Boston Globe's Sunday Books section and am at work on another book project. This one will be about shelter dogs, two of which, Penny Jane and Walter Joe, share my home office in Boston. If you don't find me at my desk it's probably because my two assistants below, Walter Joe and Penny Jane have convinced me it's time for a walk.

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