‘Daisy to the Rescue: True Stories of Daring Dogs…’ by Jeff Campbell


Rating: 4 stars

“Daisy to the Rescue: True Stories of Daring Dogs, Paramedic Parrots, and Other Animal Heroes” by Jeff Campbell is a wonderful compilation of stories ranging from those which are fairly well known to surprising little-known stories about animals who have rescued humans.

Many have heard about Roselle, the seeing-eye dog who led her human out of the World Trade Center after the 9/11 bombing. And many Americans grieved with Sergeant Young when Target, the stray Afghanistan dog who saved him and his fellow soldiers from a Taliban suicide bomber, was mistakenly euthanized in an Arizona animal shelter. After Target and another dog saved the group of soldiers, they raised money to bring both dogs back to the states where it was hoped they would live the rest of their lives in safety — as a much-deserved reward for saving so many lives. When Target escaped from Young’s yard and was taken to a shelter, Young contacted the shelter and told them Target was his dog. But before he could get there to pick her up, tragically, they killed her.

Not so well-known is the story of Dory the rabbit who saved the life of her human when he went into a diabetic coma. Or the dogs who helped humans by performing an animal version of the Heimlich maneuver. And Campbell shares the story about the dog who detected cancer and saved the life of his human.

Animal lovers and anyone with a pet of his/her own will love reading these stories and the possible scientific explanations of how and why these animals saved the humans they did. From kangaroo to lion, from dolphin to dog, and from horse to hamster (there really isn’t a hamster, but there is a rabbit), the stories will touch readers’ hearts and stir their imagination.

Many of the dogs and cats mentioned in the stories were rescues or stray animals. It could be hoped that by reading this book, many will be inspired to go to a local shelter and rescue their own dog or cat. One never knows when that adopted animal will save the life of the human it loves!

This book would also be a great choice for nonfiction reading in the school setting.

The forward is by Marc Bekoff, a noted scientist who was a professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and was awarded the Exemplar Award from the Animal Behavior Society for major long-term contributions to the field of animal behavior. He wrote a wonderful book, “Why Dogs Hump and Bees Get Depressed” about animals’ cognitive abilities and their ability to experience empathy, grief, humor and love.

Another must-read book, “The Genius of Dogs” by Brian Hare, is about the intelligence of dogs, and while most dog lovers believe their dog is smart, this book explains that dogs can do much more than we’ve ever thought possible. And it explains why.

Please note: This review is based on the advance reader’s copy provided by the publisher, Zest Books, for review purposes.