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Reviews of Chelsea


Paul Ogden’s story of the changes in his life because of obtaining a CCI dog,
Chelsea, is typical of many of the stories I have heard from other graduates of the program. His description of ‘boot camp” experience is wonderful.

Charles M. Schulz, creator of Peanuts

God bless the Chelseas of this world for making it a better place. The book is a delight and I loved every page.

Betty White, actress

Read this book. It is a touching, memorable story by an extremely talented writer about what is perhaps the closest of all relationships between an animal and his person.

Cleveland Amory, author of The Cat Who Came for Christmas and The Cat and the Curmudgeon

Paul Ogden’s book is a loving tribute to one of man’s (and woman’s) most loyal and best friends – the dog. Though the book delves into the barriers that deaf people face in their daily lives, the author refuses to create sympathy or portray deaf people as victims. Instead, he brings forth a touching portrait of two ordinary people whose lives are touched by a very special friend – a pet whose talents help them realize what most of us take for granted every day. Chelsea: The Story of a Signal Dog has meaning for anyone who has loved a pet.

Marlee Matlin, actress

A charming account of life with Chelsea, a most unusual Belgian sheepdog.

Lou Ann Walker, author of A Loss for Words

In this lively memoir, Ogden (Communicative Disorders/California State Univ. at Fresno; co-author, The Silent Garden, 1982) eloquently explains what it's like for a deaf person to function in a hearing world--and how Chelsea, a well-trained ``signal dog,'' adds dimension to his life. When Ogden and his wife, Anne, who is also deaf, lose their first dog, Lox, they lost not just a companion, but a connection to the hearing world. (They had taught Lox, among other things, to indicate when someone was at the door or on the telephone.) So they set about adopting a signal dog from Canine Companions for Independence, a group that matches dogs with deaf and handicapped individuals and puts both humans and canines through a very rigorous training program. The dogs have been previously taught to respond to over 80 signals, and when their new owners arrive, it is they who need the training. Ogden spends half of a two-week training period literally leashed to his new dog, a Belgian sheepdog named Chelsea, so they can bond together and learn to read each other's signals (no wonder human graduates refer to the training as boot camp). Throughout, Ogden conveys what it's like to be deaf--even the little things, such as how a hearing-impaired person worships in church or manages to lip-read someone with a mustache. ``Deafness,'' he contends, is ``not a handicap but a serious inconvenience.'' Candid and appealing--both as a treatise on deafness and signal dogs, and for its human-animal sentiments.

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