"Afternoons with Puppy" is a heartwarming account of dynamic relationships and outcomes involving a therapist, his therapy animals, and his patients over the course of almost two decades. "Afternoons with Puppy" is a narrative of Dr. Fine's experiences and the growing respect for the power of the animals effect on his patients and himself. This book documents some of the magnificent discoveries that Dr. Fine has witnessed and made over the past few decades working with these animals, and showing how the reader can apply these observations and discoveries to their lives. The authors illustrate the deeper and more fundamental elements of life found in our bonds with animals. "On Sarah's first office visit after her release from the hospital, she is more at ease but still reserved. As we sit and talk, Hart [therapy dog] sits close to her chair. At one point in our session, Sarah's reserve finally crumbles. Pushing up her left sleeve, she shows me her scars. As she lowers her arm, Sarah notices that Hart's eyes are fixed on that arm. At that moment, Hart lifts her gaze from the arm and connects with Sarah's eyes. Hart then looks over at me.
With an expression on her face that I can only call puzzled, Hart looks back at Sarah, and then Hart lowers her head and begins to lick the scars. Sarah is startled for a moment but then sits quietly as Hart continues to lick the wounds. Finally, she bends over hart and holds her close."
Dr. Aubrey Fine, a clinical psychologist and a professor at California State Polytechnic University, is an internationally renowned expert on Animal Assisted Therapy (AAT). He is the editor of the classic book on the subject, The Handbook on Animal Assisted Therapy (2000) and has published other works in the areas of parent/child relationships, learning/attention disorders, and sports psychology. Cynthia J. Eisen teaches literature and mentors freshmen students at Nazareth College (Rochester, New York). As a parent, she brings a first hand knowledge of the benefits of animal assisted therapy for a child with learning disabilities.