Monday, October 21, 2013

Book Review | Ordinary Dogs, Extraordinary Friendships by Pam Flowers

Pam Flowers, a Society of Women Geographers’ gold medalist recipient, a dog-sled musher, an arctic explorer and an Appalachian trailer, is also the author of Ordinary Dogs, Extraordinary Friendships - a book of short stories about her team of dogs demonstrating loyalty, courage, and compassion.

Ordinary Dogs, Extraordinary Friendships is appropriately written for kids’ ages 8 to 12 years, and they will appreciate this great read because there’s a lot to be learned from the loyalty and friendship displayed here. Readers are taken into the world of arctic dog-sledding expeditions and hiking on the Appalachian Trail, and one can appreciate the down-to-earth way in which Flowers recounts her amazing adventures with her amazing team. Adventures of true courage and fidelity are highlighted in one story after another as Flowers show how they come to depend on each other in the harsh arctic environment, and the strong bonds and teamwork that exist between her and the dogs, and among the canine themselves. The reader can appreciate too the respectful way in which Flowers observes her dogs and is able to read their thoughts through body language and behavior, clearly showing the mutual bond of respect and loyalty between them.  Nothing speaks loyalty more clearly than when you take a stand for someone against a bully! We see this in the story “The Bully”, in which Flower’s dog Amy stood her ground and overcame a bully dog just by standing up (without violence) and refusing to be intimidated. Readers can be inspired by Amy’s example, and we too can take our stand for others against bullying.

There are other heart-stopping, cliff-hanging, adventurous stories in the book which will truly have your kids turning the pages to see what happens next! The story of a polar bear raiding the camp as Pam, Kate, and their team of dogs camped in the arctic region is truly a frightening yet hilarious one! In this story, Flowers provided a refreshing and profound insight to how some dogs ‘handle’ crises. However, what stood out most in the story is that we can learn much from our domesticated pets, sometimes taking the cue from them in frightening situations. Flowers followed the examples of her dogs and remained calm in what could have been a harrowing moment; but as a result of their example, the incident took on a hilarious turn and the author can now look back with humor at the day the curious polar bear visited their camp!

Ordinary Dogs, Extraordinary Friendships is informative, insightful, and refreshing; captivating readers into a world of fierce loyalty, heartfelt sharing and compassion, extraordinary friendships, and an exciting new understanding of our canine friends!

Follow Pam Flowers on new expeditions and adventures, meet her team, and view other books she has authored on her website!

Happy Reading!

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