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Publisher's Summary

When a devastating diagnosis tears author Donnie Kanter Winokur's family apart, a service dog may be their best hope to stay together.

Donnie Kanter Winokur and her husband, Harvey, never could have imagined the heart-wrenching struggle that becomes their new reality after they decide to adopt two infants from Russia. As Iyal and Morasha grow, it becomes clear that Iyal's development is drastically lagging behind his sister's. By age four, he has a devastating diagnosis: fetal alcohol syndrome. But naming their battle provides little relief as Iyal and his family try to cope with the lifelong impact of his invisible disability. As the Winokurs' marriage is unraveling, Donnie and Harvey hang on to the last shreds of their own promise.

Desperate to alleviate her son's constant rages and their crushing toll on the family, Donnie comes up with an innovative, untested, four-pawed solution: a golden retriever service dog named Chancer. Chancer is specially trained to give Iyal a unique love he desperately needs. But in this true-life tale infused with moments of despair, tenderness, and humor, Chancer turns out to be what the entire family has needed to stay - and grow - together.

©2017 Donnie Kanter Winokur (P)2017 Brilliance Publishing, Inc., all rights reserved.

What listeners say about Chancer

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Loved Chancer!

I am a court appointed special advocate for dependent, neglected and abused children. I have suspected fetal alcohol syndrome disorder in some of the children I represent. I found this book to be very helpful in understanding not only them but their parents as well. I found this book to be not only educational but entertaining and heart wrenching. I love all children and animals. Every child would benefit from having a best friend pet. Trained or untrained.

2 people found this helpful

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Incredible and poignant insight

I didn't know much at all about fetal alcohol syndrome or trained service animals, but reading this book written with such frankness by the adoptive mother of a child living with FAS brought incredible and poignant insight into both. I've always been an animal lover, but this book gave me such deep appreciation for the incredible empathy and assistance a dog can be trained to provide to people (and their families) suffering from such a wide range of disabilities. Really great read!

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Very Compelling Story

Great story describing the highs and lows of raising a special needs child. Although the story would frequently jump ahead or back in time it all fit together nicely. After chapter three I did not want to stop and could hardly wait to start the next chapter.

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Interesting topic

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Yes, it talked about how a service dog helped a child with mental disabiilty, a topic you don't hear much about.

What other book might you compare Chancer to and why?

none right now

Did Donnie Kanter Winokur do a good job differentiating all the characters? How?

She explained the back story very well so when ever she refered to the characters it was easy to tell them apart

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

When the husband was against getting a service dog for Iyal and the mom Donnie was struggling to decide to go against her husband's wishes for the best interest of her son.

Any additional comments?

Learned a lot service dogs and Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. Topic keep me interested.