• The Underdogs

  • Children, Dogs, and the Power of Unconditional Love
  • By: Melissa Fay Greene
  • Narrated by: Christina Delaine
  • Length: 10 hrs and 32 mins
  • 4.3 out of 5 stars (50 ratings)

1 title per month from Audible’s entire catalog of best sellers, and new releases.
Access a growing selection of included Audible Originals, audiobooks and podcasts.
You will get an email reminder before your trial ends.
Your Premium Plus plan is $14.95 a month after 30 day trial. Cancel anytime.
The Underdogs  By  cover art

The Underdogs

By: Melissa Fay Greene
Narrated by: Christina Delaine
Try for $0.00

$14.95/month after 30 days. Cancel anytime.

Buy for $31.93

Buy for $31.93

Pay using card ending in
By confirming your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and Amazon's Privacy Notice. Taxes where applicable.

Publisher's Summary

From two-time National Book Award nominee Melissa Fay Greene comes a profound and surprising account of dogs on the front lines of rescuing both children and adults from the trenches of grief; emotional, physical, and cognitive disability; and post-traumatic stress disorder.

The Underdogs tells the story of Karen Shirk, felled at age 24 by a neuromuscular disease and facing life as a ventilator-dependent, immobile patient, who was turned down by every service dog agency in the country because she was "too disabled". Her nurse encouraged her to tone down the suicidal thoughts, find a puppy, and raise her own service dog. Karen did this, and Ben, a German shepherd, dragged her back into life. "How many people are stranded like I was?" she wondered. "Who would lead productive lives if only they had dogs?"

A thousand state-of-the-art dogs later, Karen Shirk's service dog academy, 4 Paws for Ability, is restoring broken children and their families to life. Long shunned by scientists as a man-made, synthetic species, and oft referred to as "man's best friend" almost patronizingly, dogs are finally paid respectful attention by a new generation of neuroscientists and animal behaviorists. Melissa Fay Greene weaves the latest scientific discoveries about our coevolution with dogs with Karen's story and a few exquisitely rendered stories of suffering children and their heartbroken families.

Written with characteristic insight, humanity, humor, and irrepressible joy, what could have been merely touching is a penetrating, compassionate exploration of larger questions: about our attachment to dogs, what constitutes a productive life, and what can be accomplished with unconditional love.

©2016 Melissa Fay Greene (P)2016 HarperCollins Publishers

What listeners say about The Underdogs

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    30
  • 4 Stars
    10
  • 3 Stars
    5
  • 2 Stars
    3
  • 1 Stars
    2
Performance
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    29
  • 4 Stars
    7
  • 3 Stars
    2
  • 2 Stars
    1
  • 1 Stars
    3
Story
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    27
  • 4 Stars
    7
  • 3 Stars
    3
  • 2 Stars
    3
  • 1 Stars
    2

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

A nice good read!

This is a good book for audiobook alone, I first got this to follow along with my paper book, the audio isn’t exactly word to word as to the book, sometimes it skips words or changes them to similar words. But overall a good book.

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Too slow paced for me

I read many dog related books. And I hv a science bkgd. I had to quit this one. Tedious. And singsong narration not appealing, sorry.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Another win

Ms Greene has a way of finding (and relating) the heart of her subjects. This book is so heartwarming and informative. Weirdly though, there are lots of lists that seemed to be overly inclusive, like an attempt to meet a minimum word requirement. The book is still a great read and the narration is excellent.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Good reference book to know how disabilities affec

Dogs do make our lives Bette. But service dogs go further and help disabled people and their families to get more chances of getting a more normal approach to life. I wish I could find specific books on how to train them. This one shares life experiences

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Too Boring for Words

I tried really hard to stay with this book. But the reader took a story that should have evoked multiple emotions in me, and made it so dull and boring I gave up after 40 minutes. That is, after 40 minutes the second time I tried.