March 02, 2020

The Dog Patrol: Our Canine Companions and the Kids Who Protect Them: Guest review

Today's review was written by teacher-librarian Elizabeth Cook.

Written by Rob Laidlaw
Pajama Press
978-1-77278-103-8
52 pp.
Ages 8-12
April 2020

As a librarian in an elementary school, I can attest to how popular non-fiction books on animals are.  My shelf labelled “636.7 Dogs” is always empty, despite how many books I buy.  Children just love their dogs!  Who wouldn’t love an animal widely known as ‘man’s best friend’?  These lovable pets have long captured our hearts and we are curious to know more about them.

Rob Laidlaw’s book The Dog Patrol: Our Canine Companions and the Kids Who Protect Them goes beyond the traditional information of different breeds.  A well-known advocate for animals, Rob Laidlaw, wanted to not only explain how to care for dog companions but to educate readers about some of the dangers these animals can face.  Unfortunately, we may be unknowingly causing some of these dangers to our companion dogs and Rob Laidlaw is helping to educate his readers in hopes of making better informed decisions in the future.  One theme that seemed to resonate with me during this book is the need for dogs to receive the correct amount of activity.  If dogs are kept in a crate for too long, not given enough walks, or play time around the house, it can result in unwanted behaviours or health risks.  The text offers the readers excellent guidelines for proper care and a list of websites for more information to ensure man’s best friend is treated as such.
From The Dog Patrol: Our Canine Companions and the Kids Who Protect Them by Rob Laidlaw
Peppered throughout the books are inspiring stories of young children volunteering and advocating for dogs around North America.  These Dog Patrol stories help readers understand that any person can help.  A perfect example is that of Molly Matlow from Toronto, Ontario who at the age of only 6 years old has raised funds for a variety of animal protection organizations and helps to educate others about animal welfare.  Another Dog Patrol story that opened my eyes was the fundraising and awareness campaign of Brooklyn Bockelmann in Le Mars, Iowa.  She has worked to ensure that all fire departments in Iowa have proper canine and feline oxygen masks to help animals who were exposed to smoke in house fires.  Even the youngest of readers can’t help but be inspired to take action from these stories.
From The Dog Patrol: Our Canine Companions and the Kids Who Protect Them by Rob Laidlaw
This book is an excellent read for children who love animals.  It will help them to better understand all of the care a companion dog needs, how to understand the signals dogs are giving humans, how to find a reputable adoption centre, and so much more.  Many families may not be able to have a dog due to allergies or space restrictions, but they can still be a dog advocate like some of the children in the Dog Patrol profiles highlighted in the book.  I am sure Rob Laidlaw’s The Dog Patrol: Our Canine Companions and the Kids Who Protect Them will inspire readers to support animals in need in their own communities.
From The Dog Patrol: Our Canine Companions and the Kids Who Protect Them by Rob Laidlaw

~ Elizabeth Cook is a teacher-librarian in the Halton District School Board. She is an avid reader and fan of Canadian literature. 

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