A story in The New York Times Magazine last year about "Chancer," a service dog who became part of a Roswell family with a disabled child, led to widespread acclaim.
Now, the story of Chancer and the Winokur family is has become the subject of a new book by National Geographic. "Devoted: 38 Extraordinary Tales of Love, Loyalty and Life with Dogs," is written by Rebecca Ascher-Walsh.
Chancer is the first certified assistance dog trained for someone living with the developmental disability fetal alcohol syndrome.
When the Winokurs’ adopted four-year-old son, Iyal, was given the diagnosis of this potentially lifelong debilitating birth defect, they could never have imagined the compass that would guide them through a maze of medical dead-ends and a landscape exploding with emotional minefields.
Donnie Winokur, Iyal's mother, has written two books on what Chancer has meant to their son, and to their family, and they've also created a website, The Chancer Chronicles.
Last year Donnie Winokur talked with Roswell Patch (here and here) about her family's experience, and her advocacy of service dogs for individuals with individual disabilities. She says this, upon release of the new book:
October is Adopt-A-Shelter-Dog Month, raising awareness of the hundreds of dogs that need to be rescued from shelters all over the country. Anyone who has ever had a dog as a companion knows the importance of getting out this message; Adoption and dogs = saves lives.