CPT Service Dog Program Featured in NY Times Bestseller

Doctor Dogs

The CPT Service Dog Program earned significant coverage in the recent New York Times bestselling book “Doctor Dogs,” authored by Maria Goodavage.  The book communicates heartwarming stories of how highly trained dogs provide medical benefit to humans.


Doctor Dogs- A Recommended Read

Doctor Dogs includes anecdotes of service dogs trained to use their olfactory prowess to alert recipients regarding abnormal glycemic states, forthcoming seizures, imminent syncope, and acute cardiac events.  Another chapter enlightens us about prospective guide dogs training to use adaptive equipment that will provide blind handlers audible warnings spoken in human words, whereby the dogs indirectly speak English to their handler to forewarn him/her about potential danger.

The book also regales us regarding medical dogs taught to use scent discrimination to detect cancer cells and the odor profile unique to a Parkinson’s patient.  Other chapters describe service dogs educated to automatically respond to cataplexy/narcolepsy episodes, autism symptoms, panic attacks, hallucinations, self-harm behavior, depression, general anxiety, and PTSD.


CPT’s Coverage Within Doctor Dogs

One-half of Chapter 8, “A Heartbeat at My Feet- The Difference Dogs Make in Mental Illness,” is dedicated to CPT and a dog CPT trained for a North Carolina client with schizophrenia.  The section discusses how psychiatric service dog Hank prevents and interrupts visual hallucinations, auditory hallucinations, and self-harm events that previously incapacitated the recipient. Prior to the benefit supplied by Hank’s trained assistance behaviors she withdrew from school and then spent 6-months as an in-patient at an intensive mental health facility.  However, since receiving Hank’s trained companionship she has been able to successfully navigate the rigors of life, graduate from school, and maintain employment.  Thus, Hank qualifies as a “doctor dog.”

We are honored to secure substantial reportage by an author as respected as Ms. Goodavage.  Moreover, in the initial draft, not only was CPT and CPT owner Mark Spivak mentioned for their adeptness training service dogs, but CPT, Mark, and Mark’s other company, Dog Star Technologies, also gleaned an additional half-chapter for their fMRI research.


The Additional Chapter Planned for Dog Star Technologies

Maria was interested in Dog Star Technologies’ fMRI research that developed a novel brain activity algorithm predictive of service dog candidate outcomes.  After safely exposing dogs to certain conditions within an fMRI machine and then acquiring brain activity measurements, the algorithm deduces with a 94% positive predictive rate and a 67% negative predictive rate whether the dog will succeed or fail in a selective, high-quality service dog program.  Consequently, by determining long-term potential and suitability early in the process, organizations reduce training costs, maximize labor output, and produce superior service dogs.

CPT employs practical aspects of the Dog Star research when conducting field evaluations of service dog candidates.  Unfortunately, to control the length of Doctor Dogs, Maria’s editor asked that she remove the section.  However, she plans to include the material within a future book on canine science.


Maria Goodavage

Maria is a former USA Today journalist, who for the last decade has been a prolific author of books on working dogs.  Her last 4 books, “Soldier Dogs: The Untold Stories of America’s Canine Heroes,” “Top Dog: The Story of Marine Hero Lucca,” “Secret Service Dogs: The Heroes Who Protect the President of the United States,” and “Doctor Dogs:  How Our Best Friends are Becoming Our Best Medicine,” have all become New York Times bestsellers.  Maria maintains an informative, light-hearted, storytelling writing style that appeals both to persons seeking technical detail and persons wishing an enjoyable, entertaining read.  We highly recommend each of her books.

Doctor Dogs has a 4.8 rating on Amazon.  To order a hardcover, Kindle, or audiobook version, please click the link in the prior sentence.

Secret Service Dogs has a 4.6 rating.  Top Dog has a 4.9 rating.  And Soldier Dogs has a 4.6 rating.  To order simply click the links.


Service Dog Training

Those wishing to learn more about CPT’s service dog program may wish to click the link in the first sentence of this article. Additionally, there is excellent information within a website article describing national recognition of CPT’s service dog program in the January 13, 2020 issue of People Magazine.




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