DOGS IN HEALTH CARE: Pioneering Animal Human Partnerships


Meet the Dog Pioneers Of Health Care.

I am delighted to announce release of my new book DOGS IN HEALTH CARE: Pioneering Animal-Human Partnerships. 

I grew up believing that a girl and her dog could change the world. Later, for three decades, I worked in nursing and healthcare improvement. In all those years I never stop believing in dogs and the power of the human animal connection. But along the way, I discovered something.

I was right about dogs changing the world.

 Certain dogs have improved and advanced the field of healthcare in myriad ways.DOGS IN HEALTH CARE presents the stories of these pioneer dogs, from the mercy dogs of World War I, to Florence Nightingale’s first patient, a collie named Cap, to today’s therapy dogs. It is about the human animal relationship, moments in history when that relationship propelled healthcare forward and the arc of the human animal connections that changed health care.

Just who were the dogs who were health care pioneers?

  • The Mercy Dogs of World War1 helped save lives in the trenches of World War.
  • Sigmund Freud’s beloved Chow Jofi joined him in the consulting room and  the lion-like Chow even snored through a few sessions.
  • Florence Nighingale’s first patient, a sheepdog named Cap, became part of the heroic story of the founder of modern nursing.
  • Jingles, psychologist Boris Levinson’s dog, collaborated with the child psychologist to show how a dog could become a co-therapist. Jingle’s work helped convince a generation of psychologists of the value of pet-assisted psychotherapy.
  • Balto and Togo, medicine -toting sled dogs, showed what determination and team work could do when Nome needed serum transported over brutal terrain to prevent a deadly Diptheria epidemic.
  • Buddy, the first seeing eye dog in America, helped created increased independence and access for those with visual impairments.
  • Contemporary therapy dogs broke barriers to bring the healing and hope of the human animal bond to modern health care.

At pivotal moments in history,  these dogs and their human mentors propelled health care forward.

As a humane educator and nurse, I wanted to tell their stories.

I hope this book show you these dog pioneers’ intersection with human healthcare and their unique contribution. I also hope the book inspires your curiosity about your own experience with dogs and how dogs can change your thinking about what is possible in human- animal collaboration.

I still believe dogs can change the world.

We need to understand them and their stories. These are some of their stories.

What’s your dog’s story?

(Jill Schilp, Dogs in Health Care: Pioneering Animal-Human Partnerships, McFarland Books, 2019.)



DOGS IN HEALTH CARE is now available at McFarland Books, McFarland Books,


Also available:

At Amazon and Amazon Kindle

At Barnes and Noble online


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