Last Updated: Wednesday, 21 March 2018

We’re reading The Underdogs: Children, Dogs, and the Power of Unconditional Love by Melissa Fay Greene. This is the engaging, true story of the founding of 4 Paws for Ability, a unique service dog organization based in Xenia, Ohio.

Read the book, then join us for lively discussion and dozens of dog-focused programs across the Miami Valley, exploring the amazing relationship between canines and humans.



MEET THE AUTHOR: Melissa Fay Greene

with Karen Shirk, Founder of 4 Paws for Ability

Thursday, April 12 at 6 PM | FREE at Dayton Metro Library Eichelberger Forum

Melissa Fay Greene comes to Dayton! Joined by 4 Paws for Ability Founder Karen Shirk, they’ll talk about the book we’ve all been reading, the dogs that are trained at 4 Paws, and the wonderful families they serve. Bring your questions!


The Underdogs tells the story of Karen Shirk who, at age 24, suffered from an immobilizing neuromuscular disease. After being rejected as “too disabled” for a service dog, she raised her own – a German Shepherd named Ben. Now, as Executive Director and Founder of 4 Paws for Ability, she’s helping others gain their lives back with canine assistance.

Ms. Greene weaves the latest scientific discoveries with Karen’s story and the stories of children with disabilities and their families. The book explores our attachment to dogs, what constitutes a productive life, and what can be accomplished with unconditional love.



Melissa Fay Greene is the author of six nonfiction books: Praying for Sheetrock, The Temple Bombing, Last Man Out, There Is No Me Without You, No Biking in the House Without a Helmet, and The Underdogs. She is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, two National Book Award nominations, and the Robert F. Kennedy Book Award. Praying for Sheetrock was named one of the Top 100 Works of American Journalism of the 20th Century.

Ms. Greene was a childhood resident of Dayton, Ohio, and a graduate of Oberlin College. She now lives in Atlanta with her husband and children.


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