Charlie is not just the inspiring biography of a one-eyed feral refugee from Romania. It explores a revolutionary approach to canine rehabilitation through the sensitive application of neuroscientific principles. Lisa knows that every experience and stimulus Charlie has since birth formed neural pathways in his brain. The chemicals released by his amydala govern his fearful intensity. The almond shaped amygdala, in the middle of the brain processes the information absorbed by the senses and translates it into the three basic instinctual drives – freeze, fight or flight. Born to feral parents Charlie’s heightened fear was programmed into his DNA by his genes. Only those with the swiftest responses survived to have puppies. He was totally ignorant of the new world be inhabited. Charlie did not have the skills to survive in this alien environment, in close proximity with humans and their domestic dogs. He could not understand the foreign body language of these two-legged creatures he had always hated and feared. Travel with Lisa as she finds ways to build new neural paths in Charlie’s brain – it is an exhilarating and at times exhausting journey. Lisa is one of the very few Canine Behaviorists able to apply the principles of neuro-plasticity to canine rehabilitation. Charlie is about honoring the contract Lisa made with this terrified Romanian. A must have addition to any dog person’s library. A wonderful gift. Essential reading for any one who has, or is thinking of giving an abandoned dog a ‘Forever Home’. Its weight and compact size are postage friendly!! Those wonderful Westies – Hubble & Hattie have raised the bar again for the publication of books that explore the frontiers of canine behavioural science.

Robyn Youll, Geelong Obedience Dog Club

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