May 03, 2022
Dogs as Medicine | Dog Edition #53

Mary Poppins sings “a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down.” But what about a spoonful of the essence of a dog? Dogs can help mend the soul, and according to some 17th-century recipes, maybe even a sore throat.

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It’s been said dogs are the ultimate healers. On today’s show, we look at some of the many ways they have helped humans … from the silly to the sublime.

In our main story, we hear from Ward Serrill, a corporate businessman who found himself drawn to the Alaskan wilderness. He abandoned his suit and tie for hiking boots and a lab retriever named Woody. Woody’s love and companionship helped Ward look inwards, confront old trauma, and re-learn how to love.

To hear the full interview with Ward Serrill, listen to Dogs as Therapists with Ward Serrill on our sister show, The Long Leash.

We also look at old folk remedies that included dogs. What do you get when you combine beer, honey, and album graecum? You may not want to know: some old ways really are better left in the past.

About Ward Serrill:

Ward is a successful author, director, and producer. Among other successful endeavors, he created more than 90 short films and writings. In this episode, Ward discusses his memoir “To Crack the World Open: Solitude, Alaska, and a Dog Named Woody”. This book depicts a heartfelt coming of age story about a dog as a co-pilot into self-discovery.

“From a remote cabin in the rugged rainforest of the Alaskan wilderness, where the untamed landscape tumbles into the ocean, a remarkable yellow Labrador retriever named Woody helped an exile from corporate America seek a fierce freedom.”

Ward lives in Port Townsend, Washington, dances the tango, and plays harmonica.

Check out Dog Podcast Network for other dog-adjacent shows.

The Long Leash where we rescue tasty scraps from the editing room floor in an unscripted interview show

Dog Cancer Answers which offers vetted advice from real veterinarians who answer your questions about dog cancer

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