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What makes a dog extraordinary?

I am convinced that every human being is born with a unique set of abilities. So is every dog.

Humans who excel at singing, swimming, painting, cooking, running, writing, inventing or telling jokes—if they possess enough drive—can probably find an appreciative audience and be rewarded.

In our human-dominated society, however, it’s not that way for dogs. There is just no way for an extremely talented pooch to enter athletic competitions or star in a TV show or movie (or be the subject of a book) without the help of a caring person.

Most creatures more advanced than an insect have the potential to excel—to become outstanding. But they require the support of human allies to reach their full potentials.

Humans must become and remain closely in-tune with their sub-human companions.

We must be observant, analytical, stimulating, supportive, educational and, most of all, loving.

If you do all of that, your dog will excel and thrive, and your love will be returned many times over.



New Book Honors Golden Retriever Who Soared Like an Eagle, Swam Like a Porpoise, Ate Like a Shark and Often Thought Like a Human.

Milford, CT—Author Michael N. Marcus calls Hunter J. Marcus his “four-legged son” and “an ordinary golden retriever who became an extraordinary dog.”


​Hunter, who lived more than 15 years, was not chosen because his parents were champions. He never won any ribbons or trophies. But he did provide abundant companionship, kindness, amusement, surprises and love.

​In his latest book, Love For & From My 4-Legged Son—how an ordinary golden retriever became an extraordinary dog, Marcus maintains that canines and young Homo Sapiens have amazing capabilities that adult humans may not give them credit for. He says, “Old dogs can certainly learn new tricks, and so can very young dogs. They can learn by observation of people and other animals, even when they are not being taught. When Hunter was young we often took a morning walk of nearly a mile. One day when we had gone about a quarter of the way, it started raining. The sky quickly darkened and I saw lightning and heard thunder. I said to Hunter something like ‘we’d better go back now.’ I had never before tried to teach him how to respond to ‘go back’ but he instantly made a U-turn and headed for home.”

​​Just as parrots may unexpectedly talk dirty—saying words they heard but were not taught—a dog may surprise you by mimicking you. Marcus warns, “Be careful what you do. Set a good example.”

​The author believes in setting a “high bar” to encourage striving and achieving (with love and rewards, of course). He always uses adult English—never baby talk—when speaking to a human baby or a non-human of any age.

​​Marcus says, “Hunter understood dozens of English words and was very obedient—when he chose to be. Golden retrievers are very smart, and very independent. Hunter knew exactly what he was supposed to do in any situation, and sometimes he was willing to do what he was supposed to do. We rewarded bad behavior because anything a dog does is cute!”


According to Marcus: “I could not be more miserable because of the loss of a human child. I never thought of Hunter as a pet, and certainly not as a possession. He was a housemate, playmate, child, co-conspirator, fellow traveler, and—most of all—my best buddy. He soared like an eagle, swam like a porpoise, ate like a shark and often thought like a human.”

The book includes stories, photographs, advice, humor and even emails from Doggie Heaven.

​Michael N. Marcus is a journalist, editor, bestselling author of more than 40 books, award-winning advertising copywriter, publisher and mostly successful amateur attorney.

​Love For & From My 4-Legged Son—how an ordinary golden retriever became an extraordinary dog is published by Silver Sands Books. It is available as a $9.95 paperback and as a $4.99 ebook. The ebook version was on Amazon's top-100 bestselling list for its class of books every day in its first week on sale, reaching a high of #15!


NOTE TO READERS: you don’t need an e-reader to read an ebook like this one. You can use a PC, Mac, iPad or other tablet, smart phone, etc.

NOTE TO MEDIA: Review copies are available. Please email

Contact author: 203.878.8383 or

© 2013-2017 Able Online Media. All Rights Reserved.

More Story Ideas for publication:

  1. You can teach an old dog new tricks (young dogs, too)

  2. Tips for traveling with a dog

  3. How to help your dog to live long

  4. Dogs and water

  5. You must be a guard dog for your dog

  6. What shouldn't dogs eat?

  7. Pooch personalities

  8. Dog fun and games

  9. Dog, cat, fish, bird, snake?

  10. Can your dog be a comfort dog?

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