The Education of Will

A Mutual Memoir of a Woman and Her Dog

The Education of Will

In this powerful, soul-searching memoir, beautifully written in the vein of A Pack of Two and Wild, animal behaviorist Dr. Patricia McConnell recounts for the first time the compelling story of her dark past, memories of which are triggered by a troubled dog named Will.

World-renowned as a source of science and soul, Patricia McConnell combines brilliant insights into canine behavior—gained from her work with aggressive and fearful dogs—with heartwarming stories of her own dogs and their life on the farm. Now, she reveals that it wasn’t just the dogs who had serious problems. For decades Dr. McConnell secretly grappled with her own guilt and fear, which were rooted in the harrowing traumas of her youth.

Patricia is forced to face her past by her love for a young Border Collie named Will, whose frequent, unpredictable outbreaks of fear and fury shake Patricia to her core. In order to save Will from this dangerous behavior, she must find her own will to heal, and along the way learn that will power by itself is not enough.

Interweaving enlightening stories of her clients’ dogs with tales of her deepening bond with Will, Patricia recounts her fight to reclaim her life. Hopeful and inspiring, the redemptive message of her journey is that, while trauma changes our brains and the past casts a long shadow, healing, for both people and dogs, is possible through hard work, compassion, and mutual devotion.
  • Atria Books | 
  • 288 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781501150159 | 
  • February 2017
List Price $26.00
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About the Author

Patricia B. McConnell
Nick Berard

Patricia B. McConnell

Patricia McConnell, PhD, CAAB is an Ethologist and Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist who has consulted with cat and dog lovers for over twenty years. Her nationally syndicated radio show, Calling All Pets, has played in more than 110 cities for fourteen years. She is the behavior columnist for The Bark magazine and a Consulting Editor for the Journal of Comparative Psychology. She has retired from her position as Adjunct Associate Professor in Zoology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She is the author of ten books on training and behavioral problems, as well as the critically acclaimed books, The Other End of the Leash: Why We Do What We Do Around Dogs, For the Love of a Dog: Understanding Emotion in You and Your Best Friend, and Tales of Two Species.

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