My Life in Dog Years by Gary Paulsen

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Ideas for Reports and Papers

(Beacham's Guide to Literature for Young Adults)

1. Who was Jack London? What dog stories did he write? Were any like those in My Life in Dog Years? Why would Paulsen refer to him?

2. Who is White Fang? From what book? Write a book report on it.

3. Who were pin setters? Where did they work? What were their jobs? What were they paid? In what years were pin setters needed?

4. Paulsen mentions "Border collie field trials." What are these? Who competes in them? What are the rules? Where are they held?

5. For a time Paulsen has the companionship of Ike, a dog trained for duck hunting. What sorts of dogs are good for duck hunting? How are they trained? How do a dog and a duck hunter work together?

6. Paulsen says that he could not walk around without treading on spent cartridges and other relics of the war when he was a child living in the Philippines. What happened in the Philippines during World War II that would have left the islands covered in wrecked military gear?

7. Paulsen's father was posted in the Philippines after World War II. What was life like in the Philippines in the first few years after the surrender of Japan?

8. What is the history of Great Danes? What are their origins? What makes them special?
9. What is the history of Border collies? What are their origins? What makes them special?

10. Quincy is an abandoned dog. How many dogs are abandoned in a year in the United States? Why are they abandoned? What happens to them?

11. There are numerous accounts of dogs throwing themselves in harm's way to protect a person. Why do dogs do this?