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For Bea: The Story of the Beagle Who Changed My Life Hardcover – April 28, 2003

4.8 out of 5 stars 63 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

When von Kreisler, author of The Compassion of Animals (1999), found a beagle named Bea whose traumatic past included a stay at an animal-research facility, she was determined to help the cowering, malnourished animal. From the dog's condition, von Kreisler knew it wouldn't be easy. She was right. Bea vibrates with fear, rebuffs people, and feels relieving oneself takes place more easily indoors than out. The first chapters of this memoir are the best; readers bond with Bea just as Von Kreisler and her husband do, and everyone roots for the dog's slow but steady progress. Once Bea acclimates to her new surroundings, though, the book becomes just another dog story. Fortunately, von Kreisler is a good enough writer to keep readers' interest, even though her more factual material (e.g., the history of beagles) is woven in rather inelegantly. Dog tales have a built-in audience, though, and this one will, too. Ilene Cooper
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

Review

[For Bea] kept me reading late into the night. Bea is unforgettable. Her story will touch your heart. -- Mary Tyler Moore
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Tarcher; 1St Edition edition (April 28, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1585422223
  • ISBN-13: 978-1585422227
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.8 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (63 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,579,608 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I finished this book in a few hours and enjoyed it thoroughly. Our family adopted a rescue beagle less than two months ago, so the subject was dear to my heart. Like Bea, our beagle was "damaged goods" (missing an eye and about to be euthanized) but he has brought so much joy into our lives in just a few weeks. I think this book would appeal particularly to beagle owners and lovers (the digression about beagle history in the middle of the book might be less interesting for some, although being new to beagles, I found it fascinating). However, anyone who loves animals and likes "ugly duckling" stories would enjoy this book. It is heartwarming to read about Bea's transformation from an abused research animal into a loving and much-loved member of the family.
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Format: Hardcover
As a former beagle-owner, the story of Bea touched my soul. This is a beautifully written book, full of stories to which all dog-owners can relate. How wonderful to follow Von Kreisler's adventures with Bea over a period of many years, to be reminded of the joys, sorrows, and rewards of raising and loving an animal. Bea's story reminded my wife and I so much of our dear departed beagle - it motivated us to go out and rescue or adopt one who needs a good home. Thank you for giving us the idea and the courage to make another dog a part of our lives!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
On one level, this is the story of Bea, an abused, bedraggled, emotionally broken beagle who has escaped from a research lab. The author finds her by accident, takes her home and, through infinite patience and understanding, gradually brings out the happy and sociable animal Bea was meant to be. The wallop comes in the final chapter, a powerful, solidly grounded and reasoned call to arms against unnecessary animal testing-and most of it is unnecessary-that every year takes the lives of some 20 million animals in the U.S. alone. A must read for every pet-owner.
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Format: Hardcover
Becoming a dog owner for the first time in the last year, I adopted two beautiful beagles. As in this book, I have discovered that a beagle is just an angel in a furry body - you can't find a sweeter, more gentle, loving pet. This book tells Bea's story, but also is sprinkled with beagle facts and information on animal testing. This book maybe too "fluffy" for some guys, but I think that overall anyone whose life has been touched by a beagle will enjoy reading it.
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Format: Hardcover
Kristin Von Kreisler's tribute to Bea, a beagle that she obviously loved with all her heart, is a must read for everyone. I was saddened over the possibilities that might have been the first years of Bea's life, I was encouraged at every step Bea took towards healing, I cried at set backs, laughed at her antics and fell totally in love with Bea.
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Format: Hardcover
I loved Kristin Von Kreisler's two previous books, The Compassion of Animals and Beauty in the Beast, but For Bea is even better. What makes it so good is the feeling that the author is speaking directly and intimately from the heart, sharing a story that is one of the central stories of her life. Kristin and Beatrice (whose picture on the cover, by the way, is worth the price of the book) truly met not as person and Beagle, but as soul and soul. How I wish I could have met Beatrice! She sounds like a soul truly worth knowing. And with this beautiful book, I feel that I have known her, just a little bit, myself. I do recommend this book very highly to anyone who wants to know more about the mysterious ways of love.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It was an eye opener about how terrible the effects of cruelty can be on an animal, but love and patience win out in the end. This is a very personal story about Bea and how thee author and her husband bring this abandoned victim back to the world, how it affected their own life and relationship. Very funny at times, sad at times, but uplifting and encouraging.
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Format: Hardcover
I just finished "For Bea", more than a year and a half after reading about author Kristin von Kriesler in the San Francisco Chronicle, cutting out the article to remind myself of this beautiful and simple story of courage, love, and faith. I finally bought the book a few weeks ago and am so glad that I did. Von Kriesler has shown, through this homage to a battered and abused little dog, that unconditional love, hope, and trust can overcome even the harshest cruelty. It is hard to express how much I related to Von Kriesler's love for her dog and her belief that Bea had, in fact, done more for her than she had done for her pet. She is an amazing woman who tells this story with grace, humor, and unabiding love. Thank you, Mrs. von Krielser, for making me laugh and sob and to ponder the joy of discovering our true selves, oftentimes in the most unexpected of places.
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