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Devoted: 38 Extraordinary Tales of Love, Loyalty, and Life With Dogs Hardcover – October 1, 2013

4.8 out of 5 stars 132 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"A heartwarming and inspiring mosaic of stories to dramatically illustrate the many ways a dog can positively impact our lives." --Publishers Weekly, starred review

"Each one of these dogs is special in their own way and each story is heartwarming. If you’re a dog lover, this is one book you should definitely look into. You won’t be disappointed!" --Night Owl Reviews

"This book is a quick, enjoyable, read and I recommend that you hold the book in one hand and pet your dog with the other." --Seattle Post-Intelligencer

About the Author

REBECCA ASCHER-WALSH is a writer who specializes in covering celebrities and lifestyles, but who also loves dogs and telling stories about amazing animals. She contributes to many newspapers and national magazines including Entertainment Weekly, The Wall Street Journal, and the L.A. Times and is active in social media. She is a volunteer at a high-kill shelter in Manhattan and a founding director of the Deja Foundation, devoted to covering the medical care and training costs of dogs rescued from high-kill shelters. A native New Yorker, she shares her home with two rescue pit bulls, Desiree and Buddy.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 160 pages
  • Publisher: National Geographic (October 1, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1426211589
  • ISBN-13: 978-1426211584
  • Product Dimensions: 7.3 x 0.7 x 7.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (132 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #8,844 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Anyone who loves dogs will love and appreciate this book. "Devoted" tells the brief stories of 38 dogs and their human companions, and each one celebrates the bond that we humans have with our dogs.

I enjoyed all the stories, but I was especially touched by the story of Schoep (which I think is pronounced "Shep") and his owner, John Unger. Schoep was adopted by Unger from a shelter in Wisconsin, and he was probably the dog most in need and least likely to be adopted. Nonetheless, Unger wanted to adopt a dog that had been abused and help him realize his full potential. Unger worked tirelessly with Schoep and eventually transformed the dog into a wonderful pet. The best part of the story, though, is that, just as Unger had saved Schoep, Schoep eventually returned the favor, as only the thought of leaving Schoep alone saved Unger from killing himself at an incredibly low period in his life. Readers will love the photograph of Unger floating in the water with Schoep lying on his chest, asleep and perfectly content.

This is only one of the many stories of the fantastic intelligence, loyalty, inventiveness, and amusement that dogs offer in return for our custody of them. I was impressed by the variety of dog breeds that were represented in these stories, especially by the number of "pit bulls" that appeared. This breed has an unjustified reputation for vicious behavior, and this little book will do much to help readers overcome any prejudices they have. There were a few greyhounds as well, and as I have a cousin who works with greyhound rescue, I know firsthand how wonderful this breed is as a pet.

The book is replete with beautiful photographs as well: the reader sees each dog profiled and usually his or her owner as well.
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This extraordinary book is published by the National Geographic Society. I have had dogs for about 50 years and loved them all-except for a grouchy Bloodhound. Smile. This book will bring tears to your eyes. Just the title will enchant you. All of the dogs in this story are heroes and dearly loved by their owners. Dogs have been with us for thousands of years and they love us unconditionally. Good or bad, they threw themselves at us and despite human cruelty, are still with us today. If you don't enjoy this book, there is no hope for you.

FIVE STARS! *****
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I just spent the last hour enmeshed in this book, with my dogs by my side. I have a big SUCKER written on my forehead for true, inspiring dog stories, and these certainly hit the spot. I knew I would love the book when the authors introduction included a picture of her and her 2 pit bull rescues. Maybe it is a bias I have, but when someone else sees beyond all the bad press of pit bulls and falls in love with them, you can pretty much be sure they have a genuine love for dogs. The author shows she does in this book, all types of dogs are included and each story shows a remarkable bond between the dog and owner. Stories where dogs do great things are nice, but if you don't include the relationship with the owner, then I don't think the story is complete. These tales show how these 38 dogs changed the lives of the people that took them in, the best stories being about the dogs that were rescued when no one else wanted them. This would make a great gift for a dog lover, there may be tears, but not out of sadness, just out of happiness. Of course if you read the book and have dogs, you will look at them and wonder how far they would go to help you. I am not sure with mine, they would have good intentions, just not good sense.
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
...whether you are a dog lover or not!

"Devoted" is a sweet and moving little book by Rebecca Ascher-Walsh offering 38 inspirational tales of faith and redemption. The mix is heartwarming --and sometimes heartbreaking-- as the tales of service dogs, of therapy dogs, of rescue dogs, of apparently flawed humans and of apparently flawed dogs overcome what's on the surface to bond in many ways.

Interspersed among the stories are dog breed capsules and dog factoids. Yes: a warm puppy can be a source of happiness, as the interaction between humans and dogs can release the powerful --and pleasurable-- neurotransmitter oxytocin. As it turns own, a chemical reaction is why it feels so darned good to touch a dog.

Dog lovers will certainly enjoy this book. So will anybody else who enjoys uplifting stories about overcoming adversity, service, bonding and love (on both sides of the dog-people equation).

One warning: dog-lover or not, if you have a human heart: don't read without a box of tissues nearby...
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This is one of those books that comes along every so often that reminds me of why reading is such a great thing. A nicely presented, not overly done little book that features a few dozen very sweet and engaging stories about dogs, their owners, and how they enrich each others' lives. The perfect-sized read for a single sitting, but a book which one is likely to re-read now and again. A bit of an emphasis on labradors and pit bulls, but there is likely to be at least one dog's story in here that will especially connect with most readers. Also a lot of information scattered throughout the book about breeds, dogs, and their relationships with people. One organization which I personally support which is not highlighted in the "Resources" section at the end is Pets of the Homeless, which I am hereby plugging in this review. This book will also make an excellent gift for a dog lover from ages 8-80.
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