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25 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Heartwarming tales for dog lovers, September 27, 2013
By 
K. Blaine (Peninsula, OH USA) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Devoted: 38 Extraordinary Tales of Love, Loyalty, and Life With Dogs (Hardcover)
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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. Each story is short enough to be read in only a few minutes, and each dog has something to offer that will just make you smile. I can see this little book as the perfect holiday gift for a "dog person."

It is hard to imagine that anyone would not enjoy this book. I highly recommend it.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars DEVOTED: 38 Extraordinary Tales of Love, Loyalty, and Life With Dogs, October 9, 2013
This review is from: Devoted: 38 Extraordinary Tales of Love, Loyalty, and Life With Dogs (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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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful! Inspirational dogs AND inspirational people; five stars is not enough..., October 7, 2013
This review is from: Devoted: 38 Extraordinary Tales of Love, Loyalty, and Life With Dogs (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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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Terrific Little Book, September 21, 2013
This review is from: Devoted: 38 Extraordinary Tales of Love, Loyalty, and Life With Dogs (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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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A beautiful book on all counts, October 5, 2013
This review is from: Devoted: 38 Extraordinary Tales of Love, Loyalty, and Life With Dogs (Hardcover)
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Angels exist, but they're less likely to flap their wings than wag their tails. Dogs are angels. They are the best companions and the most loyal friends. They are our protectors and often our inspiration. Dogs give humans more than humans give them. If you're unconvinced, ask yourself a question: How many books have dogs written in praise of humans? Zero. But how many books have humans written about dogs?

Devoted: 38 Extraordinary Tales of Love, Loyalty, and Life with Dogs by Rebecca Ascher Walsh is the latest book by a human to express love and admiration for man's best friend. It's also one of the finest.

Keep the tissues handy as you read about dogs that comfort the terminally ill and the abused, perform heroic feats in service to mankind, even rescue their owners from suicide with little more than a look or a brush of their nose. At other times, the tears may come from laughter as you read about surfboarding dogs and skydiving dogs.

Walsh provides informative sidebars throughout explaining the differences between various breeds of dogs, how to care for your dog, as well as dog trivia.

Devoted is a beautiful book on all counts: beautiful stories beautifully written, with beautiful photographs on thick quality paper. It's as lovely to look at as it is to read which I'd advise you to do with your own angel nearby.

Brian W. Fairbanks
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great pictures, great stories, great format. A winner all around., October 5, 2013
By 
Jadecat (Lake Orion, MI United States) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Devoted: 38 Extraordinary Tales of Love, Loyalty, and Life With Dogs (Hardcover)
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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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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful book for dog lovers, October 3, 2013
This review is from: Devoted: 38 Extraordinary Tales of Love, Loyalty, and Life With Dogs (Hardcover)
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
If you're looking for a gift for a dog lover, or just enjoy reading heartwarming stories of wonderful dogs and their lucky owners, you'll want this book.

Though it is small, there's a theme to each story ("the power of a puppy" or "the blind hunter") with at least one (and sometimes more) beautiful color photograph of the dog. Each story takes more than one page and there's information about the breed and some interesting facts.

If you've followed any dog stories on the Internet, this book does include some familiar tales: there's the story of Schoep, the shepherd mix whose owner took the dog into Lake Superior so the dog could sleep; Lilly, the pit bull who lost her leg saving her owner from an oncoming train; and Faith, the mixed breed who walks on her hind legs.

This book brought happy tears to my eyes - definitely a winner.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful little book and moving tribute to dogs, October 3, 2013
This review is from: Devoted: 38 Extraordinary Tales of Love, Loyalty, and Life With Dogs (Hardcover)
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This is a must have for the Christmas stocking or gift list of anyone who loves dogs. It contains the heartwarming stories of 38 different and very special dogs. Each story recounts the role the dog has played in the lives of its humans and the wonderful contributions these dogs have made to the people whose lives they touch. It has beautiful and entertaining photos of all the dogs featured along with facts about the particular breed to help you decide if this type of dog is for you. Stressing the love, honor and devotion that the dogs have shown in their own behaviors, this book is a wonderful tribute to the relationship of man and his best friend.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding Dog Book, October 1, 2013
This review is from: Devoted: 38 Extraordinary Tales of Love, Loyalty, and Life With Dogs (Hardcover)
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This book is published by the National Geographic Society, and has wonderful color photographs throughout. Pictures of dogs--a GREAT feature.

The stories in the book are all true and present wonderful information about dogs, too. Lots of research clearly went into the book.

If you love dogs, you are sure to love this book. And it would make a wonderful gift for a dog lover.

Lots of dog roles are in here, including several kinds of assistance dogs, lots of therapy dog functions, and much more. There are breed descriptions, and there is tons of inspiration.

This is, well, kind of a must read! And your eyes will feast on the photographs.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Beautiful Gift for any Dog Lover, September 24, 2013
This review is from: Devoted: 38 Extraordinary Tales of Love, Loyalty, and Life With Dogs (Hardcover)
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Devoted is a very beautiful book that would make an excellent gift for any dog lover. Rebecca Ascher-Walsh, the author and National Geographic have teamed up to produce a beautiful book that contains 38 extraordinary stories of "love, loyalty and life with dogs."

The stories are accompanied by professionally done photographs. The photographs are typical National Geographic - stunning. Scattered throughout the book are little snippets of interesting information about dogs and particular breeds.

The stories are heart warming. Some involved rescued dogs that became devoted companions - in some cases saving the lives of their owners by providing meaning. Other cases involve dogs being remarkably adaptable to human needs - helping a dysfunctional child cope with life.

A common theme of all the stories is the remarkable bond that grows between dogs and their owners. It seems like in some cases the dog realizes what the owner has done for them and the dog is determined to repay the favor. It is truly amazing that humans and dogs can have such a deep and meaningful understanding with so much loyalty.

Each story is a stand-alone story - only a couple of pages long. You can open the book to any story and get a mood lift by reading about the love between dog and owner.

This book would also be great for teaching children to respect and care for animals. The stories drive home the point that dogs are sentient beings - they have feelings and deserve to be treated properly.

A great gift for any dog lover - and if you love dogs, get a copy for yourself. Read some of the remarkable stories when you are feeling down - they will change your outlook.
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Devoted: 38 Extraordinary Tales of Love, Loyalty, and Life With Dogs
Devoted: 38 Extraordinary Tales of Love, Loyalty, and Life With Dogs by Rebecca Ascher-Walsh (Hardcover - October 1, 2013)
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