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Dog Named Leaf: The Hero From Heaven Who Saved My Life Paperback – November 6, 2012

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Editorial Reviews


Praise for A Dog Named Leaf:"A Dog Named Leaf is a very touching and well-written book that clearly comes from Allen Anderson's heart. Although I am not a religious or spiritual person and couldn't wrap my mind around some of the things that happened in Allen and Leaf's story, the more I read, the more my skepticism melted. I am convinced of Leaf's ability to sense what Allen needed. This book will make readers feel as if they know Leaf, and they'll grow to love him too."—Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson, PhD, New York Times best-selling author of twenty-four books, including When Elephants Weep, Dogs Never Lie about Love, and The Dog Who Couldn't Stop Loving.

"With its dramatic dual journey, A Dog Named Leaf explores the intangibles of health and healing without attempting to explain them away. This memoir's pulse-pounding brushes with danger, startling synchronicities, and insights on fulfilling one's purpose in life offer hope and new perspectives on the expansive power of love. It truly is the most unusual dog book ever." —Dr. Marty Becker, resident veterinarian on Good Morning America and The Dr. Oz Show and featured columnist

 "When I rescued my companion dog Jethro years ago, I realized this wonderful being also rescued me and taught me numerous valuable life lessons. Many people have similar stories, and this wonderful book about another amazing dog, Leaf, will be impossible to put down. In A Dog Named Leaf, two guys—a troubled and scarred shelter dog and a former police officer turned writer—face life and death challenges together. Its unexpected twists and turns kept me pinned to the pages and cheering for Leaf and Allen to heal and succeed together. The strong compassionate emotional bonds they formed—deep and enduring friendship and love—will move you in many ways. Read this most inspirational book and share it widely."—Marc Bekoff, author of The Emotional Lives of Animals, Wild Justice: The Moral Lives of Animals, and The Animal Manifesto: Six Reasons for Expanding Our Compassion Footprint

"A remarkable story. It will reaffirm your faith in the unique and mutually healing bond that can form between humans and animals." —Gwen Cooper, New York Times best-selling author of Homer's Odyssey

"Transcending the oft-told story of the human/dog bond, Allen and Leaf teach each other lessons of trust, love, and faithin the face of life's tumult. A must-read for anyone who has experienced the guiding spirit of a dog."—Susan Wilson, author of The Dog Who Danced

"I was moved by this story of resilience and love. It conveys beautifully the vulnerability and richness of a dog's life and the connection between their biographies and our own."—Jonathan Balcombe, author of Second Nature

"Part Marley and Me and part Jon Katz, A Dog Named Leaf by the Minnesota writing team of Allen and Linda Anderson is the story of an abandoned cocker spaniel the couple rescued, despaired of, learned to love...The Andersons hire dog communicators to get to the bottom of Leaf's problems. ("I was left," Leaf apparently tells one of them mournfully.) But more problems loom: Allen Anderson is found to have a brain aneurysm, and he faces risky surgery. And then doctors find a blood clot in his leg. It is Leaf, Anderson wants us to know, who helped him through this terrible time, just as he helped Leaf adjust to his new home...While you might not believe everything in this very spiritual book (and how I wish their method of calmly explaining the rules to Leaf so that he will stop misbehaving would work with my Rosie), the story is endearing, and the many photographs of Leaf running, swimming, and chasing a tennis ball in south Minneapolis are adorable." —LAURIE HERTZEL, BOOKS EDITOR, Minneapolis Star Tribune, October 27, 2012

"This touching, almost lyrical book is a very personal story bravely told by the author and his wife... This is a lovely story that will uplift anyone who has ever loved a dog." —Amy Shojai, Guide, December 27, 2012

From the Back Cover

The inspiring true story of a man and a dog coming together at just the right moment for miracles to occur.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Lyons Press (November 6, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0762781653
  • ISBN-13: 978-0762781652
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 5.8 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (109 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #174,072 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Marcia on October 26, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
You will think I would be biased as I am one of the animal
communicators mentioned in the book A Dog Named Leaf. I can
tell you that I expected a nice story, but I couldn't put the
book down. The trials so honestly written by the author will
touch your heart. The story of Leaf's journey and healing will
amaze you, not too heavy, there's humor, but it's a journey
which will inspire you and touch your heart at the courage,
love and experiences of the author and his wonderful dog. It's
very special.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Barbara Techel on October 29, 2012
Format: Paperback
It takes courage to share your story. I also think to share the deep love of a pet takes courage. The fact that Allen, being a man, shares his deepest fears and also his amazing love for Leaf makes this book truly inspiring. We've heard many stories of the connection between women and dogs, or children and pets, but to hear Allen share his deepest thoughts and biggest fears, as well as, his devotion and love for Leaf touched me deeply.

As I read the last page of his book I wanted to weep. I wanted to weep for those that never experience a connection like Allen and Leaf have. I wanted to weep in happiness for Allen and his recovery. I wanted to weep for the courage it took for Allen to share this remarkable story that some may find hard to believe at times. But I know it is real as I've experienced some profound moments with my own dogs, just like Allen has with Leaf.

If you've ever doubted animals have souls, this book will open your heart and mind to truly believing we are all connected. You will never doubt again. Your life will be enriched far beyond what you could have ever imagined and you will have author Allen Anderson to thank for it.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Robert A. Rose on January 27, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
“Dumb animals. They’re called that for a reason. It’s not just that they can’t talk, they can’t think.” I said this to my wife over fifty years ago. She was hurt and angry that I couldn’t believe that what she saw as animal intelligence was basically conditioned responses and reinforcement through fear and reward. She was basing her beliefs on anecdotal, personal experience and I was basing mine on the best scientific “evidence” of that time.
Time and so many great strides in better theories, years of patient observations and notes and peer review by courageous scientists and lay persons who loved animals have proven Marie was closer to the truth than her arrogant husband. Fifty years of my own observations with Marie and our seven children as we brought every common household pet and with many animals considered wild into our home finally convinced me that most animals can think to varying degrees and the same holds true to their ability to “feel” and express a wide range of emotions.
Just as there are almost exponentially differences between each human on an ability measurement, the same holds true with animals. In any litter there will be a range of genetic abilities. Of course, if a human intervenes and takes the time to observe an animal she can “train” it to improve their genetic predispositions. Circus trainers are great observers and take what the animal gives and then finds ways to develop routines that amaze the audiences.
In Leaf’s case though we have a unique example of an animal that is the top of the pack for his breed, even species. The Anderson’s were people whose love of animals motivated them to begin Angel Animal Network. They traveled worldwide encouraging people to adopt dogs. Leaf was one they adopted.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Barbara Buckner on October 15, 2012
Format: Paperback
I finished this book in two sittings. It's a page turner. It's about every day life in its most usual aspects -- making a living and partnering with your spouse. But it's also about how the past weaves seamlessly with the future to make you whole. It's also about life and death -- enduring a life-threatening illness and having to go way beyond pre-conceived limits of patience and stamina. However, the heart of this story is where the golden nugget lies. What you read bypasses the mind completely and rings a bell deep inside you. You ask yourself: Could this really happen? For some, the events described may strain credulity. However, author Allen Anderson brings you step-by-step into the shared world of man and dog in a way that directly addresses the most spiritual part of ourselves. And it transcends the pet / animal - human connection books that are plentiful on the market. What you see unfolding is a special inner and outer weaving of events by both human and animal that most of us aren't aware of. I finished the book and wondered: What do animals really KNOW? Are they doing these kinds of things all the time? Who ARE they, really? And it makes you wonder if you can discover these invisible connections in your own life. This isn't another story of a warm-hearted friendship between a man and his dog - though it is this too. This is about how a dog -- with great love -- actually entered the inner reality of his friend to help save him -- and was able to succeed where human explanations and efforts failed. Quite a coup for a little four-legged creature who was once abandoned, and then found by this remarkable author.
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