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A Dog Named Slugger [Kindle Edition]

Leigh Brill
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (288 customer reviews)

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Book Description

The true life story of a dog who changed everything for one woman. For the first time in my life, I didn't need to pretend, I didn't need to be tough: I only needed to be honest. "I have cerebral palsy. I walk funny and my balance is bad. I fall a lot. My hands shake, too. That means I'm not so good at carrying things. And if I drop stuff, sometimes it's hard to just bend down and get it." I waited anxiously for the interviewer's response. She smiled. "It sounds like a service dog could be great for you." So began Leigh Brill's journey toward independence and confidence, all thanks to a trained companion dog named Slugger. The struggling college student and the Labrador with a "a coat like sunshine" and a tail that never stopped wagging became an instant team. Together, they transformed a challenge into a triumph. Together, they inspired and educated everyone they met. Now, Leigh honors her friend with the story of their life, together.


Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Brill’s memoir concerns her life near the end of her college years, a time when her cerebral palsy worsened and she began to struggle with everyday tasks. Learning about helper dogs trained to aid people with CP, Leigh applies and is matched with a big, lovable yellow Lab named Slugger. For nearly 10 years, he accompanies Leigh everywhere, helping her walk, picking up dropped pens, even turning on lights and opening heavy doors. With Slugger’s aid, Leigh gradually comes to accept and be able to talk about her disease and eventually finds love and a career. This touching memoir will warm the hearts of dog lovers everywhere; Slugger is the heart and soul of the book, and his dedication, devotion, and love make him an unforgettable character. While the writing is sometimes clunky and Leigh’s family is inexplicably absent, what remains is still irresistible: a sweet story about a woman and her dog. This canine version of Homer’s Odyssey (2009) will appeal equally to readers interested in coping or helping others cope with disabilities. --Jessica Moyer

Product Details

  • File Size: 405 KB
  • Print Length: 250 pages
  • Publisher: Bell Bridge Books (April 1, 2010)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B003LN2BOG
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #114,493 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
65 of 71 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A dog's best friend July 28, 2010
Format:Paperback
As a child living with cerebral palsy, Leigh Brill ached with the physical pain of her medical condition and the emotional hurt of not fitting in. She has written her story, A Dog Named Slugger, an easy read for young adults and adults alike.

I hope Brill's story will change people's attitudes towards service dogs and will educate the public about the important role they play. Twenty years after the American with Disabilities Act gave legal rights to people in need of service dogs, it is still necessary to invoke that right to bring a working dog to some workplaces. The author takes on an ignorant employer who failed to recognize her legal rights to have an accommodation for a disability--an accomodation that included fur and four paws. The reader feels her frustration and anger that was triggered by the experience.

Aside from the political and educational element of the story, the story is a touching one of a young woman finding confidence and happiness with a Labrador retriever by her side. Since I first saw the movie of Old Yeller, I have cried when I read about dogs and their relationships with humans. This book is no exception for me. I experienced triumphant moments with the author and also some very sad moments. It is a wonderful treat to read about the training of her dog and the team that results from labor and love. The reader will learn about charitable organizations that help these transformations occur in the lives of people by providing trained dogs for free.

The only shortcoming of this book was that it felt over-edited to me. Perhaps this is necessary because the target audience is young adult and teen readers, but I would have preferred that the author's strong voice resounded more, rather than being muffled in the writing process.
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26 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dog named Slugger August 4, 2010
Format:Paperback
A wonderful story. A must read for anyone who loves animals and works with them. This is a wonderful story about a woman with CP and how a service dog named Slugger changed her life for the better. I hope you take the time to read her story, I'm glad I did.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Heartwarming Person/Animal Relationship Story February 12, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
I like nonfiction stories that deal with real life experiences. I have worked with the disabled and with animal rescue for the past 10 years. I was looking for a quick read to get from the amazon owner lenders library and I decided to pick this book. I have always been interested in how animals can help people, and was looking forward to learning more about using dogs for assistance. It was a quick read that was written in everyday language. There were a few errors in this book such as a couple of blank pages in this book that was slightly distracting. I also don't like reading books with lots of foul language, and this book has quite a bit which seemed unnecessary. The story was well written, and I felt the emotion of attachment of her and slugger throughout the book. I learned a lot of how service dogs can assist through her account of the book. As a middle school language arts teacher I am always looking for good books to encourage my students to read, but even though it is their reading level I can't recommend for them to read it. It would have a wider audience if it was not for the language in the book.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful December 23, 2010
Format:Kindle Edition
This was a heart-warming and beautiful story. Leigh does a wonderful job of conveying her and Sluggers mutual love and devotion to one another. This was inspiring, touching and not only a definite read but a definite re-read! It also opened my eyes to the wonderful services animals can provide to ALL people, not just those with physical disabilities.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars GREAT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! December 29, 2010
Format:Kindle Edition
What a great book to read! Was my first book read on my Kindle! Loved it and couldn't put it down!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Touching and sweet December 30, 2010
By Mrs. K
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
In this book Leigh Brill shows us how her 'working dog' Slugger made a real difference in her life- not just picking up pens and pushing elevator buttons for her, but also giving her courage and self-esteem. Slugger is her guardian and her best friend, and Leigh's writing makes it easy to love Sluggie, too.

Part of this book offers a wonderful example of the right reasons for legal enforcement of the Americans with Disabilities Act (correcting the wrongs and preventing them from happening again to others, rather than the motivation of monetary gain.) Way to go, Leigh!

I downloaded this free to my Kindle but would gladly have paid for the privilege of reading this story. Of course, you know what happens at the end of EVERY animal story, right? This one's no exception. Have kleenex handy.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars great story about a dog named Slugger December 8, 2010
Format:Paperback
This is a great book about Leigh & her wonderful dog named Slugger.

Leigh has CP, though as a child/teen she denied her illness. Through Slugger, she learns how to better deal with her disease, learns she is more than her disease, and learns how to love not only herself & Slugger, but others as well(OK, I realize this sentence sounds way too corny, but it's all true). Slugger not only improves her own life, but the others that Leigh works with in her career.

The book is written for young adults, so I admit I did not "learn" anything from the book. It was definitely interesting learning about how dogs are trained to become "work dogs" and how humans learn to work equally with the dogs, but nothing new was presented to me. This was not enough to really detract from the book at all.

The ending of course, is a tear jerker, and is the reason why I don't normally review books like this.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
great book
Published 4 days ago by 80lady
5.0 out of 5 stars Hard to say good bye to a loyal friend!
Our dog, Jack, is a black 14 year old Scottie. He is the joy in our life and so sad to see him slowing down. We finely told him he was a dog about a year ago. Read more
Published 6 days ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Delightful story!
I have recommended this to so many people!

As a neurology nurse I understand how essential assistive animals can be. This story is a wonderful account of Ms. Read more
Published 8 days ago by PHXlynn
5.0 out of 5 stars Well written story
Very interesting and well written book about handicapped people and how dogs help them
Published 11 days ago by Bill
5.0 out of 5 stars Always a Labrador
our family has had 3 labs an we've had to put all three of them down, because of health reasons of course . Read more
Published 14 days ago by Lori Goorman
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
heartwarming
Published 17 days ago by sharon donahue
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
great reading book - wonderful story
Published 19 days ago by Susie Ausloos
5.0 out of 5 stars Must read for those interested in service animals
Very informative, warm and emotional.
Published 22 days ago by Kay T
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Loved this book! Compelling Story of personal growth and special bond with a very special 4-legged companion!
Published 24 days ago by Denise P.
4.0 out of 5 stars Love this dog!
Such a lovely book about the love of a service dog and how helpful the dogs can be in so many situations.
Published 26 days ago by Annc
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Faded Ink
I have the same problem as well. It isn't just your Kindle- it must be a problem with the formatting of the ebook. Here's hoping they fix it, but I'm enjoying the book well enough that I'm plowing through it without waiting for a fix. :)
Jan 10, 2011 by Ashley Elder |  See all 3 posts
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