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Devoted: 38 Extraordinary Tales of Love, Loyalty, and Life With Dogs Hardcover – October 1, 2013
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"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 celebrity and lifestyle coverage, but who also loves dogs and telling stories about amazing animals. She is the author of Devoted and Loyal, two heartwarming and inspiring collections of stories of the bravery and heroism of dogs. She also contributes to many newspapers and national magazines including Entertainment Weekly, Adweek, and the Los Angeles Times. She is a volunteer at a high-kill shelter in Manhattan and a founding director of the Deja Foundation, devoted to funding the medical care and training costs of dogs rescued from high-kill shelters.
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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.