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Saved by Gracie: How a Rough-And-Tumble Rescue Dog Dragged Me Back to Health, Happiness and God Paperback – April 15, 2014
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"Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress"
Is the world really falling apart? Is the ideal of progress obsolete? Cognitive scientist and public intellectual Steven Pinker urges us to step back from the gory headlines and prophecies of doom, and instead, follow the data: In seventy-five jaw-dropping graphs, Pinker shows that life, health, prosperity, safety, peace, knowledge, and happiness are on the rise. Learn more
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"I loved this book! Jan Dunlap and her dog Gracie will win your heart and sympathy for every dog waiting to be adopted and for every person who needs a dog in his or her life - whether they know it or not. Backed by the newest research into the healing powers of the human-dog bond, Dunlap shares her hilarious story of a clueless, not to mention reluctant, journey into dog ownership that will leave you laughing and heading for the nearest dog adoption event."Dr. Marty Becker "America's Veterinarian", Regular contributor to ABC's Good Morning America
Thank you, Jan Dunlap, for sharing Gracie with us. Gracie deserves this recognition, and all the Gracies out there and to come will benefit from this story. I love hearing stories of how dogs can retrieve the hearts and minds even of those who want nothing to do with them. Dog lovers find that power in the eyes of dogs rather easily--as I'm sure that Jan will forever more. Her tale of spiritual evolution achieved through her amazing Gracie adds to my belief that "dog" is a palindrome.
Meg Daley Olmert
Warrior Canine Connection, Inc.
Author of Made for Each Other: The Human-Animal Bond
Doctor's Orders: Adopt a rescue dog (a black lab named Gracie), slap a leash on her, and let her drag you out of your stagnant, overly intellectual world into the outdoors, where you will find healthy distractions from your worries--plus actual fresh air. On reading Jan Dunlap's heart-warming and highly entertaining story, Saved by Gracie, you will understand why pet ownership is an important means to better physical, emotional, and even spiritual health.
Rita Hancock MD
Pain Management Specialist
& Author of Radical Well-being and The Eden Diet
A sweet account of life with canines - a book that makes you laugh, cry and think.
Jean M. Larson, PhD, CTRS, HTR
University of Minnesota
Manager - Nature-Based Therapeutic Services
Asst. Professor - Nature-Based Therapeutic Studies
From the Author
I never wanted a dog.
But when my teen-aged daughter began to experience bouts of insecurity that reminded me of my own increasing anxieties and depression, I was willing to try anything to help her avoid a similar fate.
Enter Gracie, a black-lab mix that stole my daughter's heart at first sight at a shelter dog adoption day. Despite my own life-long fear of dogs, I agreed to bring the dog home and do whatever it took to provide my daughter - and the dog - with a sense of security that I no longer felt. "Okay, God," I remember praying, though my own faith struggled in the face of my anxieties, "You've got to help me do this, because there's no way I can do it alone."
I quickly discovered, however, that the newest member of our household had her own agenda, and it was all dog. From chasing squirrels to jumping fences to the occasional roll in dead fish, Gracie began reminding me that life is for living, not dreading. And then I discovered something else: my anxieties were diminishing, and the more I relied on God to help me care for Gracie, the stronger my faith in God grew.
So I guess you can say that bringing a dog into my life has been a spiritual experience. It has. But just as important, caring for a dog has transformed my physical, emotional, and mental health, and that's something to cheer about and share with others. I hope you read Saved by Gracie, and I hope it makes you laugh. Most of all, though, if you need to find a way to recapture your joy in living, I hope you'll think about adopting a dog. There might be a Gracie waiting somewhere just for you, too.
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We have also read her Bob White murder mysteries and enjoyed the stories (I'm the birder) and the humor. Very authenttic. The plots were complicated and you never knew until almost the end who the villains were. Quick and witty reads.
It is mildly devotional without being overly preachy.
Having had a dog since very early childhood, right up to my being closing in on 80, and having a very senior rescued dog, recently I thought maybe this would be my last dog....but I already have another one in my view that I will take on now so that I can start including another bundle of joy in my life. I don't want to miss a second without the love of a dog, or for a dog...my present love, Shadow will love the company!