Release: October 3rd 2017
Received: Penguin Read it First
I received an advanced copy of Rescued: What Second-Chance Dogs Teach Us about living with Purpose, Loving with Abandon, and Finding Joy in the Little Things from Penguin Read it First in exchange for a fair and honest review.
Rescued is the second book Zheutlin has written about rescue dogs, the first one being Rescue Road (a title you probably recognize, since it made its way onto the NYT’s list). The point of the novel is to show us how lives change when recues are made (both for the animals and for their new people). Zheutlin tries to put a new spin on this change, rather than focusing on the “who rescued who” theme that’s becoming more prevalent.
This book is both heartwarming and heart wrenching. Peter Zheutlin uses anecdotes and personal stories to show us the lives of rescue dogs and the people that take them in. Some of the stories start off sad, but get better; others end with the owner outliving their pet (an unfortunate reality more animal lovers must face).
I have to confess that while I am an avid supporter of animal’s rescues (I’m a volunteer at my local shelter, and have only rescue animals at the moment), this book was hard on me. I have a lot of trouble reading about the bad parts of an animal’s life, even knowing that it’ll get better for them. Knowing the trauma is in the past doesn’t always help. And don’t get me started on a cute rescue story that ends with the dog passing away (even of old age, at home with his owners). It’s more than my heart can take sometimes.
The reason I’m telling you all of that? I got really excited and hopeful about this book when Zheutlin promised his story wouldn’t end with Albie (his current rescue) passing away. I took it for granted and assumed that meant the rest of the stories wouldn’t end that way either. I was wrong. It led me to being emotionally unprepared for some of the stories that followed. Don’t get me wrong, they were beautiful stories, but they can and will make you cry. So just, be ready for them, alright?
I love the intent behind Zheutlin’s book and in my opinion if he gets even one person to adopt, when they would not have before, then this book is a success. I appreciate everyone that took the time and put their hearts out on the line by telling their pet’s stories to Zheutlin, so he could then share them with us.