Waking Up Slowly

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Burchett, Dave. Waking Up Slowly: Spiritual Lesson From My Dog, My Kids, Critters, And Other Unexpected Places. Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale Momentum/ Tyndale House Publishers. 2017.

SUMMARY:
Finding spiritual lessons in such unexpected places as the zoo, the beach, and a coffee shop while spending time with family, friends and grandchildren through prayer, thoughts and love, Waking Up Slowly reminds us to wake up slowly and enjoy life. Full of revelations, scripture verses, Bible references, personal stories and beautiful photographs, author Dave Burchett offers unique perspectives on moments usually missed. Based in a hard-covered book with an inviting cover, each short chapter finishes with a thought from God and a dose of grace…

A PENNY FOR MY THOUGHTS:
Captivated by the adorable cover, loving the hard-covered book with beautifully smooth pages, admiring the fun pictures and appreciating the organized layout, I truly enjoyed Waking Up Slowly. Perfect for personal use, in a church library, as a Bible study, or a Life Group idea, I would also be proud to give this book as a gift to family and friends. Based on a dog theme while branching out to other areas, this is one book I will reread as well as keep on my bookshelf. Wondrous!

RATING:
5 (out of 5) pennies

*I received a complimentary copy of Waking Up Slowly from Tyndale House Publishers for my honest review*

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The Secret Language of Dogs

Stillwell, Victoria. The Secret Language of Dogs: Unlocking the Canine Mind for a Happier Pet. New York, USA: 2016.

thesecretlanguageofdogs

SUMMARY:
On the newer trend of realizing animals’ mental abilities are similar to humans, given the ability to learn, adapt, experience and survive, author and positive dog behaviorist and trainer, Victoria Stillwell, shares her knowledge and expertise on unlocking the many languages of dogs. With the inner experiences of dogs examined and the meanings of body and vocal languages explained, The Secret Language of Dogs helps create a stronger, more positive bond with our four-pawed best friends.

A PENNY FOR MY THOUGHTS:
Already of fan of Victoria Stillwell as well as owning several of her previous books, I knew I would have to read this new one. Not only a dog behavior expert but also committed to helping the cause of animal rescue and rehabilitation, she is also involved in various organizations to stop animal-related issues. Meeting the expectations I had set, The Secret Language of Dogs even went above with beautiful photographs, necessary information, and tons of tips, all joined together in a compassionate, positive manner. Seriously a must-read for all dog owners, I was inspired to give my own rescue pups extra hugs (and maybe even an extra treat), knowing they understand. Excellent!

RATING:
5 (out of 5) pennies

*I received a complimentary copy of The Secret Language of Dogs from Blogging For Books for my honest review*

Fetching Sweetness

Mentink, Dana. Fetching Sweetness: Love Unleashed- Book 2. Eugene, OR: Harvest House Publishers. 2016.

Fetchingsweetness

SUMMARY:
When Stephanie Pink plans to quickly deliver her manuscript to a literary agent, Agnes Wharton, she soon discovers it may be more involved than she planned. Tracking down Agnes, who is trying to track down Sweetness, leads to Rhett Hastings, who may lead to heart-throbbing trouble. With a gallop through a campground, a hurtful past, a bit of new faith, funny moments, and lots of dog-nonsense, Fetching Sweetness is an adorable, amusing, tender, and faith-filled novel with the sweetest Sweetness as the main attraction.

A PENNY FOR MY THOUGHTS:
I loved the picture of Sweetness on the cover of Dana Mentink’s newest book with the spirited expression, tip of the head and floppy ears!!¬† Pancakes, spatulas, wet kisses and trouble all define Sweetness, a hundred pound slobbery mess of a dog, who steals hearts. Combine Sweetness with Rhett, some fun romance and some giggling situations, and a light-hearted read with lots of character emerges. I love this series, especially since the books are written close enough together (sometimes it is SO hard to wait for the next book)- thank-you, Dana! Look for the next book, Paws for Love, in February of 2017.

RATING:
4 (out of 5) pennies

*I received a complimentary copy of Fetching Sweetness from Harvest House Publishing for my honest review*

Sit, Stay, Love

Mentink, Dana. Sit, Stay, Love. Eugene, OR: Harvest House Publishers. 2016.

sitstaylove

SUMMARY:
Thirteen-year-old Tippy, an elderly dog needing a good home after his owner passed, now lives with his past owner’s son, Cal. As a rising baseball star, Cal has no interest what-so-ever in dogs, especially an older, misbehaving dog like Tippy. Needing a pet-sitter, Cal hires Gina to take care of Tippy yet ends up with so much more than just a dog-sitter. Humor, romance, second-chances, forgiveness and an adorable dog all complement Sit, Stay, Love

A PENNY FOR MY THOUGHTS:
Light-hearted with a good message, Sit, Stay, Love is a delightfully charming novel with a cute and lovable mutt as the hero. Chuckling (and even nodding) at certain moments, I thoroughly enjoyed this story -due not only to the writing style but my own love of neurotic dogs. Fun, easy, amusing and entertaining, author Dana Mentink certainly hit a funny-bone with this endearing tale (tail, too).

RATING:
4.5 (out of 5) pennies

*I received a complimentary copy of Sit, Stay, Love from Harvest House Publishers for my honest review*

Stay

Burchett, Dave. Stay: Lessons My Dogs Taught Me About Life, Loss, and Grace. Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. 2015.

SUMMARY:
stayUnconditional love, living life to the fullest, not fearing death, living totally in-the-moment…Dave Burchett experienced and learned all these things from his best furry friend, a golden Labrador Retriever, who just happened to be able to fit three tennis balls in her mouth at one time! Paralleling his dog’s behavior with his own faith in God, the author also includes Bible verses, quotes, journal entries, personal stories and lessons learned through the diagnosis of Hannah’s incurable cancerous tumor.

A PENNY FOR MY THOUGHTS:
Okay…so why on earth, as a dog lover, would I want to read a sad story about a dog with a terminal diagnosis? Having prepared myself with a huge box of tissues, I did tear up during the book but also smiled, cheered, enjoyed and embraced the messages in the book. Though his heart was breaking, Dave Burchett lived life to the fullest with Hannah, growing in his own faith through the lessons Hannah was teaching him. (Wonder if he ever did learn how to hold three tennis balls in his mouth?) Along with other hardships in his life, the author shares his own personal stories while learning lessons of forgiveness, following, extending grace, trust, unconditional love and obedience as related to God. A wonderful memoir and testimony. So, am I glad I read this book after-all? Absolutely (but keep the tissues handy)!

RATING:
4.5 (out of 5) pennies

*I received a complimentary copy of Stay from Tyndale House Publishers for my honest review*

Why Dogs Are…

Thompson, Tana. Gentry, Marita. Why Dogs Are… USA: Kendall Neff Publishing. 2013.

SUMMARY:
dogRunning through the beautiful fields of Heaven, dogs originally only existed in Heaven until required on earth. When God needed to let a young boy named Brian, who could neither see nor hear, know of His existence, God sent a golden dog to earth to serve that purpose. Naming him Dog (God spelled backwards), God promised to send more dogs to earth if Dog did a good job of loving and convincing this boy. Thus the reason dogs are…

A PENNY FOR MY THOUGHTS:
A heartwarming tale of tails!! What an absolutely amazing concept of how dogs came to be on earth. Showing comfort, support and unconditional loyalty and love, dogs share God’s love in such a special way that God decides to send lots of dogs for people to enjoy. Part of the Love Unleashed series, I can only hope for more! Stunning illustrations round out an adorable story. Even more admirable is that one-hundred percent of the net profits from the sale of the book are given to charities and organizations that support animals and their interactions with people…wow! Perfect as a gift for dog lovers and children, wonderful even as part of a Sunday School curriculum, or undeniably sweet as just a book to cherish, Why Dogs Are… is special for all ages! Woof!

RATING:
5 (out of 5) pennies

*I received a complimentary copy of Why Dogs Are… from BookCrash and Kendall Neff Publishing for my honest review*

Surviving Henry

Young, Erin Taylor. Surviving Henry: Adventures in Loving a Canine Catastrophe. Grand Rapids, MI: Revell Publishing. 2014.

SUMMARY:
henryWanting to have her children experience having a dog in their childhood, Erin Taylor Young adopts a Boxer puppy. Cute, adorable, cuddly but then WHAM…barking, stubbornness, and calamities abound!! Through sharing of stories, thoughts of insanity and remarkable writing, the canine catastrophes of Henry are told yet within all the craziness is a lesson to be learned…

A PENNY FOR MY THOUGHTS:
Having recently been in the same boat with our own pup (a rescued Great Pyrenees/ German Shepard mix affectionately named: Crazy Blazy Baer), I was excited to read Surviving Henry. With humor and grace, the author tells story after story of living with and actually surviving life with her dog, Henry. I found myself nodding in agreement, chuckling outloud and commiserating along with her as she bestows the facts of raising Henry. Though not going to the extreme measures she did, I could appreciate the peanut-butter-filled Kongs, long exhausting walks, territorial car rides and hugs (I give our pup lots of them). I also welcomed the lessons learned from Henry which concurred he was truly a gift from God. Erin, thank-you for not giving up on Henry, providing him a good home and sharing your story!

RATING:
4.5 (out of 5) pennies

*I received a complimentary copy of Surviving Henry from Revell Publishing for my honest review*

A Friendship to Bark About

Johnson, Julie. A Friendship to Bark About. Eugene, OR: Harvest House Publishers. 2013.

SUMMARY:
dogFull of colorful, adorable, lovable pictures of pooches paired with timeless quotes and inspirational passages, A Friendship to Bark About is sure to strike a dog lover’s fancy and heart. Listed with dog qualities (courageous, quirky, charming, affectionate), this playful book makes one fall in puppy-love with their four-legged companion even more. Designed as a gift, a dedication page is included.

A PENNY FOR MY THOUGHTS:
Just when I thought I couldn’t appreciate and enjoy my dogs anymore, I read this short, sweet yet artistic book which made me fall in love all over again. I found the photographs to be stunning and a vivid reminder of the benefits and blessings dogs can bring into your life. A perfect gift to give to a new puppy-parent, a lifetime dog lover, “just because”, or even as a child’s book, A Friendship to Bark About will put a smile on your face and a wag to your dog’s tail as you enjoy it together.

RATING:
4.5 (out of 5) pennies

*I received a complimentary copy of A Friendship to Bark About from Harvest House Publishers for my honest review*

Pure Joy…The Dogs We Love

Steel, Danielle. Pure Joy…The Dogs We Love. New York, NY: Random House Publishing Group. 2013.

SUMMARY:
PurejoyThe author, Danielle Steel, creates a memoir of the many dogs she has known over the years, spotlighting her relationship with her current dog, Minnie Mouse, a two-pound Chihuahua. Through musings, memories, stories and thoughts, Danielle Steel shares her love of dogs and their lifelong effects on our lives. From total happiness to utter chaos, she reminds readers why dogs are so popular with so many.

A PENNY FOR MY THOUGHTS:
Aptly named, this book put a smile on my face as the author candidly spoke of her many dogs. Explaining she loves dogs as much as children (nine children-eleven dogs), she shows the “pure joy” her dogs have brought into her life (for the most part). Though I did not necessarily agree with all her dog actions/ experiences, I could relate to the emotions and turmoil puppies and dogs can evoke. Actually, when reading deeper into the book, Danielle states “allow yourself the luxury of letting happiness be whatever it is to you”. She found that happiness in her current dog, Minnie Mouse, although it could be anything in life. She goes on to say “why not” do something that brings joy to life, even if it requires courage to step outside the comfort zone (within reason). I chose this book for the cover and subject matter but came away with a different perspective on life to consider. I also appreciated the fact that it showed the “human-side” of a well-known, very popular author.

RATING:
4.5 (out of 5) pennies

Truly Devoted

Wright, H. Norman. Truly Devoted. Eugene, OR: Harvest House Publishers, 2013.

SUMMARY:
truly devotedTruly Devoted is a devotional that shows what our dogs teach us about life, love and loyalty. The devotions in the book are short enough to easily read in a single sitting – about 2-3 pages each. Each devotion provides a humorous story about dogs and then parallels the lesson learned from the story to lessons learned in the Scriptures. Among the lessons are topics such as companionship, trust, worry, loyalty and love.

A PENNY FOR MY THOUGHTS:
This devotional will definitely appeal to all dog lovers. The pages are filled with German Shepherds, Golden Retrievers, Shelties and more! The adorable dog stories provide not only a smile but also a ponder point. This is a must read that should be shared with your best friend – your dog of course! Who knew that Man’s Best Friend, aka our furry companions, could provide lessons in life, love and loyalty? (Definitely a relevant read for me as our newest member of Savurbks teaches me unconditional love, loyalty beyond measure, and a huge amount of patience! See my August post introducing our newest member, a puppy!)

MY RATING:
4 (out of 5) Pennies

* I received a complimentary copy of Truly Devoted from Harvest House Publishers in exchange for my honest review*