This weekend we had conversations about the oddity of Allen, normally a private person, writing a memoir for the public to read about Leaf, an instinctively shy rescued dog. Leaf doesn’t ever approach strangers and beg for them to pet him. People typically have to earn his trust. Allen is a still-waters-run-deep kind of man. They’re a team that understands each other.

In A DOG NAMED LEAF Allen shares details about his life now as well as the incredible experiences that happened while he and Leaf healed and rescued each other. He also reveals dramatic events that occurred prior to our starting Angel Animals Network when he was a big city police officer.

In previous books we included glimpses into our personal lives, but a memoir is different. To be honest and get its messages and themes across, the author must sacrifice a certain amount of privacy. Memoirists have to enter a “no whining zone” about surrendering their privacy. They believe the rewards of allowing themselves to show vulnerability will outweigh the risks. When people tell an author that something he wrote gave them hope or even changed their lives, the writer knows his sacrifices were worth it.

For a brief idea of personal details in the book, here’s a description from the University of Minnesota’s bookstore:

“Anderson’s memoir proves a scientific study that dogs are empathic and really do feel their owner’s pain. Leaf, an emotionally scarred rescue dog adopted by Anderson, helped the author through two life-threatening medical conditions on their joint journey of healing, love, loyalty, and hope. A Dog Named Leaf illustrates the unique and mutually healing bond that can sometimes form between humans and animals. In addition to the emotional story, this book offers advice to readers on what to expect when adopting a rescue dog, helping a fearful dog deal with veterinarians, groomers, and strangers, as well as tips for visiting hospital wards and essential things to do when a spouse is incapacitated.”

Last week, an announcement about the book was picked up on the Associated Press and Reuter’s wire services worldwide and on HuffPostTV’s Oprah Winfrey News. Word is spreading fast that this is a must-read book which, as Dr. Marc Bekoff, author of THE EMOTIONAL LIVES OF ANIMALS said, is “Impossible to put down. Read and share widely.”

Oh, and did we mention? Parts of the book are laugh-out-loud funny. Especially if you’ve noticed how men and women can have totally different ways of handling emotional situations and communicating with each other (or not) about their feelings.

As if to punctuate that there is enjoyable male-female, human-foible humor in the book, on Sunday we met Garrison Keillor, the world-renowned humorist of PRAIRIE HOME COMPANION fame. He owns
Common Good Books in St. Paul, Minnesota. We had driven to the store to drop off some postcards about the event Allen is doing there on Tuesday, November 13.

To our surprise, Garrison was walking right past our car as we drove off the lot. Allen lowered the window, and the scene went like this:

Allen: Hi, Garrison!

Garrison, who surrendered much of his privacy long ago to become an international celebrity, turned around and looked at Allen. He might have been wondering: Who is this guy calling me while I’m walking along, minding my own business on a Sunday afternoon?

Allen: Your bookstore is having an event next week for the book I wrote. Thank you!

Garrison: No problem.

The book is available now at bookstores and online. More information at http://www.adognamedleaf.com.

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