Book Review for A DOG NAMED LEAF by C Korpi

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Pets and people, an undeniably vital bond, February 18, 2013

By C. Korpi (Minneapolis, MN)

This review is from: A Dog Named Leaf: The Hero from Heaven Who Saved My Life (Paperback)

I learned a long time ago that our animal companions often serve as our most valuable teachers of life’s most important lessons. In his book “A Dog Named Leaf,” Allen Anderson poignantly illustrates this phenomenon when he shares the deeply personal story of his terrifying journey through a life-threatening health crisis of his own and how allowing a seemingly “damaged” rescue dog into his world around then gave him the insight and strength to get through this trying time.

I, too, adopted a rescued dog with “issues.” Just as Anderson did, I have watched my Westie’s struggles to maintain a sense of security in a world that had shown him nothing but uncertainty, instability and rejection. As was the case with Leaf, his fears made him his own worst enemy, causing him to mask his fears with aggression. As Leaf and Anderson bonded ever-more deeply, Leaf underwent a profound change. Seeing his sweet cocker spaniel’s unique personality, courage and trust emerge despite having the odds stacked against him no doubt bolstered Anderson when his own life was in the balance.

This book is written in the clear, honest, approachable style of someone whose heart is open to sharing with others a glimpse of himself at his most vulnerable. That kind of human courage is equivalent to Leaf’s transformation from a terrified pup into a dog with a big job to do in this lifetime, namely to save his two-legged father’s spiritual life and thus his physical life as well. Together, they found ways to deeply appreciate living in the moment, rejoicing in the little things so often overlooked.

These are lessons we all need to be reminded of, and here we have Allen Anderson and Leaf to thank for helping us all to be sure to make the most of our own lives and relationships.

–Sid Korpi, author of “Good Grief: Finding Peace After Pet Loss”

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