The 2012 memoir A DOG NAMED LEAF about our rescued cocker spaniel and Allen facing life-threatening challenges together, will be on the New York Times Best Sellers list next week (December  21).  Wow! We are letting fans of that book know and we’re getting a lot of heartfelt positive responses.

It’s amazing how many of the comments people have made about the book on Amazon and Facebook mention that they couldn’t put it down. One woman wrote us and was “mad” because she’d only intended to read a couple of chapters at bedtime but was up till 2:00 a.m.

This book was very personal and painful to write and have published. We adopted Leaf from the Animal Humane Society in Golden Valley in 2006 when he was one year old.  Previously we had volunteered at the animal shelter. We are grateful that Animal Humane Society did not give up on this abandoned dog and moved him from their Coon Rapids location to Golden Valley in hopes that he would have a better chance of finding a home. Broken and scared, he turned out to have a much tougher time than we anticipated while learning to be in a family (or even inside a house).

There are times in life when one or two years are packed with experiences that normally would happen over decades.  It was that way with Leaf and Allen.  Thankfully, they found each other at exactly the right time. Together, they went through the ups and downs of bonding while walking around Twin City lakes and visiting local dog parks. Leaf was a severely traumatized dog, and Allen was at that time, a former inner city police officer who had closed down emotionally after having too often seen the worst in human nature. Trust turned out to be a big issue for both of them.

Shortly after we adopted Leaf, one of the best neurosurgeons in the country, on staff at a local hospital, operated on Allen to heal an unruptured brain aneurysm that could burst at any time. By then, Leaf and he were two comrades struggling to survive what life was throwing at them.

It took a long time to come to the point of being able to add to our bios: New York Times bestselling authors.  Many writers know how much perseverance and patience is required before having a breakthrough. In this era of YouTube and Instagram and instant gratification, it’s tough for aspiring writers to understand that these types of fame flashes are like winning the lottery and with similar odds.

About halfway through our journey of writing animal-themed books, the pundits were declaring that books were dead. No one was reading anymore. Then e-books came along. Soon, people who hadn’t read a book in years were reading.

So our publisher converted our backlist print books into e-books. The e-books began selling very well and driving people to their print book counterparts. If we hadn’t persevered and continued writing new books over the years, the publishers would have let the old books go out of print, and we would have missed this new era of e-book sales. But we were viable authors who were still building readership and consequently were able to survive during the era when books were supposed to be having their last gasps of breath.

One college freshman came up to us at our book event and was carrying an armful of books. She said she had never read an entire book all through high school. But e-books had gotten her reading again, and she realized what she was missing in her life — books!

Join us in celebrating a milestone.  Check out A DOG NAMED LEAF at http://amzn.to/1Gm0V1V

A Dog Named Leaf in a Tree

A Dog Named Leaf in a Tree

Have you ever had to overcome your fear of an animal?


I recently did a radio interview and got to do what I love, which is to talk about my book, A DOG NAMED LEAF. I always enjoy sharing with anyone who will listen to me talk about Leaf and how we came out of challenging times as a spiritual team. Both of us became better and more loving from our experiences together.

I talked about the joy and comfort a person receives by having the unconditional love of a dog and gave examples of how Leaf’s presence made my and his life better.

On the air, the host said that she had grown up in an environment where her mother taught her to fear dogs. To this day, she would be too afraid to have a dog as a pet. She added that without knowing better, she had instilled that same fear in her son who is now 10 years old. As we chatted during the interview about the book and my experiences, the radio show host began to understand how much she and her son are missing out on, by not having a dog join their family.

I talked about how animal shelters are always looking for volunteers. Volunteering often helps people who cannot have a dog for some reason or may be concerned over the cost of adoption.

The host said that, as we talked, she had realized that it was time for her to move forward and past her deep, lifelong fears. Both she and her son were going to volunteer a couple of hours each week at their local animal shelter. They could become more accustomed to and less fearful by being around all kinds of dogs and experiencing firsthand the different characters and doggy personalities.

She added that one fine day, she might find a dog at the shelter. They would welcome the new arrival into their home with open arms.

What a satisfying interview that was for me, the host, and hopefully, for her listeners.

Have you ever had to overcome your fear of an animal?

A Dog Named Leaf (ISBN-10: 0762781654, ISBN-13: 978-0762781652), a 224-page paperback published by Lyons Press, an imprint of Globe Pequot, is available at major online book retailers, in bookstores, and at lyonspress.com. Visit the book’s Facebook page and view photos of Leaf at http://www.adognamedleaf.com or http://www.facebook.com/adognamedleaf



A DOG NAMED LEAF featured on THE AUTHOR SHOW — Today Only

TODAY ONLY — Discover secrets to having a spiritual bond with your dog. Listen to a short interview featuring Allen Anderson, author of “A Dog Named Leaf” by visiting “The Author Show” website at http://www.wnbnetworkwest.com/WnbAuthorsShow1.html . The interview will be available for listening anytime TODAY, Thursday, August 22 only. So don’t miss it. Are you ready to hear the truth?Image

Ever met a dog who ran for president? –A Dog Named Leaf


Ever met a dog who ran for president?

By D. E. Munson, Author

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

How about an undersized, pure black, curly-haired, handholding alpha spaniel with an Elvis lip and a penchant for holding you up to a mirror? Or maybe one who helps you find purpose, gratitude, and your ticket to life? If not, you’ve got to meet Leaf.

Allen Anderson, former policeman and author of this book, lays bare his Soul and shares his life-and-death professional and personal adventures with such unimaginable courage and humility that you shiver and smile simultaneously. His hero, incidentally, is an undersized, pure black, curly-haired, handholding alpha spaniel with an Elvis lip . . .

To say this book is well written is an understatement. To describe the wisdom you ingest when you devour Leaf’s and Allen’s insights and incredible experiences is nearly impossible. It reaches into areas you were likely afraid to explore.

I, from my heart, encourage you to do it anyway.

D. E. Munson, Author of By The Time I Got To Woodstock

A DOG NAMED LEAF — Entertaining Presentation at THE BOOKCASE in Wayzata, Minnesota.


A DOG NAMED LEAF — Entertaining Presentation at THE BOOKCASE in Wayzata, Minnesota.

Allen Anderson’s new book A DOG NAMED LEAF shares life-changing events that confirm the reality of heaven and spiritual benefits of adopting a rescued dog who might be destined to rescue you. The book presentation and signing will be at The Bookcase, 824 East Lake Street, Wayzata, Minnesota on Saturday, February 9, 2:00-3:00 p.m., call The Bookcase at 952-473-8341 for details. There will also be a special guest: Kim Cook with Blue Sky Rescue — A foster based rescue based in Wayzata. Join us for an entertaining hour of A Dog Named Leaf.

“This is a wonderful book that shares the personal life struggles and loving support between a dog and his family. Written with honesty, humor, introspection and warmth. I have purchased several to share with dear friends as it has touched me deeply!”
–Betty Redfield (Syracuse, NY, US), Amazon.com review

“Part Marley and Me and part Jon Katz… the story is endearing, and the many photographs of Leaf running, swimming, and chasing a tennis ball in south Minneapolis are adorable.”
–Laurie Hertzel, “The Browser” Minneapolis Star Tribune

“…The authorial voice is distinctly Allen’s. In 2006, Allen learns that he has an unruptured brain aneurysm, seven months after the family adopts a black cocker spaniel, Leaf, from a shelter. Throughout, he clearly conveys the affection that he and his dog have for each other and how that affection proved crucial to his recovery from brain surgery.”
–Publishers Weekly, September 24, 2012

“This touching, almost lyrical book [A Dog Named Leaf] is a very personal story bravely told by the author and his wife… This is a lovely story that will uplift anyone who has ever loved a dog.”
–Amy Shojai, About.com Guide, December 27, 2012

“A remarkable story that will reaffirm your faith in the unique and mutually healing bond that can sometimes form between humans and animals.”
–Gwen Cooper, New York Times bestselling author of Homer’s Odyssey