Rescued: What Second-chance Dogs Teach Us About Living With Purpose, Loving With Abandon, And Finding Joy In by Peter ZheutlinRescued: What Second-chance Dogs Teach Us About Living With Purpose, Loving With Abandon, And Finding Joy In by Peter Zheutlin

Rescued: What Second-chance Dogs Teach Us About Living With Purpose, Loving With Abandon, And…

byPeter Zheutlin

Paperback | October 3, 2017

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Discover the astonishing lessons rescue dogs can teach us about life, love, and ourselves

As seen on BuzzFeed’s "Best Books Gift Guide"
In the follow-up to his New York Times bestseller Rescue Road, acclaimed journalist Peter Zheutlin offers a heartwarming and often humorous new look into the world of rescue dogs. Sharing lessons from his own experiences adopting Labs with large personalities as well as stories and advice from dozens of families and rescue advocates, Zheutlin reveals the surprising and inspiring life lessons rescue dogs can teach us, such as:
- How to “walk a mile in a dog’s paws” to get a brand-new perspective
- Living with a dog is not one continuous Hallmark moment—but it’s never dull!
- Why having a dog helps you see your faults and quirks in a new light, even if you can’t “shed” them completely
- How to set the world right, one dog at a time
For anyone who loves, lives with, or has ever wanted a dog, this charming book shows how the dogs whose lives we save can change ours for the better too.
PETER ZHEUTLIN is a freelance journalist and bestselling author, whose work appears regularly in national publications, including The Boston Globe and The Christian Science Monitor. Zheutlin has also written for The LA Times, Parade Magazine, AARP Magazine and numerous other national newspapers and magazines. He is the author of the Ne...
Title:Rescued: What Second-chance Dogs Teach Us About Living With Purpose, Loving With Abandon, And…Format:PaperbackDimensions:256 pages, 8.2 × 5.46 × 0.54 inPublished:October 3, 2017Publisher:Penguin Publishing GroupLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0143131176

ISBN - 13:9780143131175


Read from the Book

Setting the World Right, One Dog at a Time   If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous he will not bite you. This is the principal difference between a dog and man. —MARK TWAIN   It didn’t take long for us to have our first Albie crisis; three days after he first arrived in our home, to be exact. We’d left Albie home with our two sons, and Danny, home for the summer between his junior and senior years at Tulane University, inadvertently left the back door open. Within moments Albie was gone. Danny was beside himself with panic and when we arrived home about twenty minutes later he was out scouring the neighborhood and Noah was manning the home front. We were stunned. This sweet, precious dog we’d agreed to love and care for was missing. Just three days and we’d already failed him miserably.   Fortunately, the day Albie arrived in our home Danny insisted on using his own money to buy Albie an identification tag engraved with his name and our phone number. Within minutes of our arriving home, the phone rang. It was a woman who lived near the neighborhood elementary school, about a quarter mile away.   “I think we have your dog,” she told Judy. “He’s so sweet. My kids love him and want to keep him!”   Our relief was immeasurable, not least for Danny, who felt so responsible. The very next day we enclosed what had, until then, been only a partially fenced backyard. Clearly, after just three days, Albie had not yet come to identify us, and our home, as his own. That would come in due time, but meanwhile we couldn’t help but start speculating about his past.   When a dog with a mysterious past comes into your home—and for the vast majority of rescue dogs their past is a mystery—it’s natural to start making lots of assumptions. You observe a behavior and assume it’s connected to something in that past. If the dog is skittish around men, for example, it’s easy to assume the dog had some bad experience with a man, or men, in the past. If the dog fears sticks, it’s easy to assume the dog was once beaten with one. But these assumptions may be way off the mark.   In those first few days, we were making all kinds of inferences about Albie’s past. Judy and Noah surmised he’d never ridden in a car before. When they picked him up at the shelter he seemed to have no idea how to get into the car. And he wouldn’t sit once inside, though that could just have been the excitement of being released from the shelter and into the hands of strangers. He seemed well mannered in the house, so we assumed he’d had a human family before.   But no amount of gentle coaxing at night would get him to climb the stairs and sleep in the bedroom. Instead, he slept underneath the coffee table in the living room and for the first few nights I slept on the sofa next to him. Maybe being under the table was like a little den to him; he seemed to feel safe there and, indeed, he still likes lying underneath tables and beds. We surmised that whatever house he’d lived in before, it didn’t have stairs. But, really, we had no idea.   What was clear, however, was that the short, thirty-second video on which we’d based the momentous decision to adopt Albie did not lie. He was gentle and quiet (would the quiet part ever change!), and maybe we were projecting, but he seemed grateful, as if he somehow knew his worst days were behind him. He was also, thankfully, house-trained. He showed no interest in chasing a tennis ball (had anyone ever played fetch with him?), but he was so accommodating and easy that we, like Andrea and Linda with regard to their Noah, couldn’t imagine anyone voluntarily letting him go. But then we came up with a theory.   In those very early days we took him to a couple of local spots where he could swim—nearby ponds where many local dogs cavort and play and splash around. It was July, after all, and what dog wouldn’t welcome a watery respite from the heat? Whatever his genetic makeup, Albie clearly has a lot of Lab (he could be pure Lab, for all we know, despite the designation on his adoption papers as a Lab/golden retriever mix), and Labs, as everyone knows, love to swim. And they’re called retrievers because they will swim into the water and retrieve waterfowl felled by a hunter. Well, Albie would not and, to this day, will not swim. He’ll wade in up to his haunches, and he’ll stand on the shore and bark at all the other dogs romping in the water like the goofy kid at camp who can’t figure out how to fit in, but he will not swim.   So was born our theory that Albie had been someone’s failed hunting dog, and in Louisiana a dog that won’t hunt is lucky to live. While researching Rescue Road I learned that the end of hunting season in Louisiana coincides with a significant spike in stray dogs being brought to local shelters or picked up by animal control. And those are the lucky ones. So dispensable are dogs in some quarters that it’s cheaper to dispatch a dog with a fifty-cent bullet and get a new dog for the next hunting season than feed him all winter, especially if he isn’t adept at the purpose for which he was obtained. A hunter counting on Albie to swim out fifty yards to retrieve a duck would have been a very disappointed hunter. But truly, we don’t know. There could be a wonderful family in Central Louisiana still wondering what became of their beloved yellow Lab.   There was one behavior, if you can call it that, that didn’t exactly give us a window into Albie’s previous life as much as it made our hearts break when we thought of him fending for himself in the wilds of Louisiana. Whether he’d been alone for weeks or months no one knows, but he’d been out there wandering. To this day, Albie trembles uncontrollably during thunderstorms no matter how tightly we hold him and how hard we try to reassure him. It’s as if his central nervous system were wired right into the charged electrons swirling invisibly through the air. Now, many dogs react this way to thunderstorms, and fireworks, too. (We’ll come to fireworks later.) But in those early days especially, as we’d try to reassure him through flashes of lightning and crashes of thunder, the thought of him caught outdoors in the middle of Louisiana with nowhere to turn and no one to comfort him saddened us deeply.   One of our first nearby water excursions with Albie was to the path that circles Lake Waban, half of which sits on property owned by Wellesley College. It’s the path where we walked Reilly when he came to stay with us. I immediately got a taste of why people get such nachus (that’s Yiddish for satisfaction, pleasure, and contentment) from their dogs. Albie got plenty of compliments and admiration from passersby. We thanked them as if his adorability and sunny disposition somehow reflected on us, which, of course, they didn’t. And with all the uncomplicated affection Albie was starting to show us, it was easy to feel virtuous and flatter ourselves, as if he had reserved all that love just for us because we were just so darned wonderful. But the truth is Albie could have been plunked down in any one of a million homes and he’d have been just as trusting, sweet, and loving. So we felt very lucky that he had fallen in with us. But, at the risk of sounding self- serving, he was really lucky to be with us, too.

Editorial Reviews

“Rescue a dog, and the dog will rescue you. I can vouch for that, and Peter Zheutlin does a lovely, moving job of exploring the subject. Rescued is a delightful read.” —Dean Koontz, New York Times bestselling author “Rescued is a must-read for anyone who has ever experienced the love of a dog. Peter Zheutlin does a masterful job conveying the meaning and joy that come from helping a once-homeless animal feel secure, loved, and part of the family. This beautiful book belongs on every dog lover’s shelf.” —Laura T. Coffey, bestselling author of My Old Dog: Rescued Pets with Remarkable Second Acts “I loved this book. It eloquently describes the singular joy of giving a rescue dog one’s hearth and heart.” —Lisa Mullins, anchor at WBUR, Boston “Rescued is a wide-ranging and intensely moving meditation on sharing one’s life with adopted dogs. Peter Zheutlin is one of the few journalists who has taken on the complex world of animal rescue and actually gotten it right.” —Bronwen Dickey, author of Pit Bull: The Battle over an American Icon “In Rescued, Peter shows us that shelter dogs are some of our greatest teachers. Stories about rescue become tales of personal growth, where dogs are given second chances and people are reminded that our best lives are lived when we open our arms to those that need us.” —Jesse Freidin, photographer and author of Finding Shelter“Will inspire any reader to immediately go out and adopt as many dogs as possible.” --BuzzFeed"[An] uplifting look at the power of 'second chance' dogs to change lives...Tell readers not to fear sad tales; they will enjoy every moment of this passionate book."--Booklist"For readers who might not realize how many dogs are killed each day for lack of a home, [Rescued] should serve as a wake-up call and will, I fervently hope, cause them to consider adopting a rescue dog today."--The Bark