Hi Everyone! It’s Dakota’s “Mom” and today I am taking over his blog to tell you about a wonderful book that I read over the weekend. The book is “Finally Home” By Elizabeth Parker.
From “Finally Home”
“There is a time in everyone’s life when they have been emotionally inspired or amazed by something that was completely unexpected. Sometimes it is so touching, that they want to share their experience with the world and tell their story.
This particular story is about a precious heart along with a free-spirited little boy who owns that heart. This little boy has expressive brown eyes, a beautiful smile, and golden-brown coat that he never takes off. He also has a huge pinkish-brown nose and four very fast legs. His name is Buddy. He answers to that…when he wants to.”
Do any of you have a “free-spirited” dog? A dog who has a mind of its own, who will obey your commands when HE feels like it, who is high-energy and a fur-bundle of mischief? Who even in his “adult” years still exhibits behavior that normally is reserved for puppies? Do you have a dog that will eat ANYTHING and EVERYTHING that isn’t fastened to the ground, table, chair or wherever? Do you have a dog that defies all traditional “textbook” training methods?
If you said “yes” to any one of the above questions then you will relate to “Buddy” the free-spirited Golden Retriever who was the inspiration behind Elizabeth Parker’s “Finally Home.”
When I began reading “Finally Home” I was instantly reminded of Marley (from the book and movie, Marley & Me. Marley, however was a Labrador Retriever)
“Goldens” are known for their “well-behaved and friendly temperament”. Buddy, well-behaved? No. Friendly, definitely.
I am a Mom of a “free-spirited” dog, the namesake of this blog, Dakota. While reading “Finally Home” I found myself nodding my head in recognition. When we first acquired Dakota there were times, as was the case with Buddy, that I literally thought he was insane. I thought I would never get him to understand the concept of going outside to pee, I thought we would never break his eating wood addiction, his thievery (we have yet to conquer that but it HAS gotten better), his neurotic barking (well, that also still continues!), and his obeying commands when HE feels like it! (Ummm…that continues as well!) In spite of or BECAUSE of all of his idiosyncracies I adore him, he is a loving and sensitive dog and I wouldn’t have him any other way.
As is the case with people, there are dogs whose behavior was shaped by their environment (being given rewards for “bad” behavior instead of reinforcing good behavior, being so dreadfully emotionally neglected that they will do anything to be noticed.) In some cases the behavior is a result of environmental shaping, in other instances it is just a case of the gene pool, or how the cards were dealt. In other words, often there isn’t a whole heck of a lot you can do to change the dog but you can love it, nurture it, find “creative” training methods and simply accept the dog for who he is.
Love and acceptance go a long way in changing unwanted behavior.
When Buddy was adopted by Elizabeth and her (now) husband Michael, they became Buddy’s fourth home. As you read this love-filled, engrossing and in many cases laugh-out-loud funny story that will also touch your soul, you will find that when Elizabeth and Michael adopted Buddy, through their understanding, love, attention, devotion and a host of other positive reinforcement methods, Buddy did indeed learn what it is like to be “Finally Home”.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: For the first time in any book review that I have done, I am omitting this section. Why? I don’t want to reveal anything about what is coming in Elizabeth’s next book that I will be reviewing: “Buddy’s Book.” I will be sure to include an “About The Author” description at that time. If you absolutely cannot wait until December 5th for me to include that, click here
In the meantime, from Elizabeth: “although Buddy found a family that loves him beyond belief, not all dogs are lucky enough to get that chance. If just one person will stop and think about the welfare of a dog after reading my book, then it was all worth it.”
To buy “Finally Home” click here ”
*A portion of the proceeds from the sales of this book will be donated to an animal rescue group.*