Book Review: “Finally Home” By Elizabeth Parker

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.*


The URI to TrackBack this entry is:

RSS feed for comments on this post.

20 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Thanks for joining our bloghop! *waggy tail*

    • Hi Alfie! You are welcome!!! It is my pleasure! Barks and licks and love, Dakota

  2. Thanks for the book review, Caren!

    I love the ways you described Dakota and I kept nodding my head when I was reading it as Eva does the same things as Dakota. Our dogs might not be the perfect dogs compared with so many other wonderful dogs in the world but they definitely are our beloved family members and they somehow are perfect for us. We love them no matter they are big or small.

    I will check the book out soon too.

    Priscilla xxx

  3. Priscilla THANK YOU! Your comment deeply touched me. I wonder if the similarities between Dakota and Eva are Sheltie traits? I think it has something to do with their intelligence. They are extremely bright so when we ask things of them they actually stop to “reason” it out to see if what we are asking them to do is REALLY worth their while 🙂

    That is the same with “Buddy” from this book. He is extremely bright so other commands that a less intelligent dog would readily obey, he probably thought about it to see if he really would benefit from listening.

    Regardless of their barking and (sometimes their behavior lol) I wouldn’t trade the love and sensitivity of a Sheltie for the world and I am SURE that you feel the same!

    The book is available on Amazon (I linked to it) and it is SUPER inexpensive!

    xoxoxoxo “Mom”

  4. Hi Dakota’s Mum,

    It was so good of Dakota to move over and let you have the keyboard – I’m really glad he did as this was a great review – you’ve put another book on Mum’s Christmas list now!!

    I think I also said yes to a few of those questions you asked at the start, just like Dakota – but Mum says my mischief just makes me cuter!! Yep, she usually says that AFTER she’s cleaned up!! Tee Hee

    Wags to you, Dakota (and Cody, cos Dakota said she likes me – yay!)

    Your pal Snoopy 🙂

  5. Hi Snoopy!!! Yeah I was kind of lazy today so I figured Mom needed to do some work! BOL!

    Mom says THANK YOU, THANK YOU for your kind words and she is THRILLED that you are going to purchase this fabulous book! You will LOVE IT!

    Also Mom is going to review Elizabeth’s second book that she sent to Mom on December 5th!!!

    Thanks for the wags AND oh yeah….Cody is a BOY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! BOL!! He still likes you though!

    Have a great day my friend!
    Barks and licks and love, Dakota

  6. Dear Dakota’s Mom
    Great review! Sounds like a book I’d enjoy after having been the mother to a number of dogs. Each and every one of them had their own quirks!
    Nellie’s Mom

    • Hi “Nellie’s Mom!” My Mom said to tell you THANK YOU!!! She said she KNOWS you would LOVE this book and she is hoping that you will read it.

      Oh yes they have their “quirks”…especially ME! BOL!

      Barks and licks and love, Dakota

  7. Wow Caren, That looks like a fun read. I love a good doggy story.

    • Hi Mary! It most definitely is! I will be reviewing another book of Elizabeth’s next week!

  8. This is a wonderful review Caren!
    I will have to add this book to my list!

    • Hi Jen! Thanks so much! It was easy because it is a wonderful book! Stay tuned for Part II on December 5th I believe!

      Have a great night! 🙂

  9. Hi Dakota and Dakota’s mom!

    It’s funny that I have just picked up the book “Marley and Me” to read (I’ve already seen the movie). I guess I’ll check out “Finally Home” sometime too!

    I think this is a really encouraging book review, even though I havn’t read the book. Kip only listens when I have treats or when he occasionally feels like listening. Love and acceptance. I should write that down and post it on my fridge!

    Kim and Kip

    • HI Kim and Kip! OMG that IS too funny!! What a coincidence! You MUST check out “Finally Home” and Elizabeth’s next book about Buddy that I will be reviewing next week!

      Kim I KNOW how you feel, I have to post the same thing for myself when I get frustrated and exasperated when Dakota doesn’t listen. He is such a good boy, when he WANTS to be. Otherwise there are times I have to leave the room and go into another room and just close the door! lol

      Love back at ya! “Mom”

  10. Hi Dakota’s mom! Thanks for this wonderful book review. I’m always looking for new book recommendations and I’m adding this to my Christmas list! 🙂

    As another mother to another, shall we say “free-spirited” dog, I appreciate your thoughts on loving them. Happy to have found you via the blog hop.


    • Leslie Hi!! What a wonderful and touching comment! You truly made my day 🙂 It is a pleasure to meet you and I thank you for taking the time to visit and for your kind words. I am certain you will LOVE this book and it WILL resonate with you. I am reading her follow-up book this weekend and will be reviewing that one on December 5th….stay tuned! ((((((hugs))))))) Dakota’s “Mom”

  11. great review Caren
    I haven’t read any pet book tho I have heard about Marley and Dewey. But I have watched Marley, energetic dog.

    I once read chicken soup for pet lover…love it. it connect to my feeling in many ways.

    Buddy sounds like my kroten, tho kroten is not a dog, she does whatever she likes. This past week, she is playing cute with me 🙂

    • Hi Novroz!
      Thank you!!

      I think you are right, I think Kroten definitely thinks she is a dog! lol

      She is cute every day!

      I love “Chicken Soup For The Pet Lover” as well
      Barks and licks and love, Dakota and “Mom”

      • That will make Kroten as the smallest dog in the world 😉

  12. […] Book a tribute to her beloved Golden Retriever “Buddy” who after the publication of Finally Home was diagnosed with Osteosarcoma.  Elizabeth decided she wanted to help other dogs with the same […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: