Book Review: “Final Journey: Buddy’s Book” By Elizabeth Parker

A week ago I reviewed a wonderful book: Finally Home, Lessons On Life From A Free-Spirited Dog, by Elizabeth Parker. If you haven’t read the review I urge you to please read it before you continue on with this post.

From Elizabeth Parker Books:

After the publication of “Finally Home,” Buddy was diagnosed with terminal cancer. Once the unthinkable happened and Buddy’s precious life was cut short, his family was left heartbroken and devastated.

At the same time, in another state, poor economic conditions forced another family to give up their golden retriever.
As fate would have it, his name…was Buddy.
While they were mourning the loss of their beloved dog, another dog was mourning the loss of his treasured family.
Brought together by misfortune, they entered each other’s lives to help put back together the pieces of their broken hearts.
This story is for both Buddys, producing the subtitle “Buddys’ Book.”

Copyrighted © 2010 Elizabeth Parker

From Dakota’s “Mom” : As I sat down to begin reading this book there were a couple of reasons that I was not looking forward to it. One, was that after having read the first book I had completely fallen in love with Buddy, as did everyone  else whose life he touched.  I knew what was going to happen, and I knew my heart was going to break reading about it. The other reason was that I knew it was going to remind me of when my beloved “Soul Kitty”  (Bobo) passed back in 2007.

Wait! This is a dog blog and I am mentioning a cat? Yes. Buddy’s story is universal. It is written from the experience of owning and loving a unique and free-spirited dog, but it is a story that will resonate with anyone who has had to bid farewell to a cherished 4-legged family member.

Thankfully, other than when I was a little girl and we lost our 7-year-old Boxer to cancer (which I barely remember), I haven’t had to experience losing a dog to death. I know that one day it will happen with our precious Dakota, and it is something I try not to think about.

I have experienced the wretched pain of having to decide when it was “time” to let my baby stop suffering. I laid on the bed the day before, crying, thanking him for all he had given me those glorious 18 years. I told him what a wonderful cat he was, I thanked him for  comforting me, for his companionship, his love,  for protecting me and I begged him to give me some sort of “sign” that it was “time.” He did. He stopped eating. I had always said that when my food obsessed “boy” would stop eating I would know it was “time.”

I have experienced the pain of being with, loving and holding my pet in the last seconds of his life.

“I looked into his beautiful, soulful eyes and it made me realize that his trusting heart was depending on us to do the right thing. Only I did not know if we could actually follow through with it.”

I have experienced the pain of collapsing on top of my angel as the breath left his body. Shaking and shrieking, collapsing  heartbroken, into tear-stained fur.

I have experienced the nagging doubts after. Could something else have been done to save him? No. To this day I still second-guess that heartbreaking decision. Love does that to you. It makes you second guess even if you are certain it is the right thing to do.

“For all of those that are grieving their little angels, take comfort that they are no longer suffering and are playing together in that big playground in the sky.”

Will you cry while reading this book? YES.

Anyone who has loved and lost a pet will.

There are gifts that I received from reading this soul-stirring book:

I received the “gift” of reading the words that another pained “mother” had gone through during her dogs’ final days. My heart ached for her as she bared her soul on paper. I  felt a kinship, that someone UNDERSTOOD. That it isn’t just a dog, or a cat or a rabbit or whatever animal you lose, it is a MEMBER OF THE FAMILY. It is part of the fabric of who we are, they are part of our SOUL.

"Buddy"

“And yet when I look forward to the future that I am so scared of, it is without my Buddy that I am most fearful of. Can you be soul mates with an animal?” YES…a RESOUNDING YES.  Someone understands, they GET IT.

I received the “gift” of learning about and loving Buddy (and then BOTH Buddy’s but you will have to read that for yourself) as told by the person who knew him best (his MOM).

There are many other gifts that are ripe for the picking tucked lovingly in the pages of this wonderful book. Is it all sad? No, not at all. You will laugh at some hilarious doggie antics, you will cheer for Elizabeth’s strength, her patience, her faith, her sense of purpose, her ability to help/rescue dogs, her ability to understand.  When you read this  book you will be able to  feel Elizabeth’s soul within the pages, you will feel her gratitude, courage, hope, peace.  But most of all….you will feel LOVE. Beautiful, unconditional, “golden” LOVE. 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Elizabeth Parker was born and raised in New York.

“As an avid dog lover, I volunteer for a few dog rescue organizations, as well as donate a portion of the proceeds from all of my books to some that I strongly believe in.” 

Elizabeth lives in Las Vegas, NV with her husband, their two beautiful golden retrievers and duck tolling retriever and the wonderful, loving memories of their golden retriever, Buddy.”

TO PURCHASE FINAL JOURNEY: BUDDY’S BOOK by Elizabeth Parker visit www.amazon.com, Kindle, or Nook. You may also purchase it by visiting: www.elizabethparkerbooks.com

ISBN: 1453880828

FOLLOW ELIZABETH at:  Twitter.com/golden_books and facebook.com/goldenbooks1 

We  were not compensated for this review. We received Elizabeth’s books to read/review. All opinions are our own.

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.

"Buddy"

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.*

Desert Raven Art

Back in October my Mom entered a give-away on a wonderful blog called Desert Raven Art.  The give-away was for a beautiful beaded bracelet, and guess what?

Mom WON!

She was so excited!

Isn't it beautiful!? Mom got a lovely note from Mary as well!

Mom thinks the bracelet is colorful, unique and is a  special piece  that she will always cherish!

Part of what makes it even more special is that Mary Hone (the artist behind Desert Raven Art)  is a member of Art For Critters.

What does that mean?

I’ll let Mary tell you from her own website because she can explain it best!

“Being a member of Art for Critters, means I can help an animal organization through selling my art. There are several organizations that Art for Critters helps, and one of them is Almost Heaven Golden retriever rescue.    

I am going to donate 15% of the total sales for November and December,  from theTrade bead jewelry, Bison leather bags and the Stone Spirits to Almost Heaven. 

Photo Courtesy Of Desert Raven Art

So please help me help them. Almost Heaven is a sanctuary for Goldens that due to age or health issues are considered unadoptable. Almost Heaven helps them to find a forever home, or if that isn’t possible they stay at the sanctuary. To learn more about Almost Heaven, please click the link above.”

Mom and I think that is truly special and generous of Mary to do that!

Mary also has another great blog that we follow called Roxy The Traveling Dog

  Click HERE to check out Roxy!

Mom says THANK YOU Mary for her beautiful bracelet and for all that you do for the “Goldens”

Give  Roxy a special “hello” from Mom and Dakota!

Barks and licks and love, Dakota