Thursday, January 13, 2011

Review - Inspiring Stories About Labrador Retrievers

Title: Lost Souls: Found! Inspiring Stories About Labrador Retrievers
Author: Kyla Duffy and Lowrey Mumford
ISBN: 978-0-9824895-4-3
Pages: 144
Release Date: November 30, 2009
Publisher: Happy Tails Books
Genre: Animals; Non-Fiction
Rating: 5 out of 5

Summary: Lost Souls: FOUND! Inspiring Stories about Labrador Retrievers is a heartwarming, thought-provoking compilation of over 50 true stories that addresses the cruelty of animal neglect and abuse and the joy rescued dogs bring to their new homes. This book is a must-read for Labrador lovers and people who are considering adopting dogs.

Happy Tails Books uses the written word to share the joy adopted pets bring to their new homes in an effort to raise awareness and funding for rescues and encourage adoption.

My Thoughts: The stories in this book are sad, heart-warming, funny and inspiring. Fortunately, they all end on a positive note: with a lost, homeless, unloved Labrador Retriever being adopted into a loving home. I confess it took me a long time to read all of the stories in this book because I don't handle bad things happening to animals very well, whether it's illness, abuse or neglect. But the Labrador Retrievers who are the focus of these stories, no matter how difficult or sad their lives were in the beginning, are eventually rescued and find their way, with the help of many caring and concerned people, to a new, loving home.

One of my favorite stories is "A Story of Circumstance". It's told by Rich Ayers, a man who had major brain surgery many years ago and endured a near-death experience. From it he developed an ability to feel great compassion for people and animals struggling with illness and other adverse circumstances. Rich and his wife decided to adopt a dog from a local rescue organization. There they met Sir George, an 18-month old blind Lab. Rich wondered about the challenges George must face not being able to see. Rich and his wife took George home, concerned that nobody else would adopt him. Soon George, after passing the necessary training, was visiting patients in hospitals, elementary schools and nursing homes. George connected with and inspired the disabled and ill with his happy attitude and his ability to adapt to the world despite not being able to see. George brings great joy to his family and to others and lives life with gusto!

Towards the book's end, a story entitled "Jail Dog", about a program in Madison County, Ohio called "Fresh Start", involving the correctional institute, really got to me. The local humane society pairs up dogs with qualifying inmates. They become cellmates for upwards of three months. The dog is trained by the inmate, preparing the dog for adoption. In this story, an inmate named Charles, trained Chase, a six month old Lab who came to him thirty pounds underweight with a B.B. lodged in his forehead. Charles hand fed the dog, three times a day for the first few weeks until Chase was strong enough to begin training. Soon he learned to sit, stay, come, off, up, kennel and more. But most important, the dog (and Charles), learned about love and trust. By the time Chase was ready for his new home, he was smart, confident, trusting and happy. And Charles gained self-respect. Chase is thriving in his new home and Charles continues to train dogs, receiving periodic progress updates from Chase and his family.

These are only two of the stories in this collection. Some are more heart wrenching than others, but the good news is all the dogs in the stories, no matter how awful things may have been for them at one time, end up in a much better place. They get the love and support all dogs deserve. Unfortunately, there are dogs out there in the world who aren't being loved and treated as they deserve. They need as much help as they can get. That's partly why Kyla Duffy and Lowrey Mumford began Happy Tails Books: to assist in the rescue of dogs living in adverse circumstances as well as to help find homes for dogs who have been rescued and are living in shelters and foster care.

Though this book is specifically about Labradors, the authors' goals are to support rescue for all dogs and cats. Additionally, the authors want to encourage people to adopt dogs and cats from shelters and rescue organizations and to get involved. They've compiled books of stories about many different breeds to assist in this effort. Each book, depending on the breed, provides a list of appropriate rescue organizations and other things that can be done to help, such as spaying/neutering your pet. If you're looking to help animals and to obtain a sense of relief, satisfaction and the knowledge that you've done something good for animals, please, support the authors and the animals they aim to help. Visit the Happy Tails Books website to see the books available and other things being done to help rescue dogs and cats and find them homes.

I received a copy of this book from Happy Tails Books.


  1. This sounds like a fabulous book, but I'm sure it would make me cry.

  2. I am sure the stories are ultimately uplifting, but even if I just see a picture of a lab, I cry. I still miss my sweet Meggie...

  3. I'm glad to hear the stories in this book end well! I encountered a photo book of cats, I think it was, a few years ago in which most of the animals featured didn't have happy endings. I find that heartbreaking. While I know it happens that way for many animals, I find the happy stories to be so much more inspiring. I'm glad this collection ended up being good.

  4. BERMUDAONION: Happy Tails Books is a fantastic publisher and I love their cause. But the stories can be difficult to read. Thankfully they all end happy.

    SANDY: I bet Meggie was adorable and so sweet. I understand completely. I still think about my childhood Labs, Sasha & Travis and miss them terribly. They're just the sweetest dogs. It's wonderful that these books are to support rescue orgs. and shelters.

    ERIN: Oh Erin, I couldn't handle a book about cats whose stories all ended badly. ugh, so sad. It galls me how much cruelty there is in this world and not just towards animals...people, childrem, the elderly, too. It can knock you out if you think too much about it.

  5. Labs are my favorite dogs. I think I would find these stories hard to read even if they do have happy endings. I have so much compassion for animals - I even cried today when I saw a truck run over a squirrel.

  6. I'm all over this one! I love dogs and we have a rescued greyhound that has brought much happiness to the family.

  7. Our dog has been having health issues lately, so I don't think I could read this one right now, but it sounds like something I will take note of for a later date. Thanks for the wonderful review Amy.

  8. It will be heart wrenching to read about the abuse but I'm happy to know that each of the dogs had a happy ending. For that reason, I could read and enjoy the book.