“Dog Town”, Another Barking Great Read

DogTown: Tales of Rescue, Rehabilitation, and Redemption Stefan Bechtel


The BlurbA national rescue organization with more than 200,000 members, DogTown is the area where dogs live at the nation’s largest companion animal sanctuary run by Best Friends Animal Society. This informative, inspiring book presents representative stories of dogs considered unadoptable by other shelters. They come from many backgrounds: some were abandoned; some prowled the streets as strays; others suffer from mysterious illnesses, serious injuries, or antisocial behaviors that discourage potential adopters. But good fortune led them to Best Friends and the dedicated people devoted to helping them recover and find welcoming homes.

These compelling, winningly illustrated true stories, each uniquely moving and inspirational, draw upon the experience of veterinarians, trainers, and volunteers to probe a range of tough, touching cases that evoke both the joy and the occasional but inevitable heartbreak that accompanies this work. Each chapter follows a dog from the first day at Dogtown until he ultimately finds (or doesn’t find) a permanent new home, focusing both on the relationship between the dog and the Dogtown staff and on the latest discoveries about animal health and behavior. We learn how dogs process information, how trauma affects their behavior, and how people can help them overcome their problems. In the end, we come to see that there are no “bad dogs” and that with patience, care, and compassion, people can help dogs to heal.

What I Thought:

Sometimes I avoid dog books because I become upset when reading of an animal’s suffering and the cruel things people can do to them. However, I’m happy to report that this isn’t one of those books that focus’ on the suffering – it rather focus’s on the dog’s recovery and it’s “happily ever after”. It is filled with life affirming moments both from the actions of the wonderful staff and the dogs themselves. Even when dealing with a death there is great solace that the dog found its way to a place where it could experience happiness, comfort and a fulfilled life.

After reading this I too want to pack up and head to DogTown to not only help out in caring for the animals, but to also meet the amazing, dedicated people who care for them.


Phoebe’s Effectiveness Summary:

Issue Addressed: Rescue Dogs, Various Behavioural Issues

Tool(s) Used: Book Resource

Cost: I got the kindle edition from amazon.com for $5.79

Ease of Implementation: Not applicable. Though there were some really great tips in the book, these are aimed more at dog owners and inspiring them when things are tough, as opposed to a “how-to” guide.

Phoebe’s Effectiveness Rating: 5/5. Effective mainly because it inspired me to carry on and realise that there honestly is a light at the end of the tunnel and that with time and effort I just know we’ll get there – she’s already made so much progress!


Have you read the Dogtown book, or seen the TV series? What do you think of it?

Blogtober Day 20: Your favourite Dog charity or organisation

Phoebe says:

As a rescue dog, I am especially grateful to all those Charities and Organisations that dedicate themselves to saving, caring for, and finding homes for animals in need. I recommend Barking Mad because they are a major umbrella networking organisation that has its own rescue centre where they take in dogs with major medical or behavioural problems, as well as serve as a networking organisation for hundreds of other charities in the country who are looking for homes for the dogs they work with.

You can check them out at their website, or like their facebook page.

barking mad


Cooper says:

My Mom also found me on the Barking Mad facebook page, so my first choice would have to also be for them, but more specifically, I also have to give a fond acknowledgement to the original rescue organisation that first took up my case, and started spreading the word about me – Petsave. Petsave is a rescue organisation that specialises in creating a network to foster animals in need until they can find the perfect furever home.

You can check them out on their website, or like their facebook page



Mom says:

Both these organisations are close to my heart, but there is another organisation I would also add to the list, even if I personally haven’t gotten an animal from them. They are a great right to life organisation and do amazing rescue work. They also have great fundraising and awareness campaigns that deserve all the support that they get. This organisation is Wetnose Animal Rescue Centre. Go visit their website or facebook page if you get a chance!



You can check out the full Blogtober challenge here