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Tales of strays are heartwarming

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"When my wife and I got divorced, Blazer chose me. He's a great companion."

Jonathan Beardsley locks eyes with his adoring Dalmatian, also a castaway, in the accompanying photograph in "Found Dogs, Tales of Strays Who Landed on Their Feet" (The Lyons Press, $14.95).

Author Elise Lufkin and photographer Diana Walker visited a series of people, some of them celebs, who reached out to needy dogs and whose lives were consequently enriched immeasurably. They tell their stories in words and black-and-white pictures in the 7-by 9-inch paperback, printed on high-quality semigloss paper, a delight to fondle. The arty, facing-pages spreads beg for the thumb. Fan through them and gaze on the faces of compassion. Read and weep, laugh and let go.

If you believe in a higher power, serendipity, angels, or even the generosity of the human spirit, you will love this book. It's full of tail-thumpers. Read about the angel who comforted an old man whose beloved dog had just died. The angel promised him in a dream that his dog would return in a different body, but he would have to find her. The old man drove to a shelter and plucked a creature from the pack. This dog seemed to know him already and after he filled out some papers, she led him to his car and waited for him to open the door on the passenger side, where his former dog used to ride.

The book includes a section on the steps essential in making an adoption successful. It will help you examine your motives, plan ahead and troubleshoot.

Yes, there is a sequel. "Second Chances, More Tales of Found Dogs" by the same talented team was published last month. (July 2005)


(c) 2005, Akron Beacon Journal (Akron, Ohio). Distributed by Knight Ridder/Tribune News Service.

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