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A Dog Named Leaf: The Hero from Heaven Who Saved My Life

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The inspiring true story of a man and a dog coming together at just the right moment for miracles to occur.
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Dog Named Leaf: The Hero from Heaven Who Saved My Life

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The inspiring true story of a man and a dog coming together at just the right moment for miracles to occur.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
The Andersons (Animals and the Kids Who Love Them) have co-written several collections of uplifting animal stories, but in this work of varied success the authorial voice is distinctly Allen’s. In 2006, Allen learns that he has an unruptured brain aneurysm, seven months after the family adopts a black cocker spaniel, Leaf, from a shelter. Throughout, he clearly conveys the affection that he and his dog have for each other and how that affection proved crucial to his recovery from brain surgery, not unlike many other books in the “my dog saved my life” memoir subgenre. Some readers, though, may not relate to the Andersons’ more unusual interactions with Leaf. At one point, both Andersons are concerned that a malevolent crow might attack Leaf, so Linda instructs Leaf to “make sure no crows are in the trees before you run out into the backyard.” They talk about Leaf’s “capacity for weighing pros and cons” and even his decision to run for the American presidency (manifested in a YouTube video and Facebook page). Also striking an odd note is the lack of discussion of any postoperative therapy or rehab for Allen, despite some rather alarming incidents of paranoia that left him “curled up in a corner of the room.” Photos. (Nov.)
From the Publisher
Praise for A Dog Named Leaf:"A Dog Named Leaf is a very touching and well-written book that clearly comes from Allen Anderson's heart. Although I am not a religious or spiritual person and couldn't wrap my mind around some of the things that happened in Allen and Leaf's story, the more I read, the more my skepticism melted. I am convinced of Leaf's ability to sense what Allen needed. This book will make readers feel as if they know Leaf, and they'll grow to love him too."—Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson, PhD, New York Times best-selling author of twenty-four books, including When Elephants Weep, Dogs Never Lie about Love, and The Dog Who Couldn't Stop Loving "With its dramatic dual journey, A Dog Named Leaf explores the intangibles of health and healing without attempting to explain them away. This memoir's pulse-pounding brushes with danger, startling synchronicities, and insights on fulfilling one's purpose in life offer hope and new perspectives on the expansive power of love. It truly is the most unusual dog book ever." —Dr. Marty Becker, resident veterinarian on Good Morning America and The Dr. Oz Show and featured columnist "When I rescued my companion dog Jethro years ago, I realized this wonderful being also rescued me and taught me numerous valuable life lessons. Many people have similar stories, and this wonderful book about another amazing dog, Leaf, will be impossible to put down. In A Dog Named Leaf, two guys—a troubled and scarred shelter dog and a former police officer turned writer—face life and death challenges together. Its unexpected twists and turns kept me pinned to the pages and cheering for Leaf and Allen to heal and succeed together. The strong compassionate emotional bonds they formed—deep and enduring friendship and love—will move you in many ways. Read this most inspirational book and share it widely."—Marc Bekoff, author of The Emotional Lives of Animals, Wild Justice: The Moral Lives of Animals, and The Animal Manifesto: Six Reasons for Expanding Our Compassion Footprint"A remarkable story. It will reaffirm your faith in the unique and mutually healing bond that can form between humans and animals." —Gwen Cooper, New York Times best-selling author of Homer's Odyssey "Transcending the oft-told story of the human/dog bond, Allen and Leaf teach each other lessons of trust, love, and faithin the face of life's tumult. A must-read for anyone who has experienced the guiding spirit of a dog."—Susan Wilson, author of The Dog Who Danced "I was moved by this story of resilience and love. It conveys beautifully the vulnerability and richness of a dog's life and the connection between their biographies and our own."—Jonathan Balcombe, author of Second Nature "Part Marley and Me and part Jon Katz, A Dog Named Leaf by the Minnesota writing team of Allen and Linda Anderson is the story of an abandoned cocker spaniel the couple rescued, despaired of, learned to love...The Andersons hire dog communicators to get to the bottom of Leaf's problems. ("I was left," Leaf apparently tells one of them mournfully.) But more problems loom: Allen Anderson is found to have a brain aneurysm, and he faces risky surgery. And then doctors find a blood clot in his leg. It is Leaf, Anderson wants us to know, who helped him through this terrible time, just as he helped Leaf adjust to his new home...While you might not believe everything in this very spiritual book (and how I wish their method of calmly explaining the rules to Leaf so that he will stop misbehaving would work with my Rosie), the story is endearing, and the many photographs of Leaf running, swimming, and chasing a tennis ball in south Minneapolis are adorable." —LAURIE HERTZEL, BOOKS EDITOR, Minneapolis Star Tribune, October 27, 2012"This touching, almost lyrical book is a very personal story bravely told by the author and his wife... This is a lovely story that will uplift anyone who has ever loved a dog." —Amy Shojai, Guide, December 27, 2012
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780762781652
  • Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
  • Publication date: 11/6/2012
  • Pages: 224
  • Sales rank: 776,308
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 7.90 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

In 1996, Allen Anderson with his wife Linda founded the Angel Animals Network ( to help people discover the miraculous benefits of human-animal companionship. Since then, Allen has co-written a popular series of thirteen books on the subject. Allen's books have been recommended or featured in O Magazine and, Today Show, ABC's Nightly News,'s Hot 100, and B&N's Top 10. Allen has been interviewed for USA Today, Washington Post, NPR, and other national and regional media. He lives in St. Louis Park, Minnesota. Angel Animals, 9780452280724, 9/99, Bookscan RTD: 7,387God's Messengers, 9781577312468, 9/03, Bookscan RTD: 15,387Angel Cats, 9781577314486, 8/04, Bookscan RTD: 38,210Rainbows and Bridges, 9781577315032, 8/05, Bookscan RTD: 3,145Angel Dogs, 9781577314936, 9/05, Bookscan RTD: 52,312Rescued, 9781577315445, 9/06, Bookscan RTD: 10,493Angel Horses, 9781577315186, 11/06, Bookscan RTD: 28,808Angel Animals, 9781577316107, 9/07, Bookscan RTD: 14,142Saying Goodbye to Your Angel, 9781577316268, 7/08, Bookscan RTD: 5,826Angel Dogs with a Mission, 9781577316022, 9/08, Bookscan RTD: 5,936Angel Animals Book of Inspiration, 9781577316664, 5/09, Bookscan RTD: 3,157Horses with a Mission, 9781577316480, 9/09, Bookscan RTD: 6,585Dogs and the Women Who Love Them, 9781577316923, 11/10, Bookscan RTD: 8,523Animals and the Kids Who Love Them, 9781577319597, Bookscan RTD: 356
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Table of Contents

Preface vii

Part 1 The Journey of Two Souls Begins 1

Chapter 1 Life as I Knew It 3

Chapter 2 Meeting Harley 10

Chapter 3 Going Home 19

Chapter 4 Leaf s Secrets 29

Chapter 5 Never Give Your Wife a Memo 35

Chapter 6 Memory Lane 39

Part 2 Nightmares, Battles, and Surrender 45

Chapter 7 Doctor Doogie Howser 47

Chapter 8 Leaf at Home 53

Chapter 9 Leaf in the World 59

Chapter 10 The Building of Life 67

Chapter 11 Leaf's Strategies 73

Chapter 12 Just When You Think It Can't Get Any Worse 77

Chapter 13 Facing Fears 85

Chapter 14 The Manual 91

Part 3 Uncertain Outcomes 99

Chapter 15 Rallying Allies 101

Chapter 16 "Be Nice, Leaf…" 106

Chapter 17 The Ticket 111

Chapter 18 The Surgical Procedure 121

Chapter 19 Using My Ticket 126

Chapter 20 Leaf the Healer 132

Chapter 21 Alpha Leaf 138

Chapter 22 The Name Game 143

Chapter 23 The Retreat 149

Chapter 24 Meltdown 156

Part 4 Transformation and Healing 159

Chapter 25 Leaf's Personality Revealed 161

Chapter 26 Graduations 167

Chapter 27 My Body Remembers 175

Chapter 28 Leaf Speaks; Others Hear 179

Chapter 29 Leaf's Life Is Threatened 185

Chapter 30 Knocked Down but Not Out 190

Chapter 31 My Mission, Should I Choose to Accept It 195

Chapter 32 How Far Have You Come? 200

Epilogue 208

Acknowledgments 210

About the Authors and Angel Animals Network 213

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 10 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 10 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 19, 2012

    Bravo----I was right there with Allen( Author) and Leaf all the

    Bravo----I was right there with Allen( Author) and Leaf all the way- This journey of Love compassion trust courage patience and persistence was a wonderul testament to Soul to Soul connections and jouneys of growth and fullfillment

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted January 27, 2013

     I loved this book. It highlights something I've always believed

     I loved this book. It highlights something I've always believed, that there is far more going on in the mind of a dog than most people think. It's a terrific book for anyone that's ever had a rescue dog and knows the problems and pitfalls along that path, as well as the reward that awaits when you give your heart completely to a new dog. Allen Anderson's journey with Leaf is a wonderful story and I'm very happy that he chose to share it with us. 

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted November 20, 2012

    Must Read & Great Gift - A dog's growing trust as a man's life changes

    Allen and Linda Anderson out did themselves as they shared the intimate story of their lives with the world. The story intertwines the trust built between Allen and Leaf, a frightened dog as Allen faced potentially life-changing health issues.

    I couldn't put the book down. The turn of each page I felt the love grows between Allen and Leaf. Thank you for sharing how Leaf overcame fear with the growing bond with Allen. Four paws up!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 2, 2013



    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 6, 2013

    Shadowclan Main Camp


    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 7, 2014

    Loved this book

    I have a wonderful chocolate cocker spaniel who is almost the same age as Leaf and had similar fears when he became part of our family. Through much patience and work together he has become a wonderful dog. But this book has made me realize that he has so much more he wants to give and they have shown me how to help us find that together. We do enrich each others lives. If you have a dog or are thinking about bringing a dog into your family, this a foudational read for you. Loved it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 24, 2013


    "Can you move camp. I wanna join but im locked out of res.1."

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 18, 2013



    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 27, 2013


    Ccccccccccccccccccccrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrraaaaaaaaaaaaazzzzzzzzzzyyyyyhhhhhh Asome

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 9, 2013


    This book is the best book ever :-P. U should check out flutter too

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