Faithful Friends: Holocaust Survivors' Stories of the Pets who Gave them Comfort, Suffered Alongside Them and Waited for Their Returnby Susan Bulanda
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Never-before-told stories of the pets that were left behind during World War II in Hungary, Poland, Belgium, Holland, Romania, France, and Yugoslavia when Jewish families were torn from their homes and taken to ghettos and concentration camps. Most of these accounts are told by men and women who were children during the Holocaust. Their beloved pets provided comfort and courage, gave them a connection to happier times, and helped them to never give up hope.
"Susan Bulanda shares with us stories of love instead of hate, selflessness instead of selfishness. These stories speak to the spirit of hope in all humans (and animals)." -Rabbi Loel M. Weiss
"This unique collection's deeply moving stories by Holocaust survivors reveal how the bond with their companion animals intensified and deepened during that dark, horrific night of carnage, betrayal, and terror, providing solace, warmth and love. These heart-braking and heart-warming stories add a hitherto unexplored dimension to our necessary knowledge of the Holocaust and cast new light on the indestructible, soul-sustaining nature of the human-animal bond." -Aviva Cantor, author and v.p. of C.H.A.I. (Concern for Helping Animals in Israel)
"These stories reflect the love and pleasure that pets provided to those who endured great suffering. Bulanda captures the deep affection between humans and their beloved companion animals. The stories are engaging and reflective, giving animals lover pause. We will all hug our pets closely after reading these accounts!" -Gayle M. Irwin, author of "Sage's Big Adventure" and "Sage Learns to Listen"
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- CLADACH Publishing
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Meet the Author
Susan Bulanda has been an author for many years. She won the prestigious Maxwell award from the Dog Writers Association of America and awards from the National League of American Pen Women. She has developed two programs at Kutztown University for students who want to become dog trainers and canine behavior consultants. She is a former vice president of the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants and has been a dog and cat behavior consultant for many years. Her website presents articles of interest to pet lovers as well as writers. Ms. Bulanda is a member, and on the advisory committee of the National Search Dog Alliance. She and her husband have over 25 years of volunteer service managing Canine Search and Rescue units and training SAR dogs. She also formed the American Beauceron Club and was instrumental in introducing this breed of dog to the United States. Ms. Bulanda serves as a senior conformation judge with the United Kennel Club. Her book, "God's Creatures: A Biblical View of Animals" combines her two lifelong passions, animals and theology. Having trained the first dogs in the United States to detect toxic mold, she holds a patent on the use and training of these dogs. As a writer of both fiction and non-fiction, she is working on a book of humorous short stories.
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if you are an animal lover, than you will absolutly love this book. Very sad, but makes you realize how grateful we are today.
I loved this book. Faithful Friends was a collection of short stories told by Holocaust survivors of the animals they once knew. I cried. I smiled. This book opened my eyes to a side of the Holocaust I never knew. I loved how the author included history at the beginning of each chapter.
Faithful Friends by Susan Bulanda tells the untold story of people and their pets during the Holocaust. While the German Nazis marched across Europe in their quest to eradicate the Jewish people, it wasn't just humans whose lives were damaged and destroyed. Bulanda tells the story of several people, most of whom were children at the time, who had beloved pets at the time. The stories of these completely innocent creatures deeply affected by the savagery of war puts into focus again the horror of this time in history. This is not an easy book to read, but it is a vital one. Many of the stories do not end happily. Some are shocking; I had to go back and read the final dialogue in the story of Blackie three times before the full horror hit me. The story told by Lya Galperin of her dogs reveals more of the devastation the people faced. Lya was taken from her parents through deception, as used as an unwilling blood donor, drained of blood until the Germans thought her dead. Her reunion with her beloved pet brought tears to my eyes, because this little girl truly needed a miracle from God after her torture. I do wish that Bulanda had flip-flopped the last two stories in the book, just to end it on a high note, but that's a small quibble with a story that will definitely get readers thinking and will help ensure that the Holocaust will never be forgotten.
"Faithful Friends" goes where no Holocaust book has gone before - it examines the bond between Holocaust survivors and their pets. These companions suffered, too, gave comfort and, yes, waited for them. Through the darkest days and nights, the horrors mankind heaped upon mankind, it was only those pets who brought a rare ray of love into a world of horror. Organized by country, Bulanda has gathered stories from across Europe and found what little humanity existed;it existed in pets. These are perhaps the few stories of love to come out of a world of hate and for that we should be grateful. Buy it, read it, buy it for your friends. This book deserves a place on your bookshelf and in history.