Rescuing Riley, Saving Myself: A Man and His Dog's Struggle to Find Salvation

Rescuing Riley, Saving Myself: A Man and His Dog's Struggle to Find Salvation

4.5 10
by Zachary Anderegg, Pete Nelson
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

While hiking on a solo vacation in a remote, uninhabitable region of Arizona, Zachary Anderegg happened upon Riley, an emaciated puppy clinging to life, at the bottom of a 350-foot canyon. In a daring act of humanity that trumped the deliberate savagery behind Riley’s presence in such a place, Zak single-handedly orchestrated a delicate rescue. What

Overview

While hiking on a solo vacation in a remote, uninhabitable region of Arizona, Zachary Anderegg happened upon Riley, an emaciated puppy clinging to life, at the bottom of a 350-foot canyon. In a daring act of humanity that trumped the deliberate savagery behind Riley’s presence in such a place, Zak single-handedly orchestrated a delicate rescue. What didn’t come out in the initial burst of publicity this story received is that Zak and Riley’s destinies were intertwined long before they improbably found each other. For much of Zak’s childhood, he was at the bottom of a veritable canyon himself—a canyon whose imprisoning depth and darkness was created by bullies who just wouldn’t quit and parents who weren’t capable of love. From the age of five, Zak was everyone’s favorite target. 

When Zak came upon Riley, the puppy’s condition bespoke his abusers’ handiwork—three shotgun pellets embedded beneath his skin, teeth turned permanently black from malnutrition. The meeting was one of a man and a dog singularly suited to save each other. As a former US Marine sergeant, Zak was one of only a few people with the mettle and physical wherewithal to get Riley out. And in rescuing him, Zak was also attempting to save himself, conquering the currents of cruelty that swelled beneath his early life and always threatened to drown him.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“This heartwarming book is for those who appreciate tales of adventure, overcoming adversity, and the strong relationships formed between dogs and their people.” —Library Journal, starred review

Rescuing Riley, Saving Myself is for anyone who has ever thought of giving up. It is an extraordinary story not only of love, but of strength, perseverance, and above all, courage. Read it to be inspired. Read it if you love to see the underdog (human or dog) triumph!” — Kay Pfaltz, author of Flash’s Song: How One Small Dog Turned Into One Big Miracle

"Rescuing Riley, Saving Myself is a sobering reminder of the cruelty that is prevalent toward not only animals, but among people, as well. Anderegg served as an angel to Riley and, in turn, Riley did what dogs do best. . . . Help us to heal." — Big Dogs Huge Paws, Inc.

Kay Pfaltz
Rescuing Riley, Saving Myself is for anyone who has ever thought of giving up. It is an extraordinary story not only of love, but of strength, perseverance, and above all, courage. Read it to be inspired. Read it if you love to see the underdog (human or dog) triumph!”
Big Dogs Huge Paws
Rescuing Riley, Saving Myself is a sobering reminder of the cruelty that is prevalent toward not only animals, but among people, as well. Anderegg served as an angel to Riley and, in turn, Riley did what dogs do best. . . . Help us to heal.”
Library Journal
★ 11/01/2013
When avid climber Anderegg ventured out into the desert for a routine descent into a narrow canyon, he expected the experience to be a challenge of endurance and a chance to gather his thoughts out in the wild. The former marine and animal advocate didn't know that he was about to embark on a daring rescue mission that would test his every climbing skill, bring back painful memories, and forever link him to one amazing dog. He tells how, together, he and rescued dog Riley help each other heal after surviving unbelievable acts of cruelty. VERDICT Great for readers who enjoy titles such as Ted Kerasote's Merle's Door: Lessons from a Freethinking Dog, Anderegg's tale is one of triumph and, most of all, love. This heartwarming book is also for those who appreciate tales of adventure, overcoming adversity, and the strong relationships formed between dogs and their people.—Melissa Culbertson, Homewood, IL

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781628735307
Publisher:
Skyhorse Publishing
Publication date:
11/01/2013
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
208
Sales rank:
205,193
File size:
3 MB

Meet the Author

Zachary Anderegg joined the Marines after graduating high school and served from 1994–1998, achieving the rank of Sergeant E5. Since 2002, he has owned two successful businesses, Dream Catcher Yachts and The Wrench-It Center with his wife, Michelle. In 2010, he was exploring a slot canyon near Page, Arizona, when he found Riley. He has appeared with Riley and Michelle on Inside Edition, The Today Show, and The Ellen Degeneres Show. He resides in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Pete Nelson received his MFA from the University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop and has written for numerous magazines, including Harper’s, Playboy, and Esquire. He is the author of the novel I Thought You Were Dead and numerous nonfiction titles, including Left for Dead and That Others May Live. He resides in Westchester, New York.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >

Rescuing Riley, Saving Myself: A Man and His Dog's Struggle to Find Salvation 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 10 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Rescuing Riley, Saving Myself is an adventure story on the surface, but it digs much more deeply into the narrator’s psyche than most adventure stories do. This is what makes it true to the memoir genre. Author and co-author have done a marvelous job of taking the story of the abandoned dog’s rescue, which is amazing in itself, and tying it together with the backstory of the author’s own childhood traumas and disappointments and abandonments. It’s never easy to tie two stories together, and the way it’s done in this book works well. I recommend this for animal lovers and for human lovers—for anyone who has ever been bullied or bullied someone else—two things that are not mutually exclusive. To write an honest memoir, you have to be willing to let the world see you at your most pathetic and most human. Zak had absolutely no training in this: no writing workshops, no classes. And he managed, with Pete’s guidance, to write a brilliant memoir. I applaud him for being brave enough to let the world see him at his worst when the temptation surely would have been there to only show him at his best. This is also a good book for parents to read, because it makes you think deeply about how much the things you do and say, that may seem small to you at the time, can impact a child. The lesson at the end is loud and clear—love, empathy and compassion are stronger forces than any pain that we inflict on one another.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a wonderful book. If you're familiar with the story on which this is based, you know that Zak found Riley 350 feet down at the bottom of a slot canyon in Utah. Riley was near death and it is evident he was not there by accident. Someone had to have left him there. The book details the rescue, but it's also about more than that. Zak tells a very personal story, one which documents the endless bullying he received through a good deal of his school years. Zak recounts his home life which pretty miserable as well. Buy this book without hesitation. Once I started reading it I couldn't put it down.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is not only about a wonderful dog rescue but also about bullying. It's very well written and I highly recommend it!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Sometimes passion is not expressed so much in words as it is in action. This is story of the love of a bullied man translated into a magnificent rescue of a dog in great peril. Great read!
Deborah70816 More than 1 year ago
I had been anticipating this book release for months and it did not disappoint! I could not put it down, I cried, I laughed, & I loved & learned! I have been following this story about Riley since his rescue & I now felt I was right there with Zak as he conquered challenge after challenge throughout his life. Everyone ought to read this and know-really know-the torment of bullying. Zak you are amazing! Riley is your angel, companion & friend. A great book for everyone to read!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Was a good book. Jms
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed reading the story of Zac and his rescue of Riley. I found the transformation of Zac from bullied self-conscious young man to a muscular marine just as inspiring as his rescue of Riley. Any young people who are being bullied will find Zac's story inspiring.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I wanted to love this book but did not. Liked the general story but poorly told. Waaaaay too much about the author and his issues. Sorry. Not nearly enough about the dog and their relaionship once he was rescued. Read "A Cat Named Bob And how he Saved My Life" for a true story about connection and healing. Much better written. It is what this book should have been. Is it just me, or didn't you want to know more about Riley and their relationship after the rescue???
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago