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FREE DAYS WITH GEORGE: LEARNING LIFE'S LITTLE LESSONS FROM ONE VERY BIG DOG
by Colin Campbell (See other books by author)


Publisher: Anchor Canada
Edition:
2016 Paperback, 224 pages

ISBN: 9780385682893
Item: DEG177
Ships the next business day.

Summary: A heartwarming, true story about George, a rescue dog who helps his owner rediscover love and happiness. Marley & Me meets Tuesdays with Morrie and The Art of Racing in the Rain--get your tissues ready, animal lovers!

Price: $16.95 Add this item to my cart.

Expanded Description:

A heartwarming, true story about George, a rescue dog who helps his owner rediscover love and happiness. Marley & Me meets Tuesdays with Morrie and The Art of Racing in the Rain--get your tissues ready, animal lovers!

After Colin Campbell went on a short business trip abroad, he returned home to discover his wife of many years had moved out. No explanations. No second chances. She was gone and wasn’t coming back. Shocked and heartbroken, Colin fell into a spiral of depression and loneliness. Soon after, a friend told Colin about a dog in need of rescue—a neglected 140-pound Newfoundland Landseer, a breed renowned for its friendly nature and remarkable swimming abilities. Colin adopted the traumatized dog, brought him home and named him George. Both man and dog were heartbroken and lacking trust, but together, they learned how to share a space, how to socialize, and most of all, how to overcome their bad experiences. At the same time, Colin relived childhood memories of his beloved grandfather, a decorated war hero and a man who gave him hope when he needed it most.

Then everything changed. Colin was offered a great new job in Los Angeles, California. He took George with him and the pair began a new life together on the sunny beaches around L.A. George became a fixture in his Hermosa Beach neighborhood, attracting attention and giving affection to everyone he met, warming hearts both young and old. Meanwhile, Colin headed to the beach to rekindle his love for surfing, but when George encountered the ocean and a surfboard for the first time, he did a surprising thing—he jumped right on the board. Through surfing, George and Colin began a life-altering adventure and a deep healing process that brought them back to life. As their story took them to exciting new heights, Colin learned how to follow George’s lead, discovering that he may have rescued George but that in the end, it was George who rescued him. Free Days with George is an uplifting, inspirational story about the healing power of animals, and about leaving the past behind to embrace love, hope and happiness.


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Book of the Year!, August 4, 2016
Reviewer: Skye Anderson/DogEvals
Cross Ricochet with A Dog Named Jimmy and what do you get but a book you simply can’t put down.

When a woman leaves, a dog enters - a big dog, a homeless dog, and what do you get but a lovable couple – dog and man - eventually. It takes time for Colin Campbell to learn dogs, this dog in particular.

Who is this Gentle Giant?

One big (140 pounds) Landseer (black and white) Newfoundland, a Newfie like Nana in Peter Pan, teaches Campbell about love, after not doing so well in obedience classes.

George, a small, frightened pup in a big dog body, responds well to human hugs (Warning: most dogs don’t). He learns to play, to trust – slowly, as his tail learns to wag. He regards Campbell with utter trust – if not licking his face whenever people are watching.

(Newfies were bred to save fishermen from the sea and, recently, to jump from helicopters to rescue swimmers.)

The Writing Style - Warmly Funny

What makes a good book? A good story, well told. Campbell is a good story teller with a good story to tell.

“The tail, in particular, had many magical powers. . . with George blissfully oblivious of [sic] all of them. It could sweep, knock, smash, break and swipe almost anything placed on the coffee table. . . .George’s enchanted tail. . . discreetly swept my keys off the table. I only found them unexpectedly, under the sofa, an hour after I needed them and had given up the search.” (p. 109)

Surfer Dude, Surfer Dog

Like father, like son – except here we have a dog.

A big ol’ Canadian dog moves to California and picks up surfing, only to win the hearts and minds of the humans at Dog Beach, Huntington.

Just like when I met my first Great Dane and asked what it was (a small horse perhaps?), sunworshippers just couldn’t stay away from George who was even bigger than a Dane - and George ate it up - he was “beyond happy.”

So much so, that it was a toss-up whether his favorite pastime was meeting people and convincing them to rub his tummy – or swimming out to sea and grabbing a surfboard on the way in, competitive-style (“Getting him balanced on the board was like trying to set a table inside a working washing machine.” p. 193).

Picture big ol’ George in a K9 life-vest that is too small, way too small. That in itself brought the crowds to meet him, a catalyst for smiles and giggles, for a photo op. George became the biggest, happiest dude on the beach.

A Responsible* Book

Not only does George always wear a life-vest when he goes surfing, and a leash when he goes walking, but his book gently educates on big dogs and rescue dogs.

What is a Free Day?

That, dear readers, I leave you to find out and to pass on to your children and grands. George will tell you.

*Campbell includes information on several dog rescues, and throughout the book writes that Newfies are not for everyone. Campbell obsessed over the rescue organization interview but passed. He and George are now ‘spokesmen’ for rescue and Newf rescues in particular.
 

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