There are some wonderful shelter and rescue dog stories and I’ve been highlighting sites and platforms I’ve come across recently that I especially love. When I read the new book, Rescue Me, an inspiring book by fellow animal lover/author, Val Silver, I cried. The stories aren’t sad, these are true tales of extraordinary commitment, physical and emotional healing, faith, twists of fate, second chances, and the magical joy that comes from the bond we have with our dogs. I was moved by each and every one of them. Today is giving Tuesday. Shop to give, and share this book with friends. Read on to discover what Rescue Me and the giveaway/fundraiser are all about!

Moving rescue dog stories that raises funds for needy shelters

Rescue Me is a must-read and a recommended buy on my list. And, what’s even better is you can help a deserving shelter receive much needed funds with the purchase of each book.  Details on how one lucky Bark & Swagger follower will win a limited edition, autographed copy of a Val Silver book at the end of this post.

What’s Rescue Me all about?

Rescue Me relays the inspiring, personal accounts of twelve dog lovers like us, who rescued dogs who, ultimately, rescued them. It’s sub-title is Tales of Rescuing the Dogs Who Became Our Teachers, Healers and, Always, Our Faithful Friends. And, it’s true. Val and anyone who’s rescued a shelter animal can tell you that they are somehow different, more appreciative of the attention, love, care. “I wrote Rescue Me because it breaks my heart that millions of homeless dogs wait or die waiting for homes every year, and that rescuers are stretched to their emotional and financial limits trying to help them,” emphasized Val.  “This is my way of raising awareness and sensitivity to their plight and funds to help them. It is my way of showing those on the front lines of this work that we care and support them as they do a work bigger than themselves.”


Moving rescue dog stories that raises funds for needy shelters

Val with Louis and Duke/The Puppy in a Newspaper Sack


Val’s own tale,  “The Puppy in a Newspaper Sack” which kicks off the book, tells about how her young sons found a stray puppy in need and brought it home in their newspaper delivery sack. A scruffy dog to pick up after was about the last thing Val was looking for at the time. But she saw it needed help, imagined how frightened it must be and stepped up, and then, fell in love. Duke became a beloved member of her family, shepherding the kids and then, Louis, the French Bulldog who would follow.

Then, there’s Karal Gregory’s story of Lollipop, a tragically abused Beagle who, as a result, couldn’t keep her tongue in her mouth and looked like she was eternally sucking on an invisible lollipop. Karal tells of how people responded to Lollipop with curiosity or judgement, and of the journey she embarked on to help heal the lovable dog. Do you have a rescue that looks funny? Do you experience the stares and comments, too?


Moving rescue dog stories that raises funds for needy shelters

Karal & Lolli/Lollipop Can’t Hold Her Licker


Each story has its own special message of hope and the strength and resilience of the human and animal spirit. “The twelve stories in this book are written by ordinary people with extraordinary hearts and touching tales of how rescued dogs became precious members of their families, and how they have become better, happier people for it,” described Silver. “We hope your heart is touched by the spirits of these dogs just as ours are.” Mine definitely was.


Moving rescue dog stories that raises funds for needy shelters

Judy & Frances/A Tale of Two Judys


I’m not alone in my feelings about this book. Rescue Me has received accolades and awards. It garnered the Dog Writers Association of America Maxwell Medallion (First Place) in Human-Animal Bond and the ProPlan President’s Award (Best in Show) – 2014; the Reader’s Favorite 2014 Awards Silver Medal in Non-Fiction Animals and the 2014 USA Best Book Award Finalist, Animals/Pets: Narrative Non-Fiction award.

Here are a couple of testimonials I’ve chosen; there are many:

“Author Val Silver and her fellow Team Rescue contributors have compiled a spectrum of amusing, touching, rescued dog stories that demonstrate the power of the human-animal bond, the wondrous ability of animals to heal us, and the resiliency of animals that rewards our efforts… I heartily recommend Rescue Me.” ~Jim Willis, author, animal advocate, and former World Animal Day Ambassador for the United States

“Rescue Me is a beautiful journey of truth. It…paints the image that the greatest teachers may come in the form of the simple dog, thrown away by others…a must read by everyone.” ~Megan Blake, actress, The Pet Lifestyle Coach ®, Pet Life Radio, Animal Attractions TV

Silver is no newcomer to writing. She’s also penned a great book of rescue stories about senior dogs, called Rescue Me Seniors. Included are tips for caring for senior dogs and helping homeless seniors in shelters and rescue.

This is the autographed book the winner of this contest will receive.


Moving rescue dog stories that raises funds for needy shelters

So, how do I enter the contest to win a limited edition autographed book?

It’s easy to enter; just purchase a regular or an autographed copy of Rescue Me. For each book you purchase, Val will donate $5 from Rescue Me royalties and for each autographed copy purchased, Silver will donate $9 per book. Both regular and autographed books are $12.50 each, with autographed books costing an additional $3.95 in shipping.

The giveaway period will run from Tuesday, December 1st at 9am EST  – Monday, December 7th at 11:59pm EST. 

Purchasers will receive a thank you gift from Val; a Be a Hero for Animals e-course, a pdf with 70+ on-line resources for dog lovers, a compilation of 12 dog rescue videos, and 4 audio interviews with Rescue Me contributors.

The recipient of the fundraiser is Abandoned Pet Rescue (APR), a wonderful, small shelter in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, where I volunteer (my Chihuahua fosters came from there, too). APR is the little engine that could; it accomplishes so much for the dogs and cats it cares for and does it with so little.  I also love to see the good the fundraising does, first hand.

To order Rescue Me on Amazon, where it’s available in e-book, paperback and large print paperback.

To purchase autographed books Only 35 autographed books are currently available for immediate shipment, if you’re thinking about this as a holiday gift, so don’t delay!  Additional orders will take 3-4 weeks. 

Important: If you order from Amazon, please send a copy of your invoice to to be entered into the contest. Those ordering an autographed copy, directly from Val, will be automatically entered. At the end of the week (on December 8), a winner will be selected at random to receive an autographed copy of Rescue Me Seniors (described above).

If you’re still not sure, check out this video about the book, where you can see the heroes for these dogs, regular folks like us.


Rescue Me makes a wonderful holiday gift for a loved one or friend. Spend to give this season and be a part of making a difference.

You can learn more about what Val Silver does and, even if you don’t purchase,  get your free Be a Hero for Animals E-course on her site. The course was designed as a companion to the book. It teaches simple and free/low cost ways to help shelter pets and other animals right from home. The course includes 6 daily quick start lessons delivered via e-mail, videos and a companion guide. Val wrote it after publishing Rescue Me, and decided to give it away for free so more people would take steps to help animals in need.

And, learn more about Abandoned Pet Rescue.


Moving rescue dog stories that raises funds for needy shelters

Do you have a rescue dog story? Share it with us!


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Written by Jody Miller-Young
What does stylish mean to you? I’m passionate about animals, fashion, travel, home decor and rescue, and that's what you'll find here. After a recent move to Fort Lauderdale from NYC, we're loving our new life in the sunshine. Welcome to my world! Grab your favorite beverage, curl up and stay awhile.