Miracle: The extraordinary dog that refused to die by Amanda Leask

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Miracle: The extraordinary dog that refused to die by Amanda Leask

Leask Miracle.jpg
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Category: Autobiography
Rating: 4/5
Reviewer: Sue Magee
Reviewed by Sue Magee
Summary: Part memoir and part story of Miracle the rescue dog. The sections dealing with the treatment of dogs in Thailand are harrowing, but it's important that the evil dog meat trade is stopped. An important book.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 256 Date: April 2016
Publisher: Ebury Press
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 978-1785032554

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Amanda Leask has been obsessed with dogs all her life and it's been an obsession which needs the world and a lot of it's attitudes to dogs to change for the better. She's not daunted by the obstacles: she's simply determined to do all that she possibly can to make the world a better place for dogs. Amanda lives with her husband Tobias, son Kyle and more than twenty rescue and sled dogs near Inverness. Very nice, you're probably thinking. Wouldn't we all like to have that sort of lifestyle? But hold on a minute.

As a child you might have thought that Amanda was a bit of a girly girl: she always looked immaculate and there were no dogs in her home life. There were early indications of what was to come though - the plight of circus animals upset her and she loved walking other people's dogs. When she left school she had a series of jobs, but life changed when she met her husband-to-be, Tobias. They had shared dreams and before long Amanda started doing voluntary work with dogs. After Amanda and Tobias married they thought about starting a family, but it became obvious and was then confirmed that it would not happen naturally. But all appeared to go well, when - after fertility treatment - the couple were expecting twins.

It was to be the pregnancy from hell, though and the couple's two boys, Kyle and Ty were born by emergency Caesarian section at just 29 weeks. Ty struggled and lost his fight for life soon after birth. Devastated, Amanda concentrated on looking after Kyle, but there was more bad news to come: Kyle was born with cerebral palsy and before long would be diagnosed as severely autistic. He's never spoken in the sense of using language which others might understand and although there is communication between Kyle and his family it will always be a constant struggle for him to convey how he is feeling.

Amanda saw pictures of a dog who had been snatched from the streets of Thailand, loaded into a truck and was destined for the restaurants of Hanoi. The pictures were heartbreaking, the descriptions harrowing but Amanda was determined that she would rescue that dog and Miracle is essentially the story of how the dog, who would be called 'Miracle' was rescued and brought to the UK. Please don't think that this is an easy read because it isn't: I wept for the state that Miracle was in and for the casual cruelty which was (and is) administered to dogs. It's a cruel trade which must be stopped and this is what Amanda Leask is trying to do, even if she has to do it one dog at a time.

An incredible bond developed between Kyle and Miracle: for the first time in his life Kyle could make eye contact and Miracle looks after the boy. It's this connection and Miracle's history which led to his being nominated for - and winning - both the Friends for Life Award at Crufts 2015 and the Daily Mirror and RSPCA's Rescue Animal of the Year.

If you're expecting a book soley about Miracle then you might be disappointed as you really do need to know the background to the Leask family before you can understand how Miracle came to be rescued and the difference that Miracle has made to the family and they to him. Leask's writing is clear, vivid and easy to read, although the subject matter will be harrowing, and not just to people like me who are dog lovers. I'd like to thank the publishers for sending a copy to the Bookbag. It's an important book on a subject which needs to be more widely discussed.

David Rosenfelt is a serial dog rescuer from pounds within the USA.

Buy Miracle: The extraordinary dog that refused to die by Amanda Leask at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Miracle: The extraordinary dog that refused to die by Amanda Leask at Amazon.co.uk


Buy Miracle: The extraordinary dog that refused to die by Amanda Leask at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Miracle: The extraordinary dog that refused to die by Amanda Leask at Amazon.com.

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