Title: The Dog Who Was There
Author: Ron Marasco
Description from Goodreads: “No one expected Barley to have an encounter with the Messiah. He was homeless, hungry, and struggling to survive in first century Jerusalem. Most surprisingly, he was a dog. But through Barley’s eyes, the story of a teacher from Galilee comes alive in a way we’ve never experienced before.
Barley’s story begins in the home of a compassionate woodcarver and his wife who find Barley as an abandoned, nearly-drowned pup. Tales of a special teacher from Galilee are reaching their tiny village, but when life suddenly changes again for Barley, he carries the lessons of forgiveness and love out of the woodcarver’s home and through the dangerous roads of Roman occupied Judea.
On the outskirts of Jerusalem, Barley meets a homeless man and petty criminal named Samid. Together, Barley and his unlikely new master experience fresh struggles and new revelations. Soon Barley is swept up into the current of history, culminating in an unforgettable encounter with the truest master of all as he bears witness to the greatest story ever told.”
Review: This book was so horribly sad. Within 50 pages I sobbed twice. I don’t mean tears running down my face; I mean full out ugly blubbering. The horribleness of people just astounds me. The pain and suffering this poor little dog endured shattered my heart. I read this book sobbing and cuddled up to my dog. If you are a dog lover like me and you plan to read this book, do so with a box of tissues handy, a full box.
The perspective of this book is very interesting, and something new and unique. It’s always interesting when you get to read the story of Jesus’ crucifixion through someone else’s eyes. A dog’s perspective is perfect because what is more innocent and caring that a dog? I loved the premise but I couldn’t get past the suffering the dog endured at the beginning.
Recommendation: This could easily be for young readers, a way to get them to read this important story, in a way that will draw them in. Just be mindful of the beginning, know your child’s tolerance for grief, mind is quite low when it comes to animals.
*I received an advanced copy of this book from the publisher. A positive review was not required. All opinions are my own.*