The leash is hooked tight. One end is on your dog's collar or harness, the other end firmly wrapped around your wrist, and he's not going anywhere without you.

Rescuing these puppers was the best thing ever and now, as in the new book by Ron Danta, Danny Robertshaw, and Larry Lindner, he's Forever Home.

It all started on horseback.

Danny Robertshaw, who'd loved horses since he was small, was well-known as a rider and trainer up and down the east coast. Ron Danta had moved his horses to South Carolina to a farm he'd purchased with the hope of launching a business. The two men had met but it wasn't until their lives began to circle closer to one another that they became good friends; not long after they'd decided to become business partners, Danta divorced his wife and had an epiphany. The two men became partners in life.

It helped that both had deep and endless loves of horses and dogs. When both men were boys, growing up in separate states, their mothers impressed upon them the habit of adopting stray dogs and unwanted, unloved pups. All their lives, both men had picked up side-of-the-road, mistreated, or elderly dogs, rehabilitated them, and re-homed them.

It wasn't cheap. The dogs they sheltered had varying medical problems, and many had issues stemming from fear, abandonment, and abuse. Danta and Robertshaw paid for the dogs' vet bills out-of-pocket, then housed and trained each pup until the dogs could be properly adopted out as "Danny & Ron dogs." That was a pure labor of love, but their house was soon wrecked and their furniture, shredded. At one time, having hundreds of dogs in their care, they turned their home into a "doghouse" – this, despite terrifying personal health crises; in the middle of hurricanes, filming a documentary, and their marriage; overseas, and in conjunction with causes and people close to their hearts.

"It's good to know that rescue – being loved, living with dignity, belonging – is happening on more than one front."

Few can resist an adorable puppy. But what about the dogs who've seen better days? Can you resist scooping them up? If the answer is "no," then you'll want "Forever Home."

In a consistently upbeat manner, authors Robertshaw, Danta, and Lindner share the story of a movement that has saved the lives of countless dogs and other animals through the years, and the two men behind it. While these stories are sure heart-capturers, they're also very repetitious, as if the animal's name and breed are all that changes from tale to tale. Readers will notice, too, that there are lots of happy stories here but they're quite often preceded by wincing accounts of abuse and neglect. Still, that's not news to pet lovers. Heavy sigh.

Despite further confusion as to who's telling the story, "Forever Home" will appeal to anyone who's shared a bed with a dog, a sofa with a cat, or a ride with a horse. Open the cover, read a page, and you'll be hooked tight.

"Forever Home: How We Turned Our House into a Haven for Abandoned, Abused, and Misunderstood Dogs – and Each Other" by Ron Danta & Danny Robertshaw and Larry Lindner

c.2022, HarperOne $27.99 262 pages


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