How One Shelter Dog’s Love Changed a
Man’s Life and Other Tails of Adventure
When Joey Camen first contacted me to see if I would be interested in reviewing his book:My Life with Snoopy, he said his “heart skipped a beat” when he saw photos of Dakota on his blog. Why? Because the love of Joey’s life was a rescue dog named “Snoopy” who just happened to be a Sheltie/American Eskimo mix, (can’t you just tell from that incredible “Sheltie Smile” in the photo, and the gleam in his eyes?) a combination of two incredibly brilliant breeds.
Another coincidence was that Joey was raised in Detroit, where I currently reside. Obviously it was meant to be that I review his book.
When Joey wrote this candid, raw and beautifully tender book, his intent was to “teach people that anyone, no matter how hurt or wounded in life, they too can find love on four feet at their local animal shelter, and carry that love into relationships with two feet.” I would like to take this a step further, because most of you know who read Dakota’s Den, that Dakota is NOT a Shelter dog, (my cat was adopted from a rescue, Dakota was not), while it is true that yes, ABSOLUTELY you can find love at a shelter, I would like to add that you can find love whenever you open your home to a four-legged friend! And yes, whenever possible, OPT TO ADOPT!
The love that Joey felt for Snoopy and the stories sharing various adventures and episodes of their lives spent together are some of the most honest, raw and moving stories that I have read. While reading My Life With Snoopy I had no doubt that this man LIVED for his dog. Snoopy was his world. This book EXUDES LOVE.
I could strongly relate to the heartbreak that Joey felt when his first dog was unceremoniously removed from his home when he was just a little guy. To learn that it was your parents who removed the dog, when you DID EVERYTHING RIGHT was something that resonated with me and my experience of having my first cat. You develop a mistrust of your parents and it is a hurt that remains with you your entire life. In Joey’s case, it made him develop a mistrust of dogs as well, until…he found his beloved Snoopy at the Burbank Animal Shelter.
Some of my favorite excerpts from My Life With Snoopy are:
When describing Snoopy’s eyes: ”They were dark brown like many dogs, but what was behind them is what stood out. It’s hard to describe in words, you would have had to have him look at you, like he looked at me. It was as if he had soft, gentle human eyes. Eyes that said “Hello…I love you…I’ll never hurt you…I’ll be your friend no matter what.”
About dogs having fun: “Dogs don’t need anything set-up for them to have fun. They can find joy and happiness in any activity….the wind on his nose, or lying near my feet was enough to put a smile on his face. Maybe dogs don’t smile, I’m not certain. But it sure seemed that way to me.”
If it is possible for a book (or an author) to wear their heart on their sleeve, THIS is that book. It is impossible to read My Life With Snoopy and NOT feel the love. Yes, there are sad parts (consider yourself forewarned), that made me re-live one of the hardest times of my life. YES, I CRIED. YOU WILL TOO.
But through your tears, you will remember the dogs and cats that shared their lives with you so unselfishly, who helped to make you the people that you are today, and it will make you hold the four-legged babies who are currently in your life that much closer, and savor every day that you are blessed to have them at your side.
Joey Camen, you did Snoopy proud!!!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Joey Camen is a veteran stand-up comedian, voice talent, actor, and award-winning short filmmaker. He has performed professionally since the age of seventeen in everything from movies, to sitcoms, to Las Vegas showrooms.
He was a protégé of legendary voice actor Daws Butler—better known as the voices of Yogi Bear and Huckleberry Hound. Joey has provided voices for numerous cartoon shows, commercials, movies and video games.
My Life with Snoopy is his book writing debut. Joey lives in Los Angeles with his wife and their cat.
ENTER TO WIN!! Joey kindly sent me TWO additional books to share with my readers! THIS GIVE-AWAY IS OPEN TO EVERYONE NO MATTER WHERE YOU LIVE! (You must be 18 and over to enter). THE GIVE-AWAY IS OPEN NOW AND WILL END ON TUESDAY, DECEMBER 17th AT 5PM. THE WINNERS WILL BE CHOSEN BY www.random.org and will be announced on WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 18th.
HOW TO ENTER: leave a comment telling me about the pet that is (or was) YOUR “love of your life” and be sure to leave a way for me to contact you if you are one of the lucky winners!
In full disclosure, I was not compensated for this review. I received 3 copies of My Life With Snoopy. One for me and two to give to two of my readers. I am honored and thrilled to do so!