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Tails of Joy

Stories of Special Needs Animals and the People Who Adopted Them

Clarion Rating: 4 out of 5

This heartwarming book celebrates the adoption stories of animals with special needs.

Every animal lover’s heart breaks for homeless pets. Gretchen Dale offers a respite of sorts with her compilation of hopeful adoption stories in Tails of Joy: Stories of Special Needs Animals and the People Who Adopted Them.

A self-described lifelong animal lover, Dale is a committed volunteer at animal shelters. Her love for the pets featured in Tails of Joy is apparent throughout her beautifully rendered book. For economic or other reasons, it remains an unfortunate fact that many, many pets are surrendered to shelters and rescues. While some of the younger and healthier animals may be lucky enough to be adopted fairly quickly, those with special needs can be more challenging to place in new homes. Dale features these brave, lovable, and resilient pets in her book, telling their success stories and sharing the bonds that grow between them and their owners.

Though the stories are brief, the volume is jam-packed with substantial narratives and beautiful full-page photographs. Every individual tale is preceded by photos of the animal, and ends with a photo of the pet with its new owner, giving readers a clear picture of each happy ending.

Dale’s love for these animals and hope for their futures shines through in every page as she showcases their often-difficult journeys to their “forever home.” The animals’ perseverance and capacity for hope is matched by that of their new owners, as in the case of Tango, a dog with an unusual and challenging medical problem. Unable to eat normally, his food needs special preparation and each meal is a twenty-minute endeavor. Yet, with love and patience, Tango’s new family helps him become happy, healthy, and well-fed. Another story profiles Toby, a fearful little Yorkie with bladder stones and a missing eye, adopted by Cindy and Jill, who also patiently and lovingly care for five other special-needs Yorkies.

Tails of Joy is well structured and nicely bound, with chapters just long enough to tell each tale with depth and feeling. The photos effectively draw readers in, clearly showing how love and affection can change the lives of abandoned special-needs animals, as well as the lives of their new owners.

Proceeds from the sale of the book will be donated to animal rescues and shelters. Whether Dale inspires readers to donate to shelters, to volunteer, or even to adopt, she’s sure to galvanize many with this heartwarming, moving volume.

Reviewed by Jeannine Chartier Hanscom

Disclosure: This article is not an endorsement, but a review. The author of this book provided free copies of the book and paid a small fee to have their book reviewed by a professional reviewer. Foreword Reviews and Clarion Reviews make no guarantee that the author will receive a positive review. Foreword Magazine, Inc. is disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

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