Foreword Reviews

The Adventures of Teko

His Magic of Being a Service Dog

Clarion Rating: 4 out of 5

This personal story about a rescue dog is warm and emotive, full of heartfelt human and animal connections.

In Barbara Ann Ellicott’s heartwarming, pet-centered memoir The Adventures of Teko, a young adopted dog finds his forever home.

Teko is a “gentleman” from the moment they meet, and Ellicott regards him as a “gift from heaven.” She recalls how he saved not only her physical and mental well-being, but also her spirit. Serendipitously, the dog became a part of Ellicott’s life only days after the passing of her ten-year-old Bull Mastiff; their keen bond proved to be a life-changing experience.

The story’s central focus is on the steadfast relationship that develops between owner and dog. It references another work by Ellicott centered on Teko’s earlier, frightened-puppyhood days, which is suggested as further reading; not until a later chapter does the book announce Ellicott’s desire to write this version of Teko’s life. These bits of self-promotion feel misplaced.

Teko’s story is pleasantly told. The twofold narrative gives voice to both Ellicott’s and the dog’s points of view. Details showcase the charismatic canine’s affable personality and near telepathic tendency to cater to his new “Mommy’s” needs, though at times such enthusiastic praise leads to a repetitious noting of his attributes.

Teko’s intuitiveness, patience, and ability to follow commands proved well suited to his becoming a service dog. While residual affects from a stroke, along with heart damage due to Lyme disease, may have put a damper on Ellicott’s marathon and triathlete activities, her writing appropriately points to Teko as providing the ideal impetus and energy for her to train for a half marathon. Pride exudes in a photo with her race day medal.

The narrative is broken up with several photographs of Teko with the numerous friends he’s made while accompanying Ellicott as a steadfast companion. From physical therapy appointments and visits to the ophthalmologist to entertaining preschoolers, walks on the beach, or a romp in the snow, the pictures add a personal touch and help maintain a visual record of both the mundane and momentous occasions. Here a service dog certificate and a brightly colored, dog-biscuit-decorated birthday cake hold equal importance.

This happy dog who could “make even the most grouchy-looking person smile” even appears highlighted in the New Jersey Herald. The first included article describes Ellicott’s rescue of Teko, while the second features a pay-it-forward moment where the heroic dog sought help for his fallen owner. The human interest memorabilia sheds a positive light on the benefits of shelter rescues and honors the unconditional love and above-and-beyond bravery of four-footed furry friends.

This personal story about a rescue dog is warm and emotive, full of heartfelt human and animal connections.

Reviewed by Carol Davala

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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