A few months ago I was asked to write endorsement for a forthcoming book called Pound for Pound: A Story of One Woman's Recovery and the Shelter Dogs Who Loved Her Back to Life by Shannon Kopp, and I was hesitant because my desk was overflowing with other "stuff" that needed to be done. I'm sure you all know the story -- how can I possibly do any more? But, something about the book's description caught my eye and heart, and I thought about it and then said "yes," and I'm sure glad that I did (the Kindle edition can be found here). Here's what I wrote:
Every now and again a book comes along that can help millions of people deal with all sorts of difficult and challenging times and guide them to change their ways for a better and healthier life. Pound for Pound is one of those inspirational gems. Shannon Kopp's personal story -- the incredibly hard work she had to do and her opening her heart to the dogs with whom she worked -- is a must read. She shows how compassion, trust, and love can open the door for people and dogs in need to heal and to grow together.
And, after reading through this book again and again, I continue to be amazed by how rich and helpful Ms. Kopp's book truly is. I really can't do any better than to parrot the book's description:
Pound for Pound is "The brave, inspiring story of one woman's recovery from a debilitating eating disorder, and the remarkable shelter dogs who unexpectedly loved her back to life."
Ms. Kopp notes, “The dogs don’t judge me or give me a motivational speech. They don’t rush me to heal or grow. They sit in my lap and lick my face and make me feel chosen. And sometimes, it hits me hard that I'm doing the exact thing I say I cannot do. Changing.”
The description continues, "Pound for Pound is an inspirational tale about one woman’s journey back to herself, and a heartfelt homage to the four-legged heroes who unexpectedly saved her life."
"For seven years, Shannon Kopp battled the silent, horrific, and all-too-common disease of bulimia. Then, at twenty-four, she got a job working at the San Diego Humane Society and SPCA, where in caring for shelter dogs, she found the inspiration to heal and the courage to forgive herself. With the help of some extraordinary homeless animals, Shannon realized that her suffering was the birthplace of something beautiful. Compassion."
"Shannon’s poignant memoir is a story of hope, resilience, and the spiritual healing animals bring to our lives. Pound for Pound vividly reminds us that animals are more than just friends and companions—they can teach us how to savor the present moment and reclaim our joy. Rich with emotion and inspiration it is essential reading for animal lovers and everyone who has struggled to change."
Dogs "ask only for love and then give it back in spades”
I hope Pound for Pound receives a huge global audience. It really is that good and inspirational. As author Glenn Plaskin notes in his endorsement, Pound for Pound is "a story you’ll always remember, a testament to the healing energy of our canine companions, who ask only for love and then give it back in spades.”
As I wrote above, Ms. Kopp "shows how compassion, trust, and love can open the door for people and dogs in need to heal and to grow together." From time to time, we all need someone we can lean on, and so do they. What an awesome marriage.
Marc Bekoff's latest books are Jasper's Story: Saving Moon Bears (with Jill Robinson), Ignoring Nature No More: The Case for Compassionate Conservation, Why Dogs Hump and Bees Get Depressed, and Rewilding Our Hearts: Building Pathways of Compassion and Coexistence. The Jane Effect: Celebrating Jane Goodall (edited with Dale Peterson) has recently been published. (marcbekoff.com; @MarcBekoff)