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Publisher's Summary

While hiking on a solo vacation in a remote, uninhabitable region of Arizona, Zachary Anderegg happened upon Riley, an emaciated puppy clinging to life, at the bottom of a 350-foot canyon. In a daring act of humanity that trumped the deliberate savagery behind Riley’s presence in such a place, Zak single-handedly orchestrated a delicate rescue.

What didn’t come out in the initial burst of publicity this story received is that Zak and Riley’s destinies were intertwined long before they improbably found each other. For much of Zak’s childhood, he was at the bottom of a veritable canyon himself - a canyon whose imprisoning depth and darkness was created by bullies who just wouldn’t quit and parents who weren’t capable of love. From the age of five, Zak was everyone’s favorite target.

When Zak came upon Riley, the puppy’s condition bespoke his abusers’ handiwork - three shotgun pellets embedded beneath his skin, teeth turned permanently black from malnutrition. The meeting was one of a man and a dog singularly suited to save each other. As a former US Marine sergeant, Zak was one of only a few people with the mettle and physical wherewithal to get Riley out. And in rescuing him, Zak was also attempting to save himself, conquering the currents of cruelty that swelled beneath his early life and always threatened to drown him.

©2013 Zachary Anderegg and Pete Nelson (P)2013 Audible, Inc.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Gloria Burkhart
  • 2021-02-15

Bullying has consequences

This is a must read book for anyone who works with kids or who has been bullied or abused in their lives. It is a book that should be read by every parent as far too often parents don’t really know what’s going on in their kids lives. There is so much happening in our world where people seem to think it’s their right to attack other people just to make themselves feel better or stronger. Even though the author was bullied during a time where there was not the ease of social media the effects of bullying on his life can be found in any person who has been bullied by others. Even the teachers would not step in to help him in anyway. His parents weren’t there for him or made it worse the one time his mother went to school with him. As an educator and a court appointed special advocate for foster children I found this book to be excellent and looking at the long range affects that bullying has or abuse has during someone’s formative years on their whole life.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • K. Wade
  • 2015-06-09

Needs More

It was interesting especially the struggle Zachary had growing up. My heart ached for him and as a child I wanted to hug him and let him know he was loved. However the story drops after he took the dog home from the vet. I would have loved to learn more about how Riley adjusted and became part of the family. Seemed to skip over that part. But overall was a good listen!

2 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 2014-05-11

It's not about the dog.

What disappointed you about Rescuing Riley, Saving Myself?

I thought this book was a journey about a dog's tale of abuse and recovery. Instead, it was about the tale of the author's abuse and recovery. While I do not want to belittle his story for it is a story that will help many, I bought this book to learn about Riley's journey. With the exception of getting her out of the canyon and initial vet visits, there is very little about Riley. I will be asking for my credit back. Sorry Zachary

What could Zachary Anderegg and Pete Nelson have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

Talk more about Riley's recovery process, the little successes she achieved on her rode to health. The healing of her mind and spirit.

You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

Yes, the fact that Zachary cared enough to save him! Thank you!

2 people found this helpful

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  • Cindy
  • 2021-02-24

Where were the teachers???

As a retired teacher, this was SO DISTURBING. Bullying this intense would have been clear to any teacher that pays attention.
Glad the dog survived, but I took very little away from this book about a dog rescue... just adults who majorly failed this young man.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Ladyjpattonrn
  • 2020-06-29

wonderful book

narrator is easy to listen to, story is compelling. I will listen again soon. loved this book!

1 person found this helpful

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  • CM Bell
  • 2015-09-25

Wonderful. I could relate on so many levels.

Loved it. From being bullied to loving & rescuing dogs. Each experience prepares us for another.

1 person found this helpful

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  • steve
  • 2014-03-18

bullying

Was Rescuing Riley, Saving Myself worth the listening time?

This book should be promoted as more of a bullying book, rather than a dog rescue story. Interesting but misleading that it's really about the dog.It's way too stong about his childhood.

1 person found this helpful

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  • HikerGirl
  • 2022-07-31

Good message

Not just about a dog rescue but a heartfelt discovery of the rescuer's own recovery from a dysfunctional upbringing and bullying.

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  • Susan B
  • 2022-07-26

Sweet Riley

I highly recommend this book. Especially with the professional narration. I found out about Riley via Facebook and I am so happy I did. This book really touched me and goes to show that there are still people out there that are compassionate about animals and willing to risk their lives to help save them. I help rescuing dogs in sever high kill shelters in Southern California. Consequently, I see a lot of dogs, and other animals, that have been abused and/or abandoned and it's so heartbreaking when they can't be saved. Those that make it out of the shelter are remarkably resilient and it so wonderful to see how quickly they bounce back to being a happy dog. Just like Riley.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Ellen
  • 2022-07-05

Focused on the person rather than the dog

As someone fascinated with dogs and their relationship with humans, I had hoped this book would focus more on the dog/human bond. It seemed more focused on the person and his dysfunctional childhood. Not a bad book, just not what I was hoping for.