Official Review: Soul Love:How A Dog Taught Me To Breathe...

Please use this sub-forum to discuss any non-fiction books such as autobiographies or political commentary books.
Forum rules
You must limit each topic thread in this section to only one book or only one series. Make the title of the topic the name of the book, and if possible also include the author's name. If you want to allow spoilers, you must include the word spoilers in the title of the topic, otherwise spoilers are prohibited.
User avatar
Posts: 591
Joined: 14 Feb 2018, 19:21
2018 Reading Goal: 24
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 170
Favorite Book: More Heavens Than One
Currently Reading: Christmas Kindling
Bookshelf Size: 62
Reviewer Page:
Latest Review: A World Diverse 11 by David Edmond
Reading Device: B00HCNHDN0

Official Review: Soul Love:How A Dog Taught Me To Breathe...

Post by cpru68 » 25 Jun 2018, 23:10

[Following is an official review of "Soul Love:How A Dog Taught Me To Breathe Again" by Teresa Q. Bitner.]
Book Cover
4 out of 4 stars
Share This Review

Have you ever had an experience that was so traumatic that it felt as if someone threw a bomb into your existence wiping out everything that seemed familiar and stable? In her book, Soul Love: How A Dog Taught Me To Breathe Again, Teresa Q. Bitner gives readers a close-up view into a period of her life when her family was devastated by the swift and unexpected death of her husband, Kris.

From the opening pages of the book, the author spares no time drawing you into her tumultuous home life of raising two teenage boys. She takes the reader back to October 2009 where she recollects the details of an evening that most of us would probably forget. But, this is the last night of her twenty-year marriage, so it would seem that this is forever etched in her mind. By the next day, she is sitting in a room surrounded by faculty at the school where she was a sixth-grade science teacher, being questioned by a state patrol officer about her husband. This is the onset of being plunged into a world of heart-shattering agony.

As part of her new normal, Teresa buys a Doberman puppy she names Hans who becomes her sounding board for tears and frustration as she spends many evenings on the couch cuddling him near. Interestingly, Hans has a lot to say, and he is given a voice to express his point of view. He believes that God has sent him on a mission to help the family deal with the tragedy that has overtaken them.

At first, the dog explaining his version of events felt slightly out of place. Naturally, there is pain vented in many of the pages including massive amounts of cursing as rage is in full swing. While immersed in an intense roller coaster of emotions, I was suddenly reading a softer, gentler tone. I noticed that the font changed which indicated that this was Hans speaking. The entries grew on me as I realized that I have applied human qualities to my pets when their tails are wagging, and their eyes are looking at me in adoration. By the end of the book, I was looking forward to what Hans had to say.

The best part of the story for me was to witness the author's transformation from extreme depression to ultimate joy. She was handed a life of broken pieces that she had to figure out how to put together. The heavy burdens of managing a house, a career and raising her children were all thrust upon her as her support system was ripped away. Yet, she got out of bed every day and little by little, she and her boys reached milestones and built a life for themselves on solid ground.

The only drawback was I was given a PDF to review that had the words ARC-Advanced Reader Copy printed diagonally across each page. At times, this text made it difficult for me to proofread. However, the actual book will not have this in it, so that should not be a problem for a reader. As far as typos and errors, I found only a few that can easily be fixed. Mainly, it was commas that were missing from compound sentences and didn't take away from the quality of the reading experience. I would recommend another round of editing, however, to make sure that the writing is as perfect as possible.

This book will appeal to a broad audience because of its theme of dealing with untimely death but also for those who are dog enthusiasts. As I stated earlier, the language in this book is coarse, but it serves a purpose as part of the process of grief and not just thrown in as an afterthought. However, if that is offensive, then this may not be the book for you.

For its profoundly inspiring message to encourage and uplift those who are hurting, I am giving this book a 4 out of 4 stars. I think many will fall in love with Hans the Doberman.

Soul Love:How A Dog Taught Me To Breathe Again
View: on Bookshelves | on Amazon

Like cpru68's review? Post a comment saying so!
Everything happens for a reason...

User avatar
Posts: 84
Joined: 02 May 2018, 15:22
2018 Reading Goal: 100
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 25
Currently Reading: The Girl Who Knew Da Vinci
Bookshelf Size: 38
Reviewer Page:
Latest Review: Becoming the Dragon by Alex Sapegin

Post by arcie72 » 02 Jul 2018, 00:27

The sounds like a wonderful and heartfelt book. Healing takes many forms and the use of Hans as a support/comfort pet is a great addition. I would read this book after your review. Thank you for a well written review.

User avatar
stacie k
Posts: 844
Joined: 01 Feb 2018, 17:04
2018 Reading Goal: 40
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 52
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 150
Reviewer Page:
Latest Review: Cry For Rain by Melineh Petrosian

Post by stacie k » 02 Jul 2018, 00:47

It’s amazing how pets can be such a pivotal part of our healing. I love how Hans was given a voice and has a God-given mission. The language will bother me to a degree, but as you pointed out, it’s realistic given intensity of emotion experienced.
“The tongue of the wise makes knowledge acceptable.” Proverbs 15:2a

User avatar
Posts: 1
Joined: 02 Jul 2018, 02:21
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 0

Post by Psychgee12 » 02 Jul 2018, 02:29

Very nice story.. Depressiob is deadly but someone or a pet may come in your life to wipe depressions away and feel reborn again..

User avatar
Jolie ann Vargas
Posts: 5
Joined: 06 Jul 2017, 18:41
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 23

Post by Jolie ann Vargas » 02 Jul 2018, 04:02

I became more interested on the story because of your review. Thumbs up to you! I love dogs but now I even love them more because of Hans. I like the author's idea that the dog like Hans can help the depress people to cope up with their loneliness. It happens in real life story.

User avatar
Member of the Month
Posts: 5781
Joined: 31 Dec 2016, 20:31
2018 Reading Goal: 115
2017 Reading Goal: 100
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 75
2017 Reading Goal Completion: 94
Currently Reading: End of the Last Great Kingdom
Bookshelf Size: 215
Reviewer Page:
Latest Review: Invisible Martyrs by Farhana Qazi

Post by kandscreeley » 02 Jul 2018, 08:53

Wow! I can't even imagine losing my husband. I'm glad that she found something to help her through, even if it was her dog "speaking" to her. My cat speaks to me, so I can see how that would be a great comfort. It also sounds like it would make for a very interesting albeit emotional read. Thanks!
“There is no friend as loyal as a book.”
― Ernest Hemingway

User avatar
Posts: 446
Joined: 26 Apr 2018, 11:04
2018 Reading Goal: 25
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 148
Favorite Book: Will's Red Coat
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 77
Reviewer Page:
Latest Review: Apollo's Raven by Linnea Tanner
Reading Device: B00KC6I06S

Post by Britty01 » 02 Jul 2018, 09:32

This sounds like a really good book, even if there is some bad language. I feel it would help others who have suffered similar loss. Hans the dog sounds like he was a great comfort during this awful period of her life.

Posts: 208
Joined: 20 May 2018, 19:44
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 131
Reviewer Page:
Latest Review: Betrayal in Blue by Mark M. Bello

Post by mac83 » 02 Jul 2018, 09:46

Your review makes this book sound amazing. I've never doubted an animal's ability to heal. I think it is great the author captured this in the book. I also love that the book ends on a happier note than it started. Great review!
Mac :techie-reference:

User avatar
Posts: 491
Joined: 02 Apr 2018, 10:51
2018 Reading Goal: 100
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 21
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 179
Reviewer Page:
Latest Review: Zertone by Amanda K. Rivers
Reading Device: B00IKPYKWG

Post by SamSim » 02 Jul 2018, 11:53

I can't fathom losing my husband and having to move forward and raise my children without him! I can empathize with the healing power of dogs, though - at my lowest point, I adopted a dog and she was my motivation to get out of bed. I don't know what I would have done without her. I like the unique aspect of telling a true story from one's life but including the fictionalized dog-thoughts. I want to read it just because I love dogs and I've not heard of a book quite like this. Thanks for the great review!
Samantha Simoneau

“But upon the stage of life, while conscience claps, let the world hiss! On the contrary if conscience disapproves, the loudest applauses of the world are of little value."
~John Adams :greetings-clapyellow:

Dahmy 10
Posts: 212
Joined: 18 Feb 2018, 05:06
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 61
Reviewer Page:
Latest Review: First Family by Alice Langholt

Post by Dahmy 10 » 02 Jul 2018, 12:03

Little grammatical errors, awesome storyline with animal conversation (lol), and great motivation, I can imagine this book being a beautiful read.. I like it when authors are careful to put their readers into consideration, I saw this here where you said the author changed the font for Hans conversation, that's beautiful...

Thanks for this review..

User avatar
Posts: 1193
Joined: 15 Apr 2018, 23:16
2018 Reading Goal: 48
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 91
Currently Reading: The 7 Experiment
Bookshelf Size: 290
Reviewer Page:
Latest Review: Prison to Priesthood by Terri L Strong

Post by teacherjh » 02 Jul 2018, 14:30

This sounds like an amazing book. I have a friend who went through depression and credits her dog of keeping her going.

User avatar
Posts: 296
Joined: 28 Sep 2017, 18:36
2018 Reading Goal: 20
2017 Reading Goal: 0
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 220
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 63
Reviewer Page:
Latest Review: White Jaguar by Preben Orman

Post by KitabuKizuri » 02 Jul 2018, 19:20

The world is such a better place with animals to keep us company, both wild and tame. I think to some extent they offer a form of therapy and escape if they're fun to be around. Looks like an inspiring book for those struggling through similar circumstances.

User avatar
Posts: 1188
Joined: 08 Jun 2018, 22:16
Currently Reading: Go Forth, I Am My Brother’s Keeper
Bookshelf Size: 100
Reviewer Page:
Latest Review: The FBI Inspector by Jay Dubya

Post by Cecilia_L » 02 Jul 2018, 20:52

I can only imagine how painful the author's struggle must have been after losing her husband. It's such a creative approach to have Hans' point of view as being on a mission to help heal the family. He seems quite endearing and this sounds like an uplifting tale--or should I say tail? Sorry, I couldn't resist :wink:

Posts: 1590
Joined: 10 May 2017, 19:49
2018 Reading Goal: 100
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 83
Currently Reading: At Home in Mitford
Bookshelf Size: 166
Reviewer Page:
Latest Review: The Maltese Incident by Russell F. Moran

Post by kdstrack » 02 Jul 2018, 21:47

Sounds like a good mix of two emotional extremes - death and new life. This sounds like a very interesting book and I like how you have described it. Good job!

User avatar
Sharon serena
Posts: 45
Joined: 28 Feb 2018, 02:50
2018 Reading Goal: 90
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 3
Currently Reading: Final Notice
Bookshelf Size: 10
Reviewer Page:
Latest Review: Heartaches 2 by H.M. Irwing
Reading Device: B00JG8GOWU

Post by Sharon serena » 03 Jul 2018, 01:15

Every person has experienced grief in one way or the other. In most cases, we are able to move on because of friends and families and in rear cases these companions are pets. I love that this book may inspire people to love their pets more as it also encourage them to move on in life. Thanks for the detailed review.

Post Reply

Return to “Non-Fiction Books”