By: Daniela Amato
Publisher: Illumify Media Global
Publication Date: November 2020
Reviewed by Diane Lunsford
Daniela Amato pens a beautiful story of 'Finding Joy' through the eyes and perspective of a dog named Little Bear in her latest title, Finding Joy: A Dog’s Tale.
In the opening chapter, Little Bear is gliding along in a weightless free fall ‘...around the atmosphere in a ball of light. The slide was dark with purple ribbons flowing through it. I could not feel it, but I had the sense that it was silky and smooth, like a beautiful silk ribbon...’ Little Bear is a dog and while he’s yet to enter the world, his soul is already on its way to his life form. When his ‘fall’ into the womb of his mother places him in the cramped space with several other unborn pups, life outside is about to get real and his journey ahead will be a road of challenges, lessons, love, separation, and the ultimate reckoning with what his purpose is during his lifetime with his ‘person.’
On the day of his birth, Little Bear knew something was changing. There was a great force that was pushing him with ‘...rhythmic, pulsing squeezes. The heartbeat moved faster and louder. The others moved on top of each other, and I was squashed and kicked. There was something familiar about this. I had done this before...’ The days grew in number and at barely four weeks, Little Bear along with his siblings was placed into a box, and into a truck and driven to an unknown location away from his mother. It was then that he was left on the side of the road. The trauma of not only being whisked away from his mother, but the fear in the tone of her barks to her babies left an impression and a sense that Little Bear would never see her again. Uncertain as to the length of time Little Bear and his siblings were in this strange new place, one thing was clear, they were all cold, hungry and wet from the rain.
I love animals and if someone were to ask me to pick my favorite, I would have to say I have two: horses and dogs. There is something incredibly spiritual about both animals. They exude spirituality and unconditional love. When I was asked to review Finding Joy: A Dog’s Tale and learned it was a story told through the eyes of a dog, I didn’t hesitate to say: ‘yes, please.’ Ms. Amato immediately immerses herself into the main character ‘Little Bear’ and takes the reader on a journey from his transcendence from ‘Joy’ to his mother’s womb, through the birth of Little Bear and the life he will lead during his current chosen path. The dialogue is beautiful and there are so many wonderful passages throughout this read, it’s difficult to pick one that resonates over another. However, I do have one of my personal picks. Ms. Amato introduces the concept of ‘Animal-Speak’ in chapter six and enlightens the reader as to what this means. Essentially, Little Bear has a guide ‘Bear’ who is his mentor/guide/teacher who he telepathically communicates with throughout his life. Little Bear has had many lives and dreams often of the time he was a wolf. His favorite (and recurring dream) is when he was a big, grey wolf. He was wild and free but was also close to a woman. ‘...She was my human. I had imprinted on her and she did on me too. I asked Bear to explain imprinting to me. He said it was when one being attached themselves to another being through their energy. It was an unbreakable bond. Nothing could separate their bond, not time, space, or even death. I did not really understand this very well, but Bear said I would in time...’ I sat down mid-morning today to begin reading this book and didn’t stop until I reached ‘the end’ mid-afternoon. This was one of the most emotionally satisfying reads I’ve had the pleasure of reading in quite some time. Well done Ms. Amato.
Quill says: The bond between a human and a dog is one of the greatest lessons of love one can experience in life and in Finding Joy: A Dog's Tale, author Daniela Amato does a wonderful job of bringing this bond to the forefront of her story.
For more information on Finding Joy: A Dog's Tale, please visit the author's website at: www.danielaamato.com