Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Joy Unleashed: The Story of Bella, the Unlikely Therapy Dog” as Want to Read:
Joy Unleashed: The Story of Bella, the Unlikely Therapy Dog
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Joy Unleashed: The Story of Bella, the Unlikely Therapy Dog

4.12  ·  Rating details ·  108 ratings  ·  16 reviews
In 2007, Mary Eldergill, a volunteer member of Amigos de Los Animales (Friends of the Animals), discovered a group of newborn puppies on Dead Dog Beach in Puerto Rico. Mary rescued and rehabilitated them and, three months later, they flew to Newark, New Jersey, to be placed in their forever homes.

Jean Baur and her husband adopted one of Mary’s rescues—a dog named Bella—and
...more
Paperback, 272 pages
Published August 16th 2016 by Skyhorse (first published August 2nd 2016)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Joy Unleashed, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Joy Unleashed

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.12  · 
Rating details
 ·  108 ratings  ·  16 reviews


More filters
 | 
Sort order
Start your review of Joy Unleashed: The Story of Bella, the Unlikely Therapy Dog
Janet
Feb 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: dog, dog-read
This book is crazy similar to experiences I’ve had with all of my dogs. One of my dogs even picked my husband!
We are so used to getting asked and asking, “What do you do?“. We should be answering, “ I’m a mother with a wonderful husband.” Maybe, “I also work for _____.” “I travel and volunteer a bit and love to read.” I myself answer, “ I’m retired so I do pretty much anything I want to do.” I read a lot, do crossword puzzle‘s, enjoy my two doggies, have lots of friends and travel a bit. In the
...more
Hope Hill
Mar 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2017-books
I don't normally read nonfiction but the cover caught my eye and I decided to check out the blurb. This book was better than I'd hoped. The writing was fast paced, witty and I found myself laughing and crying throughout. It was fascinating to get a glimpse at how just how much difference a dog can make. Bella was indeed an unlikely heroine but she survived the odds. She's done more with her second chance than most people. I hope that more dogs like Bella and Shelly steal hearts and lighten loads ...more
Ann
Oct 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
Jean's stories were so real. I felt her emotions and understood Bella's behaviors. I found that I could not put this book down. I have had some similar experiences and appreciated Jean verbalizing her feelings.

Life does not always work out as we plan. As teacher and counselor, Jean found it difficult to hear what she knew best. With Bella together they grew and healed. Many others benefited from their visits. Thank you for writing and sharing.
Diane
Sep 20, 2019 rated it liked it
After reading the reviews, I was disappointed. The author spent too much time repeatedly discussing how difficult forced retirement was and not enough on the joy of owning Bella. I understood the first five times about retirement. However, this fundamental loss may have given the rest of the book meaning. Bella, rescue dog, is full of life and spirit. The story is enduring and heartbreaking. If anyone has ever dealt with training and living with a dog, they will fall in love with the story.
Jackie Davie
Mar 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wonderfully written, relaxing read

I know first hand the power of therapy dogs, and also rescue dogs or family pets. Each leave me with a smile on my face, despite being in the same four walls of my room in the nursing home where I live.

I stumbled accross this book by accident, while in pain and sleepless. Reading it in one gulp, Jean's writing was so absorbing it was like having a visit from Bella herself: different, comforting, and has made me smile!
Susan Santangelo
For dog lovers...

This is the well written story of two journeys, one of an abandoned mutt who became a successful therapy dog, and the other of a fired professional woman who found her calling in volunteer work. I enjoyed learning about training the dog, but I thought the events in the nursing home, although often touching, became tedious.

C Bradley
Jul 03, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Well written andmoving

I really enjoyed this. Uplifting and informative about therapy dogs and their value to so many. The only negative was the weird timeline. I'm not sure why it was not chronological, as it made it difficult at times when it referred back to a minor character you heard about several chapters ago and potential on.
Michele Pariseau
Bella

Would have scored higher but I do not condone hitting a dog for any reason except to ward off an attack! She did not did deserve to be hit as she was learning and a correction and chew toys would have made the situation clearer to miss Bella!.

Klr
Mar 12, 2020 rated it really liked it
Having trained some difficult dogs, I loved hearing about her successes and her setbacks. I’m thinking of having my current pup become a therapy dog so I was really interested in the topic. She was very honest about her own failings and I appreciated that also.
Carolyn Yardley
Jun 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A lovely read and very inspiring

A lovely read and very inspiring. I loved the way it captured you as you found out how bella and the owner learnt all through
Francis Dohm
Dec 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Interesting read

All the training involved for a therapy dog. And all the joy they provide to the l patients makes it worthwhile
Leanna Williams
Feb 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is a good book
Jo
Feb 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Excellent story of training a therapy dog and using the dog to visit schools, nursing homes, and hospitals. Uplifting!
Traceylee
Why

This is about a woman and her friend who train their dogs to be therapy dogs. They take them to different people who need comfort
Jan Crossen
Jan 18, 2020 rated it really liked it
A tender story about overcoming challenges, persistence, finding one's calling, and the amazing healing power of dogs.
Angela Jr.
Jan 08, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2020
I used to work at a dog training facility where we, amongst other things, had courses for training therapy dogs. If done right, this can be a very rewarding thing for both the dog and its owner! The story of Bella really shows what can be gained, learned, experienced when participating in these programs.
If you're thinking about starting therapy dog training with your dog, I would highly recommend reading this book! It will give you even more reasons to start doing it.
Mike Pate
rated it it was amazing
Jul 20, 2019
Hilary Hart
rated it liked it
Aug 22, 2020
Mary
rated it it was ok
May 24, 2020
Maggie Magnusson
rated it it was amazing
Oct 05, 2018
Hope DeVoe
rated it really liked it
Oct 29, 2018
Katherine
rated it really liked it
Jul 15, 2020
Tela Zuelly-Rodgers
rated it liked it
Mar 23, 2017
Nancy
rated it it was amazing
Feb 21, 2019
Jeri Waterloo
rated it it was amazing
Sep 30, 2019
Sally d'Elboux
rated it liked it
Aug 25, 2019
Jacquelin
rated it liked it
Aug 14, 2019
TC Dale
rated it it was amazing
Apr 19, 2018
Reen
rated it it was amazing
Jan 07, 2019
Tiffany
rated it really liked it
Sep 25, 2018
« previous 1 3 4 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
All About Animals: Books that highlight animals 2 9 Aug 01, 2017 07:08AM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • Shepherd Girl: A Dog Story
  • Innocent: The True Story of Siblings Struggling to Survive
  • Too Scared to Tell
  • Angels on a School Bus: How a Community of Volunteers Saved Two Hundred German Shepherds and Huskies
  • The Long Drop
  • You're Welcome: A Dog Lovers Novel
  • In the Dog House
  • Foster and Forest (Angel Paws)
  • Water Witches
  • Calculated in Death (In Death, #36)
  • The Secret Letter
  • Dylan: The Flying Bedlington (Family Of Rescue Dogs Book 6)
  • The Other Family
  • Emma's Secret (Finding Emma, #2)
  • In an Instant
  • The Girl with the Suitcase: A Girl Without a Home and the Foster Carer Who Changes her Life Forever (Angela Hart)
  • The Saddest Girl in the World
  • The Runaway Woman
See similar books…

Related Articles

If you haven't heard of record-smashing singer and songwriter Mariah Carey, is there any hope for you? Who else has sold more than 200 million...
47 likes · 20 comments