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Gabby: The Little Dog That Had to Learn to Bark

4.32  ·  Rating details ·  218 ratings  ·  37 reviews
A moving, heartfelt true story that celebrates the way animals and humans rescue one another . . .

Baby seagulls, mischievous ferrets, strutting the decades that Barby Keel has run her animal sanctuary in the English countryside, she has seen all manner of creatures. Thousands of cats and dogs have come through her doors and, with the aid of Barby and h
Paperback, 224 pages
Published January 28th 2020 by Citadel Press
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Average rating 4.32  · 
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Oct 09, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
3.5 stars

This was a lovely, quick read and perfect for anyone who calls themselves an animal lover. I volunteer at a cat shelter myself, so it was nice to read about Barby's life at the sanctuary and recognise my own experiences in hers. It did a great job at portraying how negligent human beings can be towards animals and their own pets.

Though I rooted for Gabby, I did often feel like she was the side character in her own story. It read more like a memoir about Barby. The dialogue often came ac
Feb 01, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
thanks to netgalley and the publishers for a free copy in return for an open and honest review.

this book was heart warming story about a dog who had to learn how to be a dog again after being rehomed and also the authors journey through a serious illness. found the book to be an easy going read and delighful too and dog lovers would enjoy this book of bonding with animals.
Jan 26, 2020 rated it really liked it
I received this book from Goodreads.

Gabby: The Little Dog That Had to Learn to Bark is just the sort of book that restores my belief in humanity.
This is the story of Gabby, a little dog that had to learn how to be a dog. But mostly it is about Barby Keel and her wonderful Animal Sanctuary that never turns away any animal in need.
It was a nice change to read about an animal shelter that doesn't discriminant against certain species or breeds and goes above and beyond to find a safe place for them
Feb 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This is a beautiful story about Barby Keel and her dog Gabby. When Barby got Gabby, Gabby was a frightened eight-year old dog who had never been outside, was not house trained, did not know how to play with other dogs and could not bark (and these are the major shortfalls, though there are other, smaller ones). Barby runs a shelter for animals in Britain. The shelter takes in all animals people do not want or cannot keep and rehomes them, whenever and wherever possible. With Gabby, Barby was smi ...more
Terri Wangard
Jan 14, 2020 rated it liked it
This book is titled Gabby, but is more about author Barby Keel and her animal sanctuary in Bexhill, England. Gabby was a Lhasa Apso/Yorkshire mix that came to the shelter at age eight. She’d never been outside, didn’t know how to bark or play, wasn’t housebroken; just didn’t know how to be a dog.

Gabby’s previous owners were elderly, but they had other normal, healthy dogs. How Gabby could have been kept untrained all those years is unknown. Barby kept Gabby herself and, slowly, Gabby came out of

Aug 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Another "Foster tails" story to warm the heart.
Barby Keel is her usual feisty and cranky but yet caring and compassionate self.
In this story we hear the tale of Gabby a foster dog that arrives needing help to find her voice and overcome her lack of confidence.
Barby works incredibly hard with her but her biggest battle is about to begin with a diagnosis of breast Cancer.
Barby and Gabby both have to fight to overcome adversity but who is really helping who?
They both find immense comfort and a will
Stanley McShane
Jan 29, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
This book, while introducing Gabby, is a great deal more about the sanctuary located in Bexhill-on-Sea, East Sussex, England that Barby Keel created out of her love of animals.

After some spotlighting of the origins, growth, size, and population of the Barby Keel Animal Sanctuary, including the fleshing of a number of volunteers, we meet little Gabby, a Lhasa Apso/Yorkshire mix. Too adorable not to keep and love, too traumatized and lost to rehome, Barby keeps the eight-year-old and begins the lo
Jan 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book brings light to an amazing animal shelter in the U.K. A place where no animal is turned away. A true story written by the owner of the animal shelter, you learn how life is running a shelter. Feel the soft furry friends, see the peacock roaming the grounds.

This book opens our eyes to how we can help animals, both big and small. Imagine a bird with a broken wing. She takes them in and has them treated, releasing when healed.

The community comes together to support this animal shelter.
Anne Rodgers
Feb 07, 2021 rated it it was ok
While I supported the idea of this book and was more than happy to pay the price since it benefits the shelter in England that is described, I was not impressed with the author's writing ability.
She was sadly repetitive, saying over and over again that she bonded with this tiny dog, that they mirrored one another etc. She didn't find new words to express an idea all dog lovers already feel.
She also told readers 100 times that she was fiesty, spoke her mind, stubborn and had a hard time accepting
Jan 25, 2020 rated it really liked it
The world needs more people like Barby Keel and her animal sanctuary volunteers. In Keel's Gabby: The Little Dog That Had to Learn to Bark, the novel chronicles Barby's 'tail' to save Gabby, a rescue dog unable to bark, play or even go outside. While Barby attempts to bring the frightened animal out of her shell, Gabby's love and devotion rescues Barby during a life-threatening situation.

As an animal rescue volunteer throughout the years at Brooklyn's BARC (Brooklyn Animal Rescue Coalition-no-k
Chad Guarino
Dec 17, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: netgalley
A very quick read about life on an animal sanctuary and a strange little dog who doesn’t know how to be a dog. Gabby is a charming tale, if a bit repetitive at times. The author’s work is admirable, and the reader gets a good idea of the time and effort that goes into running a sanctuary where unwanted animals are brought on a daily basis. Keel’s passion and zeal are front and center, which adds authenticity to the narrative. A very good pickup for animals lovers.

*Thanks to Netgalley and Kensing
Lisa Konet
Jan 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This was the best book I’ve completed reading with animals for a long time! Gabby the sweet rescue dog needs her owner Barby as much as Barby needs each other. The story was relatable and gives an insight and depth to anyone who fosters, rescues and supports animals. Most of the time, animals know us and love us better than most people and vice versa.

Such a great story!!! Thank you to Barby for sharing such a powerful story, the publisher and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest revie
Donna Hines
A beautiful story of the power of love and commitment between humans and animals.
Poor Gabby couldn't bark yet with enough tending loving care managed to overcome such obstacles to live a fulfilling life.
Meanwhile, Barby had her own trials and tribulations to endure and couldn't have succeeded without Gabby by her side.
It's a lovely reminder that dog's are a man's (or woman's) best friend.
Never forget that they have extra senses that can feel emotions, hear pain, and comfort those who needed comf
Athena Mae Rupas
Jan 12, 2020 marked it as to-read
I'm in love with this book! It's the best book I've read centered around an animal in a long time. Gabby is the sweetest rescue dog ever! Barby, Gabby's owner, has such a beautiful connection with Gabby. You can see how much Barby and Gabby need each other. This story was so relatable to me because I too have a close bonded relationship with my rescue dog. Just overall a beautiful story and big thank you to Barby for sharing it!

“I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All
Jan 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book. It was really inspiring and I couldn't stop smiling. When i first selected this book to read i thought it was going to be a tearjerker like Marley and me but it wasn't. it was uplifting instead. It shows how people should love animals more. Too many become neglected these days. I always thought about volunteering at the local humane society, after reading this book I am going to start. i give this five stars. Thank you netgalley for giving me this advanced copy. ...more
Nancy Luebke
Feb 07, 2020 rated it really liked it
I received this interesting book about Barby Keel and a little dog she bonded with, for free and I voluntarily chose to review it. I've given it a 4* rating. Her love and respect for animals are a large part of her little kingdom where she and her many volunteers care and heal many animals. She seems to have an instinctive knowledge of what many of these poor animals need. This is just a later chapter in her life with these animals. I think animals lovers will enjoy this. ...more
Feb 14, 2020 rated it really liked it
I really liked this book. It was a cute, inspiring story about Gabby, a dog who essentially had never gotten to be socialized like a normal dog. Gabby was raised with elderly folks who kept her inside mostly so I can let readers now thats her background. The book interspersed Gabby's life with her new owner's sanctuary and life. Still a good story & a relatively quick read. I got this from a Goodreads giveaway in exchange for an honest review. ...more
R J Mckay
Apr 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I received a copy of this book from Goodreads in exchange for a review.

I have to admit to having a soft spot when it comes to stories centered around animals and the tale of Gabby is especially memorable. It is a truly soul-touching of just how important our cherished pets are to our lives.

Barby Keel and Gabby teach each other, learn from each other and restore each other in the remarkable story. It’s a book of love and hope and resilience.
Jayasri KS
Jan 20, 2020 rated it really liked it
I'm reading a series of books about dogs for a reading challenge. And I requested this book for exactly that reason. When I started this book, I was emotional with all the doggos I read in different books. I was expecting a story that will make me bawl my eyes out. But surprisingly, this book is heartwarming and pleasant. I totally recommend this book to all the animals loving people. ...more
Jan 30, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A sweet and poignant story that made me smile and moved me.
I liked the style of writing, the descriptions and found this book an engrossing and enjoyable read.
I loved Gabby and I loved Ms Keel story.
Highly recommended.
Many thanks to Kensington Books and Netgalley for this ARC, all opinions are mine.
Mar 03, 2020 added it
Thank you NetGalley, Citadel Press and Barby Keel for the ARC to review. This was an easy read and great story. I have a Yorkie who is my heart and soul. He flows me everywhere and reminds me of Gabby. So I know how Bar by feels about Gabby. I love the fact that she has devoted her whole life to saving animals. All the best to her and her staff. Almost read.
Jt Furbay
Feb 14, 2020 rated it really liked it
Loved this book about a little rescue dog named Gabby who enters Barby's live. Barby has great patience and love for Gabby and tried to show her how to be a real dog and not be afraid. Gabby ends up being her source of comfort through her battle with cancer. Great book! ...more
Taylor Segen
Sep 18, 2020 rated it really liked it
This book is confirmation to those of us who have dedicated our lives, our talents and our money to running shelters, rescuing and fostering hundreds of dogs and cats that we offer a true contribution towards improving the world.
Feb 03, 2020 rated it really liked it
Dog-human bonding stories.
Kay Townsend
Feb 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Loved reading this book. Was a great insight and although sad in places it was still a brilliant read.
Lindsay Shaw
Feb 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Touching sweet read about a woman who truly loves all animals.
Michelle Jones
Aug 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Lovely quick read for any animal lover.
Gwendolyn F.
Oct 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Good read

This was a very good book. Kept me reading and interested. I fell in love with the dog and the sanctuary.
Kayleigh Kehoe ♡

I so badly wanted to like this, I really did.

Only, I couldn't really get the feel for Gabby. I felt that I was only depicted Gabby through Barby's eyes, rather than writing about Gabby in her own merit and allowing me to become emotionally invested in her journey. There were continuous descriptions of how Barby felt about her, instead of portraying Gabby's personality, triumphs and losses, and allowing the reader t
Colette Lamberth
Aug 25, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Who could resist that cover image? Between the title and the synopsis you pretty much know the story before you start. The passion that the author has for rescuing animals comes across loud and clear. Having run the sanctuary for over 50 years it is obviously a lifestyle choice rather than a job for her. Animal lovers, particularly dog lovers, will love the story of Gabby and the book sales raise funds for the animal sanctuary so it’s a win win situation.
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