Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Beck Valley Books Tour: It's Just a Dog by Russ Ryan

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What if your dog died and then came back as a ghost…that could talk? Would you welcome him back with open arms or run away scared to death? 

This is the premise of IT’S JUST A DOG, a new novel about love, loss, and one man’s dog who rises up yapping from the grave.

Charlie Keefe is not just your typical dog lover –– he’s a world famous dog painter, a.k.a. “The Picasso of Pooch Portraits”. Unfortunately, Charlie’s beloved muse, Pete, his lovable Jack Russell terrier, has just died. And he’s totally devastated by the loss of his furry best friend.

So, after months of grieving over his dearly departed soulmate, Charlie reluctantly agrees to foster a new puppy –– a cute Cavalier King Charles spaniel named Brownie from the local animal shelter. Soon after, Charlie is surprised to find himself falling head over heels with this new puppy girl, his ‘Rebound Dog’, as he calls her –– as well as being romantically attracted to Janelle Jordan, the head hound at the dog rescue.

But then complications arise when the ghost of his old dog, Pete, mysteriously reappears one night and comes back to haunt him and the new puppy –– setting off a bizarre chain of events that throw Charlie’s life, career, and entire belief system into chaos!

If you’ve enjoyed such classic dog books as The Art of Racing in the Rain and A Dog’s Purpose, then you are bound to find a place in your heart for IT’S JUST A DOGPart Book, Part Blog, ALL DOG, (Okay, there may be a few cat videos, too, to show some love for the other team!)

My Review

Ok So most of you have heard all about my wedding but I realized after telling the author I had written about my own loss of a dog that I hadn't actually written about my BoBo dog on this blog. I had a personal blog a while ago and I had written all about him on there. So my apologies to Russ who searched Read, Rate and Review for posts that did not exist! This is going to be part blog, part review, and all love! 

It's Just A Dog grabbed me immediately. I was only 6 pages into it and I was crying like a little baby! I even felt so much about this book that I found myself writing this long tear infused email to Russ Ryan (the amazing and brilliant author) before I could continue. I felt his pain over his obvious loss (even if I realized after reading the book and having a more clear mind that this book is fiction but HAD to be based upon his own loss due to the real, heart felt emotion he was able to portray through his words). 

This book is all about an artist who gets a dog and that dog ends up being his muse, launching his career to heights he never imagined. Pete, the dog, was everything to Charlie. People without children tend to feel as though their pets are their children. I know I do without a doubt! (Not saying that people with children do not feel the same way but you know what I mean!) Pete was getting up there in years and had been unable to travel with Charlie so Charlie had to leave him at home with his manager taking care of him when he went to a gallery opening in Paris. While he is gone Pete gets so sick that there was nothing more to do but to put him to sleep and Charlie lost his best friend. The story that follows includes ghost dogs, new puppies, and new human loves and it's all because one man loved one dog. This is a must read book for any dog lover and as of the day I am writing this review it was only listed at $2.99 for the E-Book on Amazon!!! Seriously that is a steal and you should be ashamed of yourself for paying that little for this amazing book but not ashamed enough to not get it right now! 

Now to my story and my reason for my ridiculous emotion response. Last year on February 29, 2012, I watched my little boy dog get hit by a car. I was helpless. I was angry and I was guilty. I had turned my back for one second and in that one second my life forever changed. I grieved, my fiance' grieved, and as hard as we grieved our little girl Lilly grieved 100 times harder! She cried, searched for him, stopped eating, moped around and just went into a depression. Witnessing her reaction to losing her best friend and love was harder than anything else we were dealing with. When Russ described Charlie crying and being so inconsolable on the plane ride home I thought of how I needed to go to Walmart and get dog food the very next day after BoBo died and how I probably looked like a crazy person because I was sobbing and snotting all over the dog food aisle to the extent that my mother had to pretty much carry me away, put me in the car, and go back in and get the food herself because I just couldn't do it. I took a few days off of work (luckily my boss was a big time animal lover and completely understood) and in those few days I did what most people that lose a fur-baby never do. I sat online searching for a new puppy. Not for me but for my little Lilly Pad who was breaking my heart more and more every hour. She had never been alone and she needed a friend and all I wanted to do was help ease her pain. About 4 days later we came across the perfect dog and companion for our little girl and grabbed her up right away. Do I regret it? Absolutely not. Do I think she "took BoBo's place"? NEVER! But what I do know is that she has helped my entire family heal. Both of our parents, both of us and most importantly Lilly Pad. 

This review is dedicated to my BoBo Alexander Pugh who doesn't leave our hearts or minds or even conversations for even a day. We miss you more than anything and we thank you for sending us our little Olivia Grace :)

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About the Author 
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Aside from being a dog lover and a dog widower, RUSS RYAN has written and developed screenplays with the Hollywood producers of American Pie, Final Destination, and Fireflies in the Garden. He was also a writer on a really bad teen comedy, National Lampoon’s Repli-kate, starring Eugene Levy. This is his first novel.

In addition, he is the creator of Meansheets, a vintage movie poster blog that focuses on the greatest artists and illustrators from the 1940′s-1980′s.

Follow the Author 
Author's Website 

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I received this book to review through Beck Valley Books Book Tours, all the opinions above are 100% my own.


  1. What a heartbreaking tragedy x I'm am so pleased to hear that Lilly has managed to move on and enjoy life with her new companion. x

    1. It really was but we know he sent us out Olivia "Livie" Grace :) She has been a healing pup for all of us!


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