Ever wonder what the world would look like through the eyes of a dog? This book answers that. Barley, a dog that lives in Jerusalem during the time of Jesus, chronicles his life in this tale. His earliest memories revolve around his mother, a meadow and a kind little boy. But a series of confusing events leave Barley homeless and alone.
Barley lives through both good times and lean times which correlate with the people in his life. He also notices things that happen to the humans around him. Barley first hears about the Teacher from the elderly Adah and Dov’s conversations. They talk about forgiveness and other teachings from the Teacher, and try to live them out. As time goes on, Barley notices those two seniors, who were always happy, have an even deeper level of happiness because of the Teacher’s words.
Prisca often talks about the Teacher from Galilee while around Barley and Samid. Barley notices that Samid starts treating those around him differently, in a kinder way, after discussions about the Teacher’s preachings. Samid even refuses to take part in illegal activities that had once been part of his life—he even attempts to get his friend to stop as well.
Jesus’ arrival in Jerusalem on the back of a donkey is described through Barley’s eyes. The dog notes the man’s face is filled with so much kindness that Barley refers to him as the Kind Man from then on. He even witnesses the events in Jerusalem one week later that leave Barley confused and alone. Ultimately, Barley incorporates some of the Kind Man’s teachings in his own behavior, and discovers a whole new world because of it.
This is a sweet story that attempts to answer many what ifs…what if a dog lived in Jerusalem during the time of Jesus’ ministry? What if that dog could communicate his impressions of the people and events of that time period? What if that dog also had to be dependent on the people around him, what would his life be like?
I liked this book’s interesting perspective, and it is a very fast read. From the first time you read about Barley, you will care about him, and wonder if he is going to survive. I was concerned that this book might treat Christianity with disrespect, but my worries were not fulfilled. Faith was treated with high esteem; in fact, your faith might even be deepened from this tale. Also, the description Barley had of Jesus’ last hours on this earth will bring tears to your eyes. I enjoyed this 5-star book, and recommend it to both dog lovers, and those who are not. Anyone will like this imaginative tale.
Thomas Nelson Publishing provided bookreadingtic with a complimentary copy of The Dog Who Was There, for the purpose of review. I have not been compensated in any other manner. All opinions expressed are my own, and I was not required, or influenced, to give anything but an honest appraisal. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.
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