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on 8 March 2017
Highly recommended to every dog holder and especially those who plan to have a dog! One of the few books I read twice in a row. Good luck my darling!
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on 23 August 2015
This story simply oozes love and understanding, and even tough, or precisely because, it is a dog's book, everything in it is as human(e) as we wish we would be, if we only tried a little more. Family ties, loyalty, mischief, consolation, kindness, wisdom, respect, experience, a range of thoughts and emotions displayed from a dog's perspective, with deep empathy, but never condescending, mushy or pathetic, toward the main character or the readers themselves.

The voice used by the author to convey Sirius's mind and life events is clever, witty, charming, bitter, wise, and the pages of his life simply flow through the reader's mind. You can draw so many paralels with human lives, and yes, you can actually learn a lot from dogs, about humans and animals. The description of Sirius's parents courting brought a smile on my face, and the first training lessons Sirius had made me laugh out loud. The author offers a unique outlook on dog's changing owners, dog shelters and people who work there, and the daily treatment of pet dogs. The section with Stratos, Sirius's older brother, retelling the events in the house of his brutal master, left a deep impression; to see through a dog's eyes just how much human behaviour influences dogs. Some people should never have dogs or any pets whatsoever -- I often wonder how such people treat their family members, but I suppose it's the same. I could go on and on, about breeders, competitions, chained guardian dogs, etc., but am trying to avoid spoilers.

When I finished reading Someone to Look Up To, I have to say all my review remarks seemed silly, mere words. This book makes you feel, respect, cherish, accept and fight for the treasures of life. It almost makes me wish dogs could read it to. I thoroughly recommend it to anyone who loves animals, has or has ever owned a dog, or anyone seriously considering getting a dog, as a companion and friend, not possession. A beautiful, loving story, told with unseen empathy -- it will more than live up to your expectations.
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on 15 April 2015
Full disclosure: I adore dogs and they seem to feel the same way about me. I'd often find myself "projecting" what my canine friend must be thinking: Are those deep brown eyes filled with love or merely yearning for a treat? Finally, thanks to author Jean Gill's splendid book I've now had the privilege to view the world from the grand perspective of a noble hound, Sirius (named after the Dog Star).
Sirius, commonly known as Izzy, is a magnificent white Great Pyrenean Mountain Dog. His gigantic stature provides us, the reader, with an insightful and entertaining view on how humans and our doggie friends interact. Alas, in this relationship it is often the human that errs. Izzy remains the constant, but an initial doting family crumbles to be replaced with overprotective adult hysteria and over-exuberant children. What is a sane, sensible and loyal dog to do? Unfortunately Sirius doesn't have a say, and falls victim to the selfish and thoughtless actions of those that should know better.
This is a book about a dog, but it is also an allegory for empathy, the joy of nurturing another sentient being, the pleasure in a loyal friend, and the ability to have a truly symbiotic relationship with a creature completely unlike ourselves. "Someone To Look Up To" will leave you feeling grateful to have been blessed with these grand four-legged companions in our lives; but it is also a reminder that the human must be willing to bear the full responsibility in this relationship. Dogs depend on us, in exchange they provide us with selfless joy; a vigorous wag of a tail or the offering of a returned ball. They care for us too, ever vigilant over our homes and our person.
From this unique dog's view of our world, Jean Gill has opened my eyes further in better understanding my dog friend’s needs. For example, behavior we perceive as destructive may well be an animal filled with anxiety—worried whether their owner will be returning after a day at work. As such "Someone To Look Up To" is a most enjoyable and thoroughly entertaining read--but it should be required reading for dog lovers everywhere!
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on 12 July 2014
Someone To Look Up To is a delightful story about a dog born in the Pyrenees with two sisters and four brothers. But Sirius is no ordinary dog and he’s certainly no straw-fowler. He’s a Soum de Gaia, born of better stock. From first bite to tail-length drools, power launches and flying, Sirius is a unique dog. A dog that wants adventure, a dog that yearns for that breath of love. What I loved about this book was a dog’s eye view of humans, intuitive and hilarious, and so well written I’m convinced I can now speak dog.

One by one the puppies leave with their new owners and Sirius finds a new home. Real family, real pack. Being lonely and getting to the meat of a cushion is what it’s all about, especially when you need a little attention. Just a little persuasion with a pair of melting brown eyes and a few washing up sponges to soak up the stress. Not to mention the re-emergence of a tea towel, thank Dog.

Humorous, clever, and with a touch of foreboding to whet the appetite, it’s not the type of book you can put down. I couldn’t stop thinking how it would all turn out. And so I grabbed a cup of coffee and read on
.
Thank you for the wonderful experience of being in a dog’s head. I’ve often wondered what a dog's world was all about. Now I know

I give this book five stars because I read it in virtually one sitting.
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on 13 January 2015
I was given a free copy in exchange for an honest review. And I can honestly say that I loved this book and would definite read more from this author.

The narrative is from a dog's perspective and how he interprets the world and us humans. It's a great story line, and would highly recommend it. Parts of it were funny, joyous, insightful, as well as sad, but I thoroughly enjoyed it and would give it the full five star rating.

I will read more from this author.
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on 13 September 2015
“It's a dog's life in the south of France. From puppyhood, Sirius the Pyrenean Mountain Dog has been trying to understand his humans and train them with kindness...”
Those are the first words in Jean Gill’s introduction of ‘Someone To Look Up To’ and what sold me on the book. The promise of humour, kindness and wisdom came through and beyond in the story. It amazed me how much pleasure one can get from a book like this where the main character is a dog with an amazing personality and appeal. The way Jean Gill speaks for the dogs, in beautiful writing with illuminating narrative and dialogue, I felt like I understood everything the dogs were thinking/saying to each other. I recognized so much of these dogs’ behaviors in my own dog, which was touching.
I truly recommend this beautiful and thoroughly entertaining book!
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on 31 July 2015
I borrowed the book 'Someone To Look Up To' from a friend, and I am so glad, and in appreciation to the author for writing this lovely book I wanted to write a review as a thank you.
I love dogs, and in the great tradition of Lassie, Old Yella and Rin Tin Tin, Sirius the Pyrenean Mountain Dog should have his own place in history.
I love the dog speak, so Sirius and the other dogs he meets along the way, get to have their say and point of view. It has taught me so much about these precious, intelligent animals that we need to treat with so much respect, love and attention. I am so glad the world’s mindset is changing for the betterment of all animals.
Thanks Jean for such a touching story that speaks out for the ‘underdog’. I enjoyed every minute and didn’t want the story to end. I would recommend this book to everyone, everywhere.
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on 31 March 2014
This was a really good book and all the more interesting as it was written from the dog,s perspective, kept you wondering if he would find an owner who treated him with love.
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on 4 February 2014
I enjoyed this but read it mostly with my heart in mouth wondering what was going to happen next to one or other of the dogs. If this was a true story or even "faction" how very sad. I hope that the owners of the "sanctuary" got their just desserts.

I am recommending the Michael Hasbrouch - not sure of the spelling - to my son in the hopes he can train his Border Collie!!
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on 30 April 2015
What a wonderful journey Jean Gill takes us on, told through the eyes of a Pyrenean Mountain Dog.
It is more than a well told story, it is a training manual for a better interaction between a dog and owner, an insight to the role a dog has as the protector of the family.
In the story we see the negative effects of miscommunication and its detrimental effects on many dogs that find themselves in refuge shelters. There were times that my emotions were moved to tears as I read of the abuse suffered by such a faithful animal called ‘man’s best friend’. It definitely is a wonderful example to bring to light the plight of animal mistreatment.
Very descriptive, well written book, even poetical at times, I could see the mountains, smell the air, and feel the emotion of Sirius, and the other dogs who came across his path, I am so glad when it all came, for him, to a mutually happy end.
This book is well worth reading for many different reasons, and especially would be a great book for anyone who has, or contemplates to have, a dog in their life.
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