The Dog Who Was There
by Ron Marasco
No one expected Barley to have an encounter with the Messiah. He was homeless, hungry, and struggling to survive in first century Jerusalem. Most surprisingly, he was a dog. But through Barley’s eyes, the story of a teacher from Galilee comes alive in a way we’ve never experienced before.
Barley’s story begins in the home of a compassionate woodcarver and his wife who find Barley as an abandoned, nearly-drowned pup. Tales of a special teacher from Galilee are reaching their tiny village, but when life suddenly changes again for Barley, he carries the lessons of forgiveness and love out of the woodcarver’s home and through the dangerous roads of Roman occupied Judea.
On the outskirts of Jerusalem, Barley meets a homeless man and petty criminal named Samid. Together, Barley and his unlikely new master experience fresh struggles and new revelations. Soon Barley is swept up into the current of history, culminating in an unforgettable encounter with the truest master of all as he bears witness to the greatest story ever told.
If you’ve read my blog at all, looked at my photos, or know me then you know that I am a dog lover. I believe this is why this book intrigued me. First, I was drawn in by the cover. Yes, I am one of those people. Second, the blurb or book description was just the bait needed to hook me. I am a sucker for dogs and Jesus!
Marasco has put such love into this simply written yet powerful novel. He was able to send me back to the days of Jesus Christ. I felt the love Barley felt for his friends and masters, the dust on my feet from him walking down the road, the fear he felt when he was left all alone, and the hope he felt when he found Samid and the Kind Man. Witnessing Christ’s last days through Barley’s eyes struck me in a completely different way. Seeing the crucifixion had to be the worst thing anyone could see, and being the visual person that I am, I felt like I could see what Barley saw.
I feel like I would not give an honest review if I didn’t tell you that there are parts of this book that are difficult to read for both dog lovers, and Jesus lovers alike. I was so glad I pushed through and finished this book. It has stuck with me for months, and I expect it to stay with me for much longer. I recommend this book for everyone!
Thank you to NetGalley and Thomas Nelson for providing me with an advance copy in exchange for my honest review.
FYI: The little photo above my review is actually an affiliated link. Basically, if you would like to purchase this book and you click on that photo it will send a few pennies my way. I use those pennies to keep my blog going. (Actually, if you want to know the truth, I’ve never received enough pennies to pay for it, but it will help.) Thanks!