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Ty’s Journey: Sharing the Lessons, Life, and Love of my Adopted PTSD Collie is an Indie Reads pick

Title: Ty’s Journey: Sharing the Lessons, Life, and Love of my Adopted PTSD Collie

Author: Ryan Jo Summers

Genre: Non-fiction

Book Blurb:

In March 2015, nine collies were transported from a Tennessee neglect/ hoarding situation to a North Carolina breed-rescue organization. They were collectively called "The Baseball Team", and individually they were given baseball-themed names. They were all untrained, neglected, and distrustful of people. Some had reverted to near wild-dog instinctive behavior. A male blue merle called Ty Cobb was the first to be adopted. His adopted 'mama' recorded the first two years of their journey, chronicling their challenges, doubts, setbacks, successes, surprises, and ultimate triumphs as Ty first learned to trust, then to blossom and thrive. Written in diary style, this is the story of that one particular, unique collie. He went from being a near-feral hoarding victim, without even a name, through a long trail of adjustments, to belonging to a family that treasured him for the special hallmarks that make him 'Ty'. Along the way, as he healed, he also brought healing to others in need.


While most of Ty’s history is unknown, I can share some of my history that brought me to the Collie Rescue’s door. Growing up, I’d always been infatuated by Albert Peyson Terhune’s stories and Lassie. Later, once I married in the early 1990’s, I bought three collies with the intent to train and show. It was a twist of irony that shortly into that endeavor I met fanciers who rescued. With that introduction, I quickly knew where my loyalties would rest.

I enlisted the help of other collie rescues across the nation, drafted documents, lined up housing and vet care, and spread the word. I applied for non-profit status and licensing. Policies and guidelines were drafted. Networking relationships were forged. Soon the dogs came.

Strays and surrendered. Some trained, and some not. Some purebred. Some mixed. Old, young, some healthy and some not. Over the next ten years, the organization held fundraisers, built an adoption center, partnered with the county juvenile detention center, and successfully placed over 250 collies into new, loving, and permanent homes throughout the state.

On a personal level, as founder and director, I shared some great moments, bittersweet sorrows, and a whole lot of hard, endless work and super fun. Achievements and failures ran hand in hand.

Then one day it all ended. In a thundering clap of divorce. A lightning bolt of infidelity. A string of surprises that rocked my world, shattered my dreams, shredded my heart, and tore me apart. For eleven months, I lived in limbo, adopting out the remaining collies and shuttering the rescue. Then I left everything behind, with my tail between my legs, my faith in humanity destroyed, and my hopes for a future in pieces.

With time and divine intervention, I survived. Eventually, over ten years later, I thrived. It was not easy. I battled poverty, homelessness, the onset of several chronic health challenges, and more. It was a triumphant period when I finally purchased my own home and was able to adopt a collie again. I had truly missed the breed!

So I really understood the broken dog I saw before me at the Collie Rescue that warm March day. The shutdown emotions, the blank-eyed stare, and the dejected spirit. Yet I also recognized the flicker of a survivor. And I saw his heart. What a great heart this animal had! I just didn’t think I was the person to help him. Not anymore.

I felt his devastation too keenly, mirroring my own buried sorrows. How could I help him through it?

Once upon a time, over a decade ago, I had helped many like him. Countless animals with their own horror story and emotional baggage. I worked with them to unload it and move past it. Except I still had loads of bagged beneath my triumphant survivorship. I was ready for a dog, but I wasn’t ready for a dog as damaged as this one.

I nearly left the rescue in tears a number of times, to escape the painful slap of reminders. Yet I kept coming back to him. That single leap of faith to take him home cost me so much more than his adoption fee. I could barely speak for the emotions choking me.

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What makes your featured book a must-read?

In a word: Emotional! This is all about my dog, Ty, who I adopted in 2015. He’d had a rough first six years, and it clearly showed. He was broken. I’d been broken too, years earlier. As I worked on teaching him to trust and learn to be a dog, he worked on teaching me to let go and just be. This book is chock full of photos of Ty, beginning at our first adoption picture to milestones, places we visited, people and dogs he met, and every step of his journey from broken dog to living the life he was meant to. And that is Ty featured on the cover of the book.


Enter to win a $25 Amazon gift card:

Open Internationally.

Runs December 5 – December 14, 2023.

Winner will be drawn on December 15, 2023.

Author Biography:

Her writing has appeared in trade journals and regional and national magazines. She has numerous novels, novellas, and anthology contributions all published in the romance genre and assorted subgenres. Some have placed well in national writing contests.

Aside from writing and pet sitting, Ryan Jo likes to work in her garden, gather with family and friends, and cook. paint, and read. She enjoys a good game of chess, or a challenging word find puzzle and watching fish swim in an aquarium or the chickens scratch in the yard.

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1 commentaire

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N. N. Light
08 déc. 2023

Thank you, Ryan Jo, for sharing your heartwarming book in our Indie Reads Bookish Event!

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