Saturday, August 14, 2010

Jim Gorant: 'The Lost Dogs' - our Review


You've probably heard about Jim Gorant's new book 'The Lost Dogs,' based on his exploration of the Vick case. We had the good fortune to read an early copy and are very happy to report that it's a gem of a book that deserves a place on every dog owner's bookshelf. Some have asked if BADRAP was featured in the book, and the answer is Yes - along with a fascinating line-up of characters who you may not have heard of but who played a significant role in ensuring that an infamous abuser was brought to justice and his war-torn victims were not forgotten.

Tim disappeared and read the book in nearly one sitting, earning one of the meanest sunburns I've ever seen on him. Here's his review ...
Jim Gorant did it again. We were so pleased with his December 2008 article in Sports Illustrated – The Good News Out of The Bad Newz Kennels – because of it’s unbiased, unsensationalized, and honest portrayal of the dogs. Having dealt with too many writers that don’t have time for research because they “have a story to print,” I’m so very pleased to report that Jim Gorant’s book The Lost Dogs is exceptionally informative, and not just about the dogs and their present status, but about the players – those who worked so very hard to make sure the case was prosecuted, and those who tried to make it otherwise. The book scared me at points when it became apparent how extremely close this case was to never happening, as a certain politico just wanted the whole thing to disappear and wasn’t happy about “...an underprivileged...icon being dragged down.”
I enjoyed the introduction as much as the rest of the book, again because of research - into the history of dogs in general and their relationship to people. Jim points out what *is so different about dogs when compared to all the other animals we share this planet with.

He covers what was not talked about in the disappointing 60 Minutes interview where hall of famer running back Jim Brown soft-balled questions to Vick, and yet Gorant never makes any judgment against the X-Falcon. Though this book is factual, several chapters are weaved together to create cliff-hangers with haunting resolve.

This is a book for those who want to know more details about the case, for those who want to know about the present status of the dogs, and for those who want to learn more about Vick’s true role in Bad Newz Kennels as some still believe he merely bankrolled the operation.

The story of The Lost Dogs sheds light on the true nature of the American Pit Bull Terrier and the best of our own nature as humans when we come together to help victims of disaster, even when they're manmade.
- Tim Racer

We want to thank Jim for making the dogs important with this story, and for surprising us with his open mind, his sentimental heart and his fresh perspective. May the world be open to the many lessons these dogs have tried to bring us. Below: During evaluations at the Hanover Pound.

The Lost Dogs Website and facebook page.



34 comments:

Bethany said...

Hey, do know how I could find pit friendly groups in Dallas, TX? A friend of a friend is prepping to leave her abusive boyfriend and obviously won't leave her pup but the place she's going to can't take a dog and since the dog is pittie, she doesn't want to just take him to a Dallas shelter. I hoped that BadRap or your awesome commenters might have ideas. There's also been an offer to help pay fly the dog to an adopter but she can't easily post the dog's info without alerting her boyfriend that she's thinking of leaving.

Dianne said...

Wow. I see Jim's going to be on NPR:
Fresh Air, NPR, sometime the during the week of Sept. 20 (National)

WAMU, The Animal House, Sept. 22 (Washington D.C.)

WAMU, Diane Rehm Show, Sept. 27 (National)

I'm looking forward to reading more about some of the dogs at Best Friends - 9 of the WARL dogs went there. I hope he'll get nominated for a Pulitzer!

Rescued Pittie Family said...

Very excited to get this book even though I know it's going to tug at my heart more than any other. I got my Kleenex ready and my pibbles are ready to cuddle and give me all the kisses I need to get through it.
I'm so grateful someone took the time to do this book. It is a great honor to those amazing dogs.
God bless Jim Gorant.
And BAD RAP of course!!!

Anonymous said...

Is the amazon.com button the link that gets you a portion of the money?

Thanks,

Kyle

Donna said...

Hi Kyle .. Yes, when you use this particular link, it registers as a sale coming from a BR supporter and our dogs get (I think) about 4% of the sale. Thank you for asking. Let us know what you think of the book, k?

bulldog said...

I ordered the book through the link but there was nothing to indicate that a portion would go towards BR.
The price did go up slightly from the advertised price so I hope thats the portion that BR will get.

Donna said...

bulldog - I poked around and it looks like clicking the photo of the book will bring you to the url that allows for a donation to BR.

clicking on the amazon link does not. I'm not sure why this is so!

a little annoying since we're sure to miss some sales from people who aren't aware. thank you for pointing this out to us!

bulldog said...

Well I think I'll cancel my order and reorder just to make sure.

Mike Sweeney said...

Great Christmas idea, but they limited me to only three copy's. I'll have to get the rest after the release in September.

Puppies in Arizona said...

I would like to read it as son as possible. I will bring it if possible. I'm looking forward to reading more about some of the dogs at Best Friends. Great stuff shared.

Anonymous said...

Do we know exactly where the proceeds from the sale of this book will go? I hate to think that Michael Vick or the NFL will profit from this. I don't want to spend the money until the author has confirmed that Vick won't make any money.

Sarah H said...

I don't see a link to the book anymore and I definitely want to buy through that so you guys can get some dough! Can anyone point me in the right direction?

Donna said...

Thanks for asking Sarah. The book-link we had up to amazon was acting very strange, so we took it down until we can figure out what's going on.

Apparently we get 4% from every sale if we do the affiliate program. For a $15 book, that amounts to - what? - 60cents, I believe. So since it's not very much, we won't be hurt if you go ahead and order the book from Amazon without BR's affiliate program. :-)

What's more important to us is that the book gets out there, so when you read it, please pass it on to as many people as you think will read it. That would make for a huge 'profit' for the dogs in our eyes. Thank you again !!!

Donna said...

anon 7:26 - profits from sale of the book will go to the book publisher and the author. I can tell you that Jim Gorant won't be sending any checks to M. Vick - No way. LOL. But you are good to double-check on that.

Kristy said...

Bethany, tell your friend to contact Paws in the City, also Dallas Dog Life, hope this helps!!

MWF said...

I pre-ordered the book through your link, and I received it a few days ago. I'm on page 21, so I have made it through some of the graphic descriptions of what happened to those poor babies. It was extremely difficult to read, but I have to know the whole story. I have two pittie rescue babies(3 and 12 years) that are ridiculously pampered, and this book makes me wish I could take them all in and keep them safe. I was disgusted with Michael Vick before, and now I can't find words to describe what I think of him. He definitely doesn't deserve a second chance. In fact, I worry that he is free at all. I look forward to the stories of your work. This book may definitely require numerous boxes of tissues though. Thanks for all of your work. I found you folks some time after I got my first girl 10 years ago, and you provided much needed information and inspired the pit bull ambassador in me. It makes me sleep better at night knowing people like you are out there.

In loving memory of Caesar D. (April 1995-Jan. 6, 2009) http://caesard.blogspot.com said...

I was wondering why a pitbull rescue -- or anyone supporting dogs or other animals -- would ever partner with a company like Amazon.com which will NOT stop selling dog and cockfighting paraphenalia, as well as fur. I don't get that at all. Most activists I know won't touch Amazon.com. I myself will be ordering THE LOST DOGS via Barnes and Noble's online site.
http://thetruthaboutamazon.com/the-issues/amazon-animal-abuse/

If Amazon.com's position has changed, please let me know.

Donna said...

To caesar. It's always disappointing to see books that describe dog and cock fighting available for purchase. They show up on ebay on a regular basis, too - where so many of us buy those lovely vintage photos of pit bulls! This is a similar dilemma we face when selling our tshirts on cafepress, which has a store for Peta products - Peta, as you probably know, promotes the euthanasia of shelter pit bulls rather than adoption. Bleh. It's hard to know when and who to boycott.

chelsealoop said...

I just finished the book. It was amazing but it took me a while to finish it. I had to put it down quite a few times because I was so angry and upset at how sick people can be. Any Vick supporter or pit hater needs to read this book. It gives a great insight to how amazing and misunderstood this breed truly is. The best part is knowing that most of them ended up living normal lives and learned to trust humans again thanks to people like you.
Also, I'd just like to comment on what was said about Peta promoting euthanasia of shelter pits...which I did not know! That is horrible. Thanks for posting that. Time for an email to Peta ;)

Krissy K. said...

This is in response to Bethany... I just read an article in about a group in Wisconsin called SAAV - Sheltering Animals of Abuse Victims - http://www.saavprogram.org/index.html. They are located in Wisconsin, but may be able to provide information and resources to help your friend of a friend secure appropriate care for her pit in Texas.

TravelingEurope said...

Is there a way to find out how many copies of this book have sold so far? I went to the publisher's website and couldn't find anything.

Anonymous said...

I just read that President Obama called Jeffrey Lurie, the owner of the Philadelphia Eagles, to express his gratitude for the team’s willingness to give Mr. Vick a second chance. I am shocked and saddened to hear about Obama’s praise for the Eagles and Michael Vick. Perhaps he hasn’t read Jim Gorant’s book. I too believe in second chances, and I truly believe that people can change. I also believe that people who commit unfathomable acts of cruelty and violence towards animals can’t be rehabilitated and should be incarcerated to avoid perpetuating future acts of violence on others. Research has found a direct correlation between cruelty to animals and child abuse, spousal abuse, child molesters, and all violent offenders. In fact, most serial killers began their killing spree with animals:
• Ted Bundy suspected of murdering more than 40 women, tortured animals as a young adult.
• Jeffery Dahmer loved to dissect animals and impale the heads of dogs and cats on sticks. Later he dissected boys (17of them), and kept their body parts in the refrigerator.
• Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold both reportedly boasted about mutilating animals.
• Luke Woodham burned and tortured his dog, Sparkle, to death by pouring liquid fuel down her throat and setting fire to her neck. He stabbed his mother to death and then went to his high school where he shot and killed two classmates and injured seven others.

Many of my colleagues think Michael's behavior should be forgiven. They feel Michael could be rehabilitated and would become a deserving dog owner if he was willing to spend time working in an animal shelter. I hardly think any of the murders listed above could have been prevented if the perpetrators had spent time working in an animal shelter.

Cruelty toward animals is one of the warning signs of psychopathic behavior. According to scientists who study incarcerated psychopaths, many psychopaths derive pleasure from torturing animals. Psychopaths use manipulation, violence and intimidation to control others and satisfy selfish needs. They lack conscience and the ability to feel guilt, but are often charismatic and charming and can mimic behavior that make them appear normal. “A psychopath is always in it for their self even when it seems like they are caring for and helping others. They don’t seem to benefit from therapy. In fact therapy can even help psychopaths hone their manipulative skills”.

Michael Vick is a perfect example of a psychopath. His remorse for torturing and killing the dogs at his Bad Newz Kennels was not for what he did to the dogs, but for the consequences his actions had on his freedom and ability to play football. Michael Vick should not be allowed to have a dog. He should not be allowed to play football. I even worry about his wife and child. He will not become a better person by working in an animal shelter any more than Richard Alan Davis will become a caring loving human being by working with young children.

Anonymous said...

Do you have a link to the Kindle version or will that one work too?

Krincess Carl said...

Thanks for the review! I'm interested in reading the book. I'm a dog lover, as evidenced by my dog blog posts. Our dogs are named Ice and Enzo, by the way. :)

Arienne-chan said...

Just finished the book a couple days ago. took me one day to read it. Thank you Jim Gorant for this enlightening book. It was a little late to use it for my college essay, but in the course of my research, I became very interested in the subject. Thanks again Jim Gorant for sating my thirst about the subject. And God bless BAD RAP, and Best Friends for taking these dogs and proving that they can change.

Anna May said...

I just finished reading the Lost Dog book, I could not put it down. Thank you for writing it. My daughter had 2 pits, had to put one down, but more loving animals could not be found. I am passing the word on about your book.

Anna May in Pleastnville, NJ

Elizabth D said...

I just finished this book and it was amazing. I could not put it down. I watched as much of the case as I could catch when it was on the news, but this book definatly opened my eyes to a lot that I didnt know. BADRAP and the other rescue groups do AMAZING work and Jim Gorant did an amazing job writing it.

havs said...

Finished the book in a few days, for me is amazing, I never read....I couldn't put it down. Well written and despite the several pages here and there that were very difficult to read, in the end heartwarming to know how much great work Bad Rap and the rescues did with these dogs.

Anonymous said...

I too just finished the book and found it heartwrenching in both good and bad ways because of the cruel treatment of these dogs and the amazing recoveries they have made. It was very hard for me to read because of the emotional roller coaster, but I am glad that I did and THANK GOD for all of the people who stepped in to stop the barbaric treatment of these animals and to those who dedicated their lives to helping them become happy, loving animals with a great future! I cannot believe anyone would support dog fighting and I believe that EVERYONE involved should be punished the same way these dogs were! My only comfort in knowing what happened to these beautiful dogs is my faith that GOD will make each person answer for the hand they had in tormenting these animals. Please be kind to your animals....they depend on us!

banditandkoko said...

This is an awesome book I've added to my collection. It reads like a fiction but it's not one! Well, well done.

Brooke Forzetting said...

I just finished reading "the Lost Dogs." Like so many before have said, I had to put it down periodically out of anger and sorrow. Then the next time I'd pick it up I'd be laughing out-loud at one of the dogs' antics. I love the way you can get into the dogs' heads. I am trying SO hard to focus on the positives I got from the book instead of the disgusting feeling in my stomach and heart as I hear a sports announcer rave about Vick...urgh! (oh he hurt his lil hand...so sorry NOT!) I am a APBT owner, his name is Hugo, and have owned others throughout the years...I am also a Forensic-Psych nurse and have seen a lot of human behaviors that may not be able to be rehabilitated...I think a person who hurts animals for pleasure or personal gain IS a psychopath, meaning it's a personality disorder (not an illness that can be cured.) Most important I think that this book has opened up a lot of much needed awareness of animal cruelty and what resilient, fantastic breeds the pitties are. I promote this book to anyone who will listen, and then again to those who don't seem interested. Thank you Mr. Gorant :D

Anonymous said...

My daughter gave me The Lost Dogs by jim gorant for Christmas; i'm sorry he had to write it but thank god he did. Michael Vick should be castrated and not in the NFL. Also, I can see that the Surrey County Commonwealth Attorney is still Gerald Poindexter -- that county is like DC, they'll keep putting a racist (yes, he's a black racist) back in the job. As a virginian, i am disgusted by Vick and the so called authorities (yes i mean you poindexter). There's a special place in hell waiting for Vick and Poindexter and anyone else involved with mistreating these poor creatures.

Connie CM said...

The person who gave a long detailed account of killers that have tormented animals was very informative and told the facts exactly as they have been reported and verified. Thank you for such level headed reasoning and for addressing the real issue of the torture done by Michael Vick. Many underprivileged people live their life without harming animals or people. Altho people admire good football players, his cruel beyond belief actions took away any doubts about his character or his ability to be cruel. One only has to view suffering once to know what it means--animals and humans suffered pain equally. There is no one so underprivileged that he doesn't know that taking a life equals losing the respect of every human. Shame on anyone who feels that he deserves a second chance--some things are just unforgivable.

jeanette harris said...

I agree with you. Vick claimed he made a mistake. A mistake is too much salt on my french fries, not killing a breathing being or watching it rip/ be ripped apart. I will never forgive what he has done. I love my pit girl and i will never own any other type dog. Vick has still earned his place on Hell as far as i am concerned.