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There But for the Grace of Dog Go I ...
Author Jan Dunlap was suffering increasingly severe bouts of anxiety after a medical misdiagnosis slapped her in the face with an acute realization of the tenuous nature of human life. A degreed theologian, Jan found her personal faith in God and His promises severely shaken and her enthusiasm for life being replaced by growing fear and debilitating insecurity. Then a rescue-shelter black lab-mix by the name of Gracie came into her life as her daughter's new pet, and Jan determined to do whatever it took to provide both her daughter and the dog with the sense of security she herself no longer felt.
She quickly discovered, however, that Gracie had her own agenda, and it was all dog. From chasing squirrels to jumping fences to the occasional roll in dead fish, Gracie taught Jan that life is for living, not dreading. As she began to realize that Gracie was helping her manage her anxiety, Jan also came to a new awareness of how a loving God provides healing through His own works of creation. Part memoir and part medical exploration of the truly healing gifts that God freely offers us through our interaction with animals and nature, Saved by Gracie is a story of God's redeeming love revealed at the paws of a dog.
Number of Pages: 160
Vendor: Authentic Media
Publication Date: 2014
|Dimensions: 8.46 X 5.51 (inches)|
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Author: Jan Dunlap
Located in: Chaska, Minnesota
Submitted: April 22, 2014
Tell us a little about yourself. I'm an author, speaker, wife, mother of five children, a former college professor, volunteer faith formation instructor, and an advocate for reconnecting with nature. As an army brat, I grew up around the US and in Germany, but I've made my home in Minnesota since 1982.
What was your motivation behind this project? When I realized that adopting our rescued dog was helping me overcome my anxiety issues and re-invigorating my faith in God, I wanted to share my story with others in hopes they might find spiritual, emotional, and physical healing, too.
What do you hope folks will gain from this project? I hope they develop a new appreciation for the design of God's creation which offers us healing in many ways, including through our pets. I hope that my story will bring hope to those suffering from anxiety, and that they might consider sharing their lives with a dog to benefit both themselves and the dog.
How were you personally impacted by working on this project? Not only did I find more clarity about removing negative habits/thoughts in my own life as I healed with the help of my dog, but my faith in God deepened, and I lost 15 pounds, too! As I speak with readers, I'm continually amazed at how we share similar experiences of anxiety, though no one feels comfortable in broaching the topic. I feel like I'm giving permission to people to acknowledge anxiety and offering them hope to heal through dog adoption.
Who are your influences, sources of inspiration or favorite authors / artists? The Bible inspires me every day with its wisdom and practicality. Richard Louv's books about nature deficit have struck a chord with me and led me into a deeper exploration of the healing properties of nature.
Anything else you'd like readers / listeners to know: I love connecting with readers at my website jandunlap.com, and offer laughter there and in my monthly newsletter to remind everyone to enjoy life. Life is for living, as my dog Gracie models for me every day, and I wish the same for all my readers.