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Publisher's Summary

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.

©2017 Ron Marasco (P)2017 Thomas Nelson

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What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

A story of love, forgiveness and hope beautifully told

I enjoyed every moment of this story. Beautifully narrated by the author with imagination so much that I could close my eyes and visualize every scene. Well done! Not forgetting at the same time to share the gospel message.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Inspiring

Beautiful story. You will experience the meanness of humanity yet the depth of Christ's love and forgiveness . Narrator was expressive.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Wonderful story!

What did you love best about The Dog Who Was There?

I loved how all of the characters were interwoven. It seemed realistic and believable.

What about Ron Marasco’s performance did you like?

He brought feeling to each character in a way that made them relatable but not overly dramatic.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

If you have furry children, have Kleenex ready.

I expected, well hoped, for the provided ending but it was gut wrenching trip. The writer / narrator almost put it on the HD screen for me.
This is a parable for today.

PS: I think the narrator sounds like Peter Jurasik as Howie Sanders in the Longest Ride.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Wonderful

Of all the audio books I've listened to, this one had the most twists, turns, moments of true joy and sadness. The best part is that all the stories are not left open-ended for you to guess. Everything has a satisfactory, sometimes happy sometimes sad, ending to it. I truly enjoyed this book.

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goid book

i liked the book and how it tied events together. the ending was a pleasant surprise.

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Sappy and childish

I hate to write poor reviews, but I have to be honest. I listened for a few chapters and had to quit. I felt like I was listening to a children's book. Told from a puppy's point of view just didn't work for me, as an adult. I think it would be best if it was marketed to a younger audience. Writing from an animal's POV is difficult, but from a puppy POV is even harder.It's like writing a coming-of-age book from the adult POV, but keeping it believable as a child. It's tricky, and I don't think Marasco quite pulled it off. At least, not in the beginning, which is where the hook is necessary. And the beginning dragged, so I lost interest. I'm surprised at and disappointed in Thomas Nelson, the biggest Christian book publisher out there.

Also, sometimes the author should just remain the author. While his narration wasn't bad, it wasn't great. A professional narrator might have been able to give it a better life.

I'm sure Ron Marasco is an excellent writer, but this book was a waste of my money.

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Wonderful!

This book is one of the best books I’ve ever encountered. No bad words. Great for any age. Good lessons. But, listen to this with plenty of Kleenex. Good ending. Great animal story.

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  • Debbie
  • Toney, Alabama
  • 12-13-17

Poignant, Personal, Puppy Point of View

It is the time of Roman-occupied Judea. And times are perilous. From birth, Barley had to struggle to stay alive. Born in a field, nestled close with his puppy siblings, to his mother, feeding and gaining strength, he was discovered by a kind little boy, Micah. Micah's father was a hard task master, but still Micah managed to smuggle out some food scraps to Barley. Until one day, he was discovered . . . through many harrowing experiences, Barley survives, quickly learning to love a childless couple who take him in. Duv is a woodcarver, who makes beautiful carved birds to sell in the marketplace. Adah and Duv are starting to hear about The Teacher and his followers, and frequently speak of Him at home. At first glance, you might think this is a simplistic approach to the gospel story . . . it is . . . and it isn't . . . it is written beautiful, and yes, in a way that a child can understand. But the message of doing unto others, forgiving, and most of all Jesus' sacrifice for our sins is not watered down . . . His love for the least of these is front and center. His miraculous hand in the outcome of our lives . . . even the life of a dog . . . is wonderfully told . . .

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    5 out of 5 stars
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An interesting view of the final days of Jesus

The story begins with Barley's puppyhood and the horrors he endured losing his mother and siblings. As he transitions from master to master, Barley picks up insights into humans and their behavior, for better and often for worse. He is a courageous little dog and a definite survivor, filled with love and strength. He hears about the teacher and the gentle words he has been saying. He reacts as much to the emotions behind the words as he does to the words themselves and witnesses the changes those words make in the people who surround him. Finally, he witnesses the "Kind Man" struggling to carry the cross and the final crucifixion....with his master on another cross at the same time. It is an interesting and very real, tragic perspective...much more honest and open than many "official" accounts I have read. I won't spoil the ending for you save to say the Kind Man's words influence the outcome. This isn't the first book I have listened to narrated and written by Mr. Marasco. He seems to be able to really get into the minds of the dogs he writes about. His pets must be very lucky. This book is sometimes painful to listen to, but it isn't enough to make you put the book down. From the beginning, you get very invested in this little dog and you want to follow his life, come what may.