My Life Among the Underdogs

A Memoir
Narrated by: Tia Torres
Length: 5 hrs and 50 mins
5 out of 5 stars (526 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

From one of the most respected figures in the dog-rescue community come the harrowing, funny, and inspiring stories of nine incredible dogs that shaped her life.

Tia Torres, beloved underdog advocate and star of Animal Planet's hit show Pit Bulls & Parolees, chronicles her roller-coaster life in this heartwarming memoir featuring some of her best-loved dogs. With inimitable honesty and characteristic brashness, Tia captures the spirit and heart of these intelligent and loving canines, while carrying us behind the scenes of her TV show, into the heart of post-Katrina New Orleans, onto the soundstages of Hollywood films, and even to the jungles of Sri Lanka.

Tia has devoted her life to shattering the stereotype that pit bulls are dangerous, vicious predators. As the top dog at the Villalobos Rescue Center in New Orleans, the largest pit bull rescue in the US, she and her team have rescued, rehabilitated, and re-homed hundreds of animals that might otherwise have been destroyed. As she puts it, most of the stories in this audiobook are about animals (and a few humans) that needed someone to believe in them and a purpose in order to show their true nobility.

Each dog Tia writes about here has overcome abuse, trauma, neglect, or just bad luck to become a stalwart, loving companion to Tia and her family. You'll meet Duke, whose intelligence and matinee-idol looks made him a star in movies and music videos; Junkyard Joe, whose single-minded passion for tennis balls was channeled into expertise as a drug-sniffing dog; Bluie, the unswerving protector of Tia's daughter Tania; and a host of other unforgettable canines.

My Life Among the Underdogs is above all a love story, one that is sure to grip the heart of anyone who has ever owned or been owned by a dog.

©2019 Tia Torres (P)2019 HarperCollins Publishers

What listeners say about My Life Among the Underdogs

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I couldn't stop.

I downloaded it and listen to it all the way through non-stop. What an amazing life she has lived and those wonderful fur babies that came into their lives for all the right reasons. Thank You Tia for everything you do.

8 people found this helpful

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Tia Torres and a life in dog rescue

I think it's fair to say Tia Torres, founder and head of Villalobos Rescue Center, has lived a varied and interesting life. She has, especially, known a lot of wonderful, challenging, and interesting dogs.

She tells her story organized around those dogs--Cougar, Duke, Moose, Lucky, and others, in California and in Louisiana. The rescue started as a wolf and wolf mix rescue, and the shift to pit bulls was gradual and almost accidental. Working with wolves and, as a trainer for the entertainment industry, with a variety of large and dangerous animals, she developed a confidence and an awareness of body language that helped her both to work with dogs, and to establish her reputation with the rescue community.

Her more chaotic and unreliable relationships with her fellow human beings also helped to focus her attentions and efforts on dogs.

Torres is a great storyteller, and in both the writing and the reading she makes her experiences compelling and absorbing. Yet she's also a very private person, and there are a lot of things I'd be interested to know more about, that she simply passes over. She respects her own privacy, and doesn't share what she doesn't want to share. Nor is she overly concerned about linear storytelling. Each of the chapters is orderly in itself, but the arrangement of them is more a flowing from theme to theme, than starting at the beginning of her story and continuing on to the present time. Sometimes this means we get two different perspectives on the same incident, how it seemed at the time, and how it seemed later, after more reflection and/or more information.

Because this is a book about Tia Torres' lifetime in animal rescue, it unavoidably involves some dogs, some dogs very important to her and to her four children, dying. There's no avoiding it in telling her story properly, but for some people, who would otherwise love the book, that will be a deal-breaker. That's unfortunate, but neither do I want to trick anyone into starting a book that they won't be able to enjoy and finish.

It's an excellent book, though, and highly recommended.

I bought this audiobook.

7 people found this helpful

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We need more

This heart rendering memoir left me hungry for more. The story of a very exceptional woman and her family living extraordinary lives. Thank you Tia for sharing. We love you..

6 people found this helpful

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Be prepared to smile, laugh and cry...

I wasn't sure what to expect, but this is a great book. I loved the insight into the family and the stories of the dogs that shaped their lives. I was very happy to hear Tia read the book herself, I don't think it would have had the same feeling if it was read by anyone else.

5 people found this helpful

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God Loves The Underdog.

Thank you Tia. Simply told in your own voice and in your own words. Thank you for opening up the small portal into what you do. My rescue pack of 5 Misfits thank you too.

4 people found this helpful

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Tia Torres

I could not finish it fast enough. Tia Torres is a great inspiration and woman!

4 people found this helpful

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Highly Recommend!

Awesome book! Amazing story about an amazing rescue group! Loved every Pitbull story....total loyal wiggle butts! ❤️

4 people found this helpful

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Inspiring, heart-wrenching read

I totally loved this book. the animal stories and Tias family challenges and triumphs took me on an emotional roller coaster that no other book has ever done. Such an incredible family all around. I highly recommend you read this book you will have a hard time putting it down.

3 people found this helpful

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Touching and heartfelt

A wonderful story of how animals can give us humans the strength, desire and unconditional love to get through whatever life throws at us. Tia your my hero and kindred soul.

3 people found this helpful

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Laughter and tears

It will make you feel on so many levels. I confess that more than once I had to stop the book and snuggle with my beautiful and wonderful pit bull Annie (aka Love bug) and tell her yet again that she is safe, loved and in her forever home.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 09-06-20

Beautiful and unique

Amazing stories and perfectly raw. My favourite thing about this book is that it’s not been over edited, it’s not in any particular order - it’s so Tia in every way that makes I that much more personal. Please write another!!

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  • charlotte
  • 05-25-20

Enjoyable and emotional

Good listen, narrator was good being familiar with her voice from the show made it more personal.

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  • Fiona
  • 10-02-19

Amazing

couldnt stop listening to this book thank you for sharing such personal moments and letting us into your lives just that little bit more. i agree animals are far better than humans .

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  • loulycarr
  • 08-14-19

thank you....

What a great book wish it was longer, hope Tia does another Audio book...thank you

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  • Compton72
  • 06-02-19

Nice easy listen...never a dull moment

Firstly, the narration was spot on. The emotion really came through in Tia’s voice. The stories were both heartwarming and at times, heartbreaking. Tia’s dedication and commitment to the welfare of animals is evident. I’m guessing there are many more stories to be told and I’d definitely buy the next book if there was one.

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  • Craig harte
  • 04-25-19

Wow wot a book

simply Amazing If you love the show pit bulls and paroles you’ll love this book

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  • NattyH22
  • 04-03-19

What I expected and more!

I absolutely loved listening to this book!, iv followed the show from the beginning and to hear stories in full and things I’d never known was brilliant!
Tia reading it so well topped it off perfectly!
5* and more!
Thanks for sharing Tia!

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  • Anonymous User
  • 02-03-20

Heart warming great listen

Prepare to have a cry!! Great story telling with parts that make you laugh, cry and shake your head. Pitt bulls are highly misunderstood and people like Tia are truly amazing. You give me hope for the human race.