• Rescuing Riley, Saving Myself

  • A Man and His Dog's Struggle to Find Salvation
  • By: Zachary Anderegg, Pete Nelson
  • Narrated by: David Marantz
  • Length: 5 hrs and 39 mins
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars (238 ratings)

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Rescuing Riley, Saving Myself

By: Zachary Anderegg,Pete Nelson
Narrated by: David Marantz
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Publisher's Summary

While hiking on a solo vacation in a remote, uninhabitable region of Arizona, Zachary Anderegg happened upon Riley, an emaciated puppy clinging to life, at the bottom of a 350-foot canyon. In a daring act of humanity that trumped the deliberate savagery behind Riley’s presence in such a place, Zak single-handedly orchestrated a delicate rescue.

What didn’t come out in the initial burst of publicity this story received is that Zak and Riley’s destinies were intertwined long before they improbably found each other. For much of Zak’s childhood, he was at the bottom of a veritable canyon himself - a canyon whose imprisoning depth and darkness was created by bullies who just wouldn’t quit and parents who weren’t capable of love. From the age of five, Zak was everyone’s favorite target.

When Zak came upon Riley, the puppy’s condition bespoke his abusers’ handiwork - three shotgun pellets embedded beneath his skin, teeth turned permanently black from malnutrition. The meeting was one of a man and a dog singularly suited to save each other. As a former US Marine sergeant, Zak was one of only a few people with the mettle and physical wherewithal to get Riley out. And in rescuing him, Zak was also attempting to save himself, conquering the currents of cruelty that swelled beneath his early life and always threatened to drown him.

©2013 Zachary Anderegg and Pete Nelson (P)2013 Audible, Inc.

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What listeners say about Rescuing Riley, Saving Myself

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Bullying has consequences

This is a must read book for anyone who works with kids or who has been bullied or abused in their lives. It is a book that should be read by every parent as far too often parents don’t really know what’s going on in their kids lives. There is so much happening in our world where people seem to think it’s their right to attack other people just to make themselves feel better or stronger. Even though the author was bullied during a time where there was not the ease of social media the effects of bullying on his life can be found in any person who has been bullied by others. Even the teachers would not step in to help him in anyway. His parents weren’t there for him or made it worse the one time his mother went to school with him. As an educator and a court appointed special advocate for foster children I found this book to be excellent and looking at the long range affects that bullying has or abuse has during someone’s formative years on their whole life.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Needs More

It was interesting especially the struggle Zachary had growing up. My heart ached for him and as a child I wanted to hug him and let him know he was loved. However the story drops after he took the dog home from the vet. I would have loved to learn more about how Riley adjusted and became part of the family. Seemed to skip over that part. But overall was a good listen!

2 people found this helpful

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It's not about the dog.

What disappointed you about Rescuing Riley, Saving Myself?

I thought this book was a journey about a dog's tale of abuse and recovery. Instead, it was about the tale of the author's abuse and recovery. While I do not want to belittle his story for it is a story that will help many, I bought this book to learn about Riley's journey. With the exception of getting her out of the canyon and initial vet visits, there is very little about Riley. I will be asking for my credit back. Sorry Zachary

What could Zachary Anderegg and Pete Nelson have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

Talk more about Riley's recovery process, the little successes she achieved on her rode to health. The healing of her mind and spirit.

You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

Yes, the fact that Zachary cared enough to save him! Thank you!

2 people found this helpful

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Where were the teachers???

As a retired teacher, this was SO DISTURBING. Bullying this intense would have been clear to any teacher that pays attention.
Glad the dog survived, but I took very little away from this book about a dog rescue... just adults who majorly failed this young man.

1 person found this helpful

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wonderful book

narrator is easy to listen to, story is compelling. I will listen again soon. loved this book!

1 person found this helpful

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Wonderful. I could relate on so many levels.

Loved it. From being bullied to loving & rescuing dogs. Each experience prepares us for another.

1 person found this helpful

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bullying

Was Rescuing Riley, Saving Myself worth the listening time?

This book should be promoted as more of a bullying book, rather than a dog rescue story. Interesting but misleading that it's really about the dog.It's way too stong about his childhood.

1 person found this helpful

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Amazing Book!!

Really helped me get through something in my past. And think of thing from my past differently!

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Impactful Book

Beautiful story that ties together the rescue of a dog and the effects and trauma of bullying. I know it will remain in my mind. Great read.

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Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our life whole.

I really enjoyed the story and the narration was great. I adopted a mistreated and abandoned dog on June 20 (2017) seven years after Zach found and rescued Riley. My daughter says my “Brownie” won the lottery and I’m sure both Zach and Riley feel the same way about each other. While I have had Brownie five years, he is still fearful of men, being confined inside a crate and is extremely food insecure. He survived mange, a MRSA infection that nearly killed him and had numerous teeth broken off at the pulp line that needed to be pulled. It took more than six months for him to not be afraid of my husband, but they have bonded over belly rubs and treats. Brownie has gained 30 pounds and is now a very healthy 63 lbs.

Some reviewers thought the book would be Much more about Riley, but I loved hearing about Zach’s processing his childhood and “why” he and Riley had both suffered. I was thrilled that each of them had their Happy Ever After. I have reflected on this story long after reading it and highly recommend it to everyone.

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  • OldnCreaky
  • 11-01-22

Insightful and Inspiring

As a massive dog lover who only has rescue animals as pets the story of the rescue was incredible.
As a troubled child I feel less alone. Even my siblings had different experiences with my mother so different memories and viewpoints. I am estranged from my sister as a result.
Thank you for sharing your story.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 09-28-22

Love this story

Don't normally leave reviews of anything. But I felt like I had to for this one. Loved how honest this book was. And loved the story. Dogs do something to people that other people can't. They help us see things and feel things like nothing else can.

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  • Miss Dawn
  • 04-12-17

the strength of human & animal spirit

Where does Rescuing Riley, Saving Myself rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

Top

Who was your favorite character and why?

His owner

What about David Marantz’s performance did you like?

Easy to listen to

Any additional comments?

this book taught me a lot about acceptance actually. The acceptance that the authors wife has for her husband, accepting him for what he is due to experiences and upbringing. I actually found I am different to my husband now, unreal. Not what I expected and due to the author being real I guess. Thank you

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  • desleighjane
  • 11-04-22

Did not like it, did not finish it

I did not like the way the book started with finding a dog ina canyon and that jumped to his unhappy school life with mean kids at school, his unhappy after school life with a big mean stepmom who made him eat a lot of cream cheese, then back to the canyon and some talk about knots and rapelling.

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  • Lynne
  • 01-02-21

amazing

An incredible book not only for the saving of Riley but the saving of himself. Made me look at my life and maybe it is the saving of me too!