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Shepherding Sam

Narrated by: Melinda Johnson
Length: 59 mins
5 out of 5 stars (10 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Sam's Aunt Eva says he's like a tornado; he causes a ruckus everywhere he goes. But Aunt Eva won't give up on Sam, and neither will Saucer, the monastery's corgi puppy. Saucer lives at the monastery, but he dreams of herding sheep. With no sheep in his life, Saucer tries to herd everyone else; farm animals, nuns, and especially Sam. Sam doesn't want to follow anyone, not even a funny puppy. But Saucer knows that if he just keeps trying, he can bring this lonely boy back to the flock.

©2016 Melinda Johnson (P)2016 Ancient Faith Publishing

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A Dog's Love for Life Sets an Example for Our Own

One thing I have noticed about most well-loved, well-socialized dogs is that they love everyone. The thought that a dog is “man’s best friend,” likely comes from that generalization. Dogs have a zest for life, and for being around loved ones, and for doing what they were designed to do. Our own dog, a huge black labradoodle, wants nothing more than to be a cuddled lapdog, and when she’s not permitted to try his, she loves to lay on (anyone’s) feet, just to be close.

Dogs are often used as therapeutic support animals, and I’ve written enough letters supporting the need for them to know that they really do make a difference in the lives of those they love. We all need love - dogs are good reminders that love is available if we take the time for it.

This is supposed to be a book review, though, not a sentimental observation about the importance of dogs. My children love their dog. They also love to be read to, or to listen to stories. I have four kids and three of them (the last is a baby) will sit and listen for as long as something is playing (even when they’ve heard it before, again and again). Melinda Johnson’s Shepherding Sam was a welcome addition to our listening library.

Shepherding Sam is a sweet, too-short book that is read by the author. The story is told from the unique perspective of Saucer, a Corgi who lives at a monastery. Saucer wants nothing more than to love and shepherd others, and he starts by trying to shepherd the nuns, then by shepherding the animals, and finally by shepherding a boy named Sam - a boy many people in the book think little of and find difficult to love. We aren’t told why or how Sam became a difficult young boy, just that he is struggling, and that Saucer doesn’t see that - Saucer sees someone to love and attend to. With just the right amount of affection, attention, and shepherding, Saucer is able to make an impact for everyone he meets, including Sam.

The book gently illustrates the importance of showing love to all those around you. Saucer, the sweet Corgi, loves and serves everyone he meets to the best of his ability and without discrimination. His determination to do this is a good example of our own calling to love and serve others.

As listeners to the audiobook version, my children and I appreciated the energy of author and reader, Melinda Johnson. She brought Saucer and his personality to life. She also brought to life the nuns who had to remind Saucer they weren’t sheep, the animals in the barnyard (my children’s favorite moment was her narration of all their sounds), and the various visitors.

Our one sadness with the book was that it seemed to end abruptly, with what seemed to be a lot more story left to be told. Thankfully, Melinda addressed that issue already - there is a sequel! We look forward to listening to that one day as well.

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Cute Story!

I spend a lot of time on the road for work and sometimes my 8 year-old daughter gets dragged along-- very grudgingly! Today, we listened to this and it was enjoyed, not just by her, but by myself and my 18 year-old daughter as well! It was narrated so well and we all immediately had to move on to the next one: The Barn and the Book! Great cute listen for all ages!

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loved this story

my kids especially enjoyed this book! This is a whimsical tail (get it?) of faith and friendship, loyalty, and listening for God's call in your life.