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Saturdays with Stella: How My Dog Taught Me…
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Saturdays with Stella: How My Dog Taught Me to Sit, Stay, and Come When…

by Allison K. Pittman

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If you like dogs, then you will fall in love with this author's dog, Stella. I really enjoyed reading about Stella and how she learned to sit, drop it, leave it, take it, let go, come, wait, and many other commands. It was very humerous but loving. There were also lessons along the way that we can relate to when it comes to our obedience to God. I hope to practice some of what I learned on our dog (we will see if you really can teach an old dog new "tricks"!) Stella is a dog I know I would love if we were ever to meet. A job well done Allison Pittman (and Stella). ( )
  judyg54 | Jan 31, 2012 |
“Saturdays with Stella” is a delightful little collection of essays in which Allison Pittman shares her experiences with her neurotic pet, Stella, as they both attend weekend dog obedience training. In this humorous, and surprisingly tender, book this harried pet owner is able to pull profound analogies from her quirky relationship with Stella, the orphaned pet she adopts. One quickly learns that Pittman and Stella’s Saturday morning sessions teach the author as much about her relationship with God as they help in controlling Stella’s “intrinsic cowardice”, uncontrollable “piddling”, and problematic behavior issues.

Pittman masterfully infuses her hilarious escapades with Stella with a spiritual view that rings full of truth. And she does so without trivializing Scripture’s message. I couldn’t wait to read about the next week’s adventures with Ramon, the teacher, and all their fellow canine friends: Prima and Donna, the high-strung Yorkies; Blanca, the hyper three-month old lab; Bitsy, the dejected dachshund with a broken tail; and Rex, the Australian Shepherd, too cool to acknowledge his classmates.

I was hooked after reading about Ramon’s first lesson with his rag-tag class: “Settle!” Pittman honestly shares her own reluctance to sit quietly with the Lord, just as Stella is too restless, skittish and scared to lie near her loving master. I felt Pittman’s own revelation as she realized that God simply desires us to trust Him enough to rest in Him. And I identified with Stella’s propensity to run… leaving all that is good and safe and heading alone into the unknown. As Pittman describes the patience required of her in working with wayward Stella to “Come!”, I was reminded of God’s ever-patient longing for me to return to Him from my sin. Using Hosea 14:4 as a springboard, Pittman writes, “I saw myself standing next to my pile of sin, shifting on my spiritual feet, waiting for the final verdict. But when I finally turned around and ran home, I discovered something wonderful. God’s forgiveness was already there, waiting for me to take it.”

Pittman’s prose in “Saturdays with Stella” is perfect for any dog lover. It will also strike a chord with those who are confused, hurting and trying to understand God’s will in their lives. Stella’s “issues” poignantly echo our own struggles in our relationships with God, and I was grateful to Pittman for the fresh perspective on the chasm that often exists between us and our loving Master. ( )
  jpogue | Dec 26, 2008 |
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