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.
Review of The Dog Who Was There
Ron Marasco’s The Dog Who Was There is the tender story of an orphaned dog named Barley who witnessed firsthand the death of our Lord while searching for love and his forever home.
Barley was born in a field to a loving mother. His days were happy, filled with sunshine and the ability to explore under his mother’s watchful eye. When a small boy accidently discovers Barley his days become filled with playing and special treats the boy brings him. But through a series of unfortunate events Barley is separated from his new friend and mother and left for dead. When Adah and Duv, an elderly couple find him along a river, they are immediately smitten and give him a loving and secure home. For many years Barley is a happy pup, but when Adah and Duv fail to come home from market one evening Barley is compelled to search for them. Realizing his family is not coming back, Barley goes in search of a new home and a new companion to love. Along the way he meets with many characters and mishaps, some of them dangerous for Jerusalem has become a place of cruelty and uncertainty under the rule of the Roman Empire. It is here he will discover the one he calls the Kind Man and others call Teacher. He sees people transformed under the gentle gaze and loving words of the Kind Man and Barley is transfixed too. But as the week unfolds Barley is saddened and confused as he witnesses the crucifixion and death of the Kind Man. Unknowingly by this event the world is about to change and Barley’s life with it.
What a beautifully written book, but it should come with a warning label that says “DANGER, your heart will melt” or “BEWARE, tears guaranteed”. Tender and gentle the world unfolded and I was able to witness the greatest story of humanity seen through the innocent eyes of a dog. Ron Marasco’s writing was brilliant and spot on with loving, gritty and complex characters. I could not read this book without a roller-coaster of emotion coursing through me. And for those of you who will be smart enough to purchase this book, I guarantee you will LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the ending. (Thank you Mr. Marasco, I never saw it coming!!)
The Dog Who Was There is a must read for everyone. Beautifully written, innocent and tender, The Dog Who Was There recounts the story of The Passion and the Kind Man as seen through the innocent eyes of a scruffy but loving dog who like all of us is looking to love and to be loved.
I want to thank Thomas Nelson – Fiction via NetGalley for an advanced copy of The Dog Who Was There for a fair and honest review.
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