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IKE: the dog who saved a human

5 Star Review

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Editorial Book Review:

By Naby Ferrone

The moving and inspirational memoir "IKE: The Dog Who Saved a Human" by Jason Dorland tells the story of the author's and his cherished golden retriever Ike's life-changing adventure. This heartwarming story explores themes of grief, redemption, and the strength of unconditional love. It is based on true events.

Dorland is initially lost and dejected with the heartbreaking disappointment of placing last in the 1988 Olympic Games. After this disappointment, he adopts Ike, a golden retriever puppy meant to be a guide dog for the blind, as he struggles to find meaning and purpose in life. Dorland has no idea that Ike will grow to be much more than just a devoted friend; he will also serve as his mentor, confidant, and, in the end, his savior.

Dorland and Ike develop a close relationship that goes beyond the lines separating them as they work through the highs and lows of life together. After being kicked out of the guide dog program for health-related reasons, Ike takes on a new role as Dorland's devoted teacher and friend, guiding him on a path toward healing and self-discovery.

Dorland shares the priceless lessons he gains from Ike through poignant tales and thought-provoking contemplations. Ike becomes Dorland's greatest teacher, giving knowledge that goes beyond words, from the value of resiliency and tenacity to the transformational power of love and compassion.

"IKE: The Dog Who Saved a Human"  is unique because of its sincerity and unvarnished emotional candor. With a daring and inspirational level of vulnerability, Dorland shares his soul with the reader, taking them into the depths of his troubles and victories.

Furthermore, Dorland's skill as a storyteller is evident on every page, drawing readers in with his vivid descriptions and evocative prose. The story is full of heart and honesty, from the untamed scenery of Vancouver Island to the intimate moments between Dorland and Ike.

About the Author

Jason was born into a rowing family. He spent his high school years rowing at Ridley College before continuing his passion at university. Once on the Canadian National Team, he set his sights on the 1988 Olympic Games in Seoul.

As defending Olympic Champions, the Canadian men’s eight was expected to defend that title or, at the very least, medal. They didn’t. Instead, they finished dead last in the final.

Decades later, Jason defines that experience and the troubled years that followed as the greatest gift he ever received. “It changed everything for me. Up until that moment, I was all about the prize. Now, I get it—how we travel our life’s journey is more important than where that journey leads us.”

After earning his degree in Graphic Design from The Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design, Jason helped start an organic food business in 1996 that still operates today in Vancouver. He then returned to university, receiving his degree in Education before entering the teaching profession, where he taught and coached high school for fifteen years. In ten years of coaching rowing, Jason’s crews earned 12 international championship titles.

Furthermore, he’s written three books: Chariots & Horses—Life Lessons From an Olympic Rower, Pulling Together—A Coach’s Journey to Uncover the Mindset of True Potential, and his third and most recent book, a novel, IKE: the dog who saved a human.

Today, Jason lives with his wife and fellow Olympian, Robyn Meagher, in Victoria, British Columbia, with their family—rescue dogs included—where they pursue their passion as performance coaches sharing the many lessons they’ve taken from their Olympic and professional journeys with their clients in helping them live a life where they thrive!


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