My Life Among the Underdogs
by Tia Torres
Published by William Morrow
Tia Torres, beloved underdog advocate and star of Animal Planet’s hit show Pit Bulls & Parolees, chronicles her roller-coaster life in this heartwarming memoir featuring some of her best-loved dogs. With inimitable honesty and characteristic brashness, Tia captures the spirit and heart of these intelligent and loving canines, while carrying us behind the scenes of her TV show, into the heart of post-Katrina New Orleans, onto the soundstages of Hollywood films, and even to the jungles of Sri Lanka.
Tia has devoted her life to shattering the stereotype that pit bulls are dangerous, vicious predators. As the top dog at the Villalobos Rescue Center in New Orleans, the largest pit bull rescue in the United States, she and her team have rescued, rehabilitated, and rehomed hundreds of animals that might otherwise have been destroyed. As she puts it, “Most of the stories in this book are about animals (and a few humans) that needed someone to believe in them and a purpose in order to show their true nobility.”
Each dog Tia writes about here has overcome abuse, trauma, neglect, or just bad luck to become a stalwart, loving companion to Tia and her family. You’ll meet Duke, whose intelligence and matinee-idol looks made him a star in movies and music videos; Junkyard Joe, whose single-minded passion for tennis balls was channeled into expertise as a drug-sniffing dog; Bluie, the unswerving protector of Tia’s daughter Tania; and a host of other unforgettable canines.
My Life Among the Underdogs is above all a love story–one that is sure to grip the heart of anyone who has ever loved a dog.
It doesn’t matter if you are animal lover or not, get your tissues ready. I was desperately holding back tears just a few short minutes in to this book.
Tia gets real about her past, and talks about some of the dogs who have come through her life and touched it in some way or another. She talks about some horrible people, and some good people and if you’ve seen her on Animal Planet, her show Pit Bulls & Paroles, you know some of the good people are those you may not expect.
From the show, you may know of at least some of the dogs she talks about in the book. Even knowing what is coming when she talks of some of those dogs, can’t stop the tears from falling. (I’m about to cry just thinking about the book writing this review.)
In one particular chapter she talks of a hurricane Katrina dog who makes an impression on one of her friends who has gone to help care for the displaced dogs and reunite them with their families. In this chapter she also talks of how cruel people can be in using the dogs to make a quick buck with no concern for the dogs health and safety what so ever. This chapter in particular really got to me and I had to put this book down and go to a different book to unwind my mingled feelings.
This book will have you balling, and wishing you could strangle some people. Even with all the tears, I gave this book 5 of 5 stars. I indubitably recommend this book.