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Hardcover Stealing Love: Confessions of a Dognapper Book

ISBN: 0307209873

ISBN13: 9780307209870

Stealing Love: Confessions of a Dognapper

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Format: Hardcover

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Book Overview

By day, Mary A. Fischer is a respected, award-winning journalist who covers the criminal justice system. At night, sometimes, she is also a dognapper-trading in her tailored suit for a sleek thief's outfit, complete with black turtleneck and flashlight-as she commits misdemeanors in the name of love. More than once she has staked out a neighbor's home, snuck quietly into their backyard, and jimmied a lock to rescue a very grateful dog that was being...

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

Very touching

This is a very well written, touching story. I was interested in reading it after reading a short excerpt of it in Readers Digest. My own mother suffered from mental illness and I thought I had something in common with the writer and thought I might be able to resolve some of my own internal issues by reading her story. Our stories are somewhat different, but I did find this interesting and to me it was a tearjerker in some spots, especially as Ms. Fischer describes her lack of understanding about her mother's situation and the way that she treated her mom when her mom tried to reach out. As one reader reviewer stated, the book does not focus on a life of pet stealing. I think the dognapping part of this story stems from the writer's lack of close personal relationships and the fact that her father gave away her beloved childhood dog and she always felt loved back by animals who really do love you back unconditionally despite our flaws as human beings. This is a good personal story worth reading.

Many facets to this book

I'm a dog lover and a rescuer of dogs which is why I bought this book. Although the book talks only briefy about dog rescue, it explains at least one reason WHY a person becomes a dog rescuer. This book is unlike any's written so frankly and honestly that you almost become one with the author. The most amazing scene in the book is the one where the author, now an adult, finally notices that her sister's dog Charlie is more than just an animal that hangs around the house -- but a living, breathing, feeling creature that has needs (good food, vet care, exercise, and love). The author is astonished that she never noticed this before...for all of her own suffering somehow she overlooked another's suffering right under her nose. I know this is real, because it happened to me also. After a truly miserable childhood, much worse than Mary's, it wasn't until I was in my 30s that I had the wherewithall to pay attention to the creatures around us. Once I developed that eye, I see their suffering and also how little it takes to make them the happiest creatures on earth. Mary dognaps Charlie from her sister, and this event becomes the beginning of her real life as an adult. If only all adults would finally reach the level of respect and compassion for animals and people that Mary Fischer has risen to. A sleeper book that I expect to become a best-seller and change the world, one abused dog (or child) at a time.

The story of a journey from fear to bravery

For me, Mary A. Fischer's book, Stealing Love, isn't so much the story of a childhood mired in loss and sadness or even of a respected investigative reporter who takes to dognapping (freelance rescuing of abused animals) -- although it contains all of that -- but of a dutiful, timid child who somehow manages to find and nurture her voice of defiance. After her father commits her mother to Camarillo State Hospital (because her grief after her own mother's death was getting out of hand) and then ships his daughters to Ramona Convent (where they are subject to emotional abuse and cruelty), Fischer understandably clings to him "like a marsupial." Even later, she says that she didn't dare grow up because she was afraid that he would have no need for her if he saw that she was becoming a woman. Mostly forgiving of all the small and big ways that she was abandoned, this "Daddy's little girl" tried to make herself lovable and useful. Yet she also took tiny steps at insubordination, usually at the nuns -- risking more punishment to tell one nun that it was "unchristian" to flush her pet goldfish down the toilet. This is the child who grew into the woman: the reporter who took the unpopular side in the McMartin case and followed the story for years without anyone backing or supporting her; the reporter who took on the Justice Department and the FBI. Personally, I would have liked more on that part of the story, but maybe that's best left for the next book. This one is an often-moving account of Fischer's journey from fear and timidity to deep, emotional bravery.

Read the first few pages!

As soon as I read the book's prologue, I was hooked by the writing and the empowering feel of the story. The author's juxtaposition of her status as a respected journalist by day--and a dognapper by night--set the stage for an intriguing tale of how a difficult childhood led her to fight against injustice and take action on behalf of those who do not have a voice. A great read.

Already a Cult Classic

In this one instance I have to disagree with my Publishers Weekly colleague. Mary A. Fischer's book doesn't strike me as overlong at all. It is just the right length, though I have a feeling that perhaps, if this book takes off, we will have a sequel sometimes in the future, that will give us more tales of the abused animals Ms. Fischer now risks her life for. But speaking of "absued animals," most of this book is an unsparing look back at a childhood that was noticeably lacking in love of any sort. She and her sister were sent by a father she still struggles to understand to a Catholic home for girls. On the outside, it is a lovely residence with gardens of beautiful flowers. Inside, it was a living hell made worse by the fiendish, or at best uncaring, nuns who were given full sway over the lives of the helpless girls under their sway. In one shocking scene the girls are led in lines (like the orphans in the MADELINE books) down a corridor and then, their hair is sheared off willy-nilly, blond and brunette curls littering the floor. As Mary Alice says, she never cared much about her hair till she saw it on the floor. Physical abuse was common, so common nobody even registered it as such. In such a cruel lodgingplace, it's no wonder that she grew up conflicted about her body, wearing loose clothing until her late twenties, refusing to be seen naked even by her lovers. It took more than one man to give Mary Alice the feeling that, yes, she was beautiful, yes, her body is a holy place. The girls' mother was "mad," a simple word to describe a complicated, heartbreaking condition, and her father was going his best if you want to be charitable but in the event, he was thoroughly inadequate as a dad. To her dismay Mary Alice found herself, in later life, drawn to dissolute charmers like her dad, men she could never please, men who would reject her, married men she couldn't have. And when she went to therapy a vivid dream horrified her with its truth: a passenger in a car, her father driving, she watches his handsome face in profile, and then picks up a gun and shoots him through the temple. The meaning of the dream? "My father had to die so I could live." It is a tribute to the human spirit that this poor girl grew up, beat back her demons, rose from adversity, and became a top reporter, breaking the McMartin PreSchool story and then taking a second career rescuing abused pets. This book reminded me of one of my favorite stories, FAT GIRL by the late, blessed Judith Moore. I think you'll like it too.
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