Saving Sadie: The Book



by Joal Derse Dauer and Elizabeth Ridley



Joal Derse Dauer thought she was just donating blankets at a local no-kill shelter in April 2012 when a disabled and despondent dog caught her eye. With three “fur babies” already at home, Joal wasn’t looking to adopt another dog, but there was something special about Sadie, a shepherd mix who had been shot in the head and in the back and left for dead in the hills of Kentucky after delivering a litter of puppies. One gaze into those sorrowful eyes and Joal vowed to do everything possible to get this beautiful girl walking again.

The first three vets offered little hope for Sadie and two even recommended euthanasia. But with patience, hope, and plenty of love, Joal noticed a change in her canine companion. And somewhere along the difficult journey, she discovered that sweet Sadie had transformed her life in ways she never could have imagined.

Today, media darlings Joal and Sadie are spreading their message of compassion, acceptance, and kindness around the world. Joyous and inspiring, Saving Sadie: How a Dog That No One Wanted Inspired the World, written by Joal (and Sadie!) along with coauthor Elizabeth Ridley, is a triumphant story about the power of unconditional love and second chances—for humans and animals alike.


Sadie’s indomitable spirit has inspired thousands of people!




“A triumphant tale of second chances that shows how patience, hope, compassion and love can truly transform lives.”

Modern Dog on Saving Sadie

(Check this out! Saving Sadie is in Modern Dog’s Best Reads Newsletter!)

Saving Sadie will not only lift your spirit, open your heart, and deepen your humanness—it will make you want to tell everyone in your life to adopt, adopt, adopt! This book is not only a must-read—it is a moving, undeniable, and compassionate call to action.”

Jodee Blanco, bullying survivor, activist, and New York Times bestselling author of Please Stop Laughing at Me

“This book didn’t just tug at my heartstrings, it ripped at them. Please, I urge all you animal lovers out there, don’t walk, run to your bookstore to buy this wonderful, inspiring book.”

Fern Michaels, New York Times Bestselling Author of more than sixty novels

 “Saving Sadie is a true hero’s journey. Moving and inspirational, it’s a triumph of hope over adversity.”

Sue Pethick, author of Pet Friendly

“Joal Derse Dauer adopts a dog that suffered from the worst of humanity only to learn that Sadie the dog had much to teach her about love and acceptance. Dauer takes us on a journey that is bigger than one woman and one dog; it is a journey of hope.”

Jacqueline R. Sheehan, New York Times Bestselling Author of Lost & Found

“An uplifting story with tremendous heart. I couldn’t put it down.”

Helen Brown, New York Times Bestselling Author of Cleo


A Brief Excerpt from Saving Sadie: How a Dog That No One Wanted Inspired the World

(…from Chapter Four: Who’s Rehabbing Whom?)

“What is it about dogs that allows them to touch our souls so deeply? Denied the gift of human speech and comprehension, what magic happens, what potent alchemy spins out from their soft paws, wagging tails, and lolling tongues, from their cold, damp noses and warm doggy breath? What hidden channels, what secret languages of exchange allow messages to pass, wordlessly yet powerfully, from their hearts to ours and back again? What habits, gestures, and expressions allow us to know each other better than we know ourselves? Dogs believe in us; by accepting our love, they grant us the wings to become our better angels and rise above our lesser selves.

Where Sadie was concerned, I may have been determined to remain a skittish, skeptical lover, a headstrong Jane Austen heroine unwilling to relinquish my whole heart for fear of having it smashed into a million pieces, but already, even in that first month after bringing Sadie home, I could feel myself changing, responding to the powerful influence she was having on my life.

The ongoing demands of Sadie’s care pushed me beyond my comfort zone in so many ways. I had always been a social person, comfortable both in groups and one on one, but now I had to be proactively social, constantly reaching out to solicit media coverage and financial support for Sadie. I learned never to take no for an answer because Sadie’s future, her very life, in fact, depended on it. I became more organized, more focused, and more patient than ever before. I learned to open up and be more forgiving, of myself and of Sadie, especially when she was nowhere near walking yet and still couldn’t, even with all the physical therapy and exercises and supplements and treatments, do most of the things I expected she’d be doing by now, now that May was ripening, marching toward June and the blazing promise of a glorious Midwestern summer…”


Check out these other books as well!

Book trio2 Forever Friends Book Series (featuring “Sadie and the Superstars”)

Meet Sadie, Matt and Dexter’s newest friend in the Forever Friends’ series. Sadie is a dog who has endured many obstacles, but does not let them hold her back. She shows children how to overcome obstacles and turn their “I can’t!!” into “I can!”


Bring Fido – Ruff GuidesSavingSadie

Do you travel often with your pooch?

If so, don’t forget to grab your copy of Ruff Guide from

Be sure to enter coupon code “SADIE” when purchasing at 

You will get free shipping and Sadie will get $10 for each copy sold!

All proceeds from Forever Friends and Saving Sadie  go to helping Sadie’s legs to get stronger every day. Sadie appreciates that fact that you are not giving up on her!

She willingly has 2-3 hours per day of intensive rehabilitation which includes acupuncture, exercise, swimming and other modalities that increase nerve regeneration and muscle strength. 

Every penny that you share with Sadie goes for her care.  She cannot keep up all of this rehabilitation without YOU! 

Thank you for your love, caring and support! 

LOVE, Sadie