September 1, 2017

She rescued a shelter dog, then he saved her

1.6 min read| Published On: September 1st, 2017|

By Leigh Neely

She rescued a shelter dog, then he saved her

1.6 min read| Published On: September 1st, 2017|

Photo: Fred Lopez

A girl and her dog became a success story and then a book!

Sharon Ward Keeble knew something was wrong with her daughter, but she thought it was their move to a new place and a new school.

“She was depressed, had no friends, and spent most of her time in her room,” Sharon says. “Not normal behavior for my daughter.”

When Molly confessed she was being bullied every day at school, Sharon finally understood her daughter’s depression and isolation. After suffering a stroke at birth, Molly walked with a slight limp. Some of the girls at her school thought it was fun to imitate her walk and point out her differences.

Wanting Molly to feel better, the family went to the local shelter to find a dog that needed Molly, too. What they found was a scruffy, nervous bundle of fur who had survived a fire in a Georgia shelter. The South Lake Animal League in Groveland took him in, and he’d been there more than six months.

Molly looked at several dogs but kept coming back to the forlorn little guy that no one else wanted. She named him Alfie and spent several months taking care of him, which helped her find a way to heal, too.

“He knew this child needed something that nobody else could give,” Sharon says.

Molly agrees. “I don’t know what I’d do without him,” she says. “He sleeps in my room every night.”

Now headed to her junior year at South Lake High School, Molly is a confident, happy teenager.

A journalist of more than 20 years, Sharon understood what an important role this little shelter dog played in her daughter’s life. She realized Molly’s story was just one of many and set out to compile these stories in a book.

“My Rescue Dog Rescued Me” was released in the United Kingdom and became a No. 1 bestseller. It came out in April in the United States and is available at and other retailers.

“Hopefully, if people read the book, they’ll get inspired to rescue a dog,” Sharon says. “Shelter dogs are not damaged; they just don’t have a home.”

Sharon says she has enough stories to write another book on the same subject. “I urge people to adopt from shelters. These stories are amazing, and they’re all different but the same.”

About the Author: Leigh Neely

Leigh Neely began her writing career with a weekly newspaper in the Florida panhandle, where she not only did the writing, but delivered the papers to the post office and dispensers. She has been writing ever since for a variety of newspapers and magazines from New Jersey to Leesburg. With her writing partner, Jan Powell, Leigh has published two novels as Neely Powell.

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