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A Dog Named Slugger

The True Story of the Service Dog that Changed My Life By Leigh Brill

The dynamics of any relationship are complex. There’s a special bond between two who dare to call themselves “Best Friends.” It’s a title that is reserved for only the most special friend, the one that transforms all of life’s obstacles into stepping stones and gives cause for celebration.

It’s such a friendship that is the book about a friendship between its author, Leigh Brill, and Slugger. Neither could be considered “average.” Brill spent her childhood in surgery, facing embarrassment as those around her called her “a cripple” when she fell. Not wanting to be judged as different, cerebral palsy was her childhood secret. She continued to keep it to herself through college, facing the daunting task of fitting into what society deemed “normal.” Then on one fateful day in 1992, Brill, now a grad student, found herself late to class. Her feet hurt, and she fell. It was here that Brill realized she needed help.  

Life works in mysterious ways. At an opportune moment, a classmate appeared with her service animal. It opened Brill’s eyes to how a service dog could assist someone with a disability. A Caring Canine Companions flyer followed this moment, and suddenly Brill was hoping for her own service dog. 

Again, life intervened and presented Brill with  Slugger, a yellow Labrador who spent two years being trained to be a companion. Slugger’s training included heavy opening doors, carrying Brill’s belongings, retrieving them when dropped, and bringing her the telephone.

It was just the beginning. Brill and Slugger had to be trained to work together. There had to be a process where both parties earned trust like any relationship. The day they passed the certification test together gave them each a new life. 

Leigh Brill’s story of her life with her service dog, Slugger, will inspire you, and break your heart, as so many animal stories do. But don’t hesitate to read A Dog Named Slugger. The story of this relationship needs to be told.

Through Brill’s book, A Dog Named Slugger, we come to see the story of love. We understand devotion.

Together Brill and her companion, Slugger, begin a new life. Brill begins work at a community mental health center. She gets married. She moves to a new job and a new home. Together they visit schools and share with others through demonstrations of how they interact and how, with Slugger, Brill overcomes limitations.

This book inspires, breaks your heart, and has you cheering for Brill and Slugger. It’s a fast read that captures the heart and celebrates friendship and diversity!

Leigh Brill’s website is
A Dog Named Slugger: The True Story of the Service Dog That Changed My Life by Leigh Brill. BelleBooks, ©2010. ISBN 9780984325658 (paperback), 248p.

About Julee: Julee Morrison is an experienced author with 35 years of expertise in parenting and recipes. She is the author of four cookbooks: The Instant Pot College Cookbook, The How-To Cookbook for Teens, The Complete Cookbook for Teens, and The Complete College Cookbook. Julee is passionate about baking, crystals, reading, and family. Her writing has appeared in The LA Times (Bon Jovi Obsession Goes Global), Disney's Family Fun Magazine (August 2010, July 2009, September 2008), and My Family Gave Up Television (page 92, Disney Family Fun August 2010). Her great ideas have been featured in Disney's Family Fun (Page 80, September 2008) and the Write for Charity book From the Heart (May 2010). Julee's work has also been published in Weight Watchers Magazine, All You Magazine (Jan. 2011, February 2011, June 2013), Scholastic Parent and Child Magazine (Oct. 2011), Red River Family Magazine (Jan. 2011),, and more. Notably, her article "My Toddler Stood on Elvis' Grave and Scaled Over Boulders to Get to a Dinosaur" made AP News, and "The Sly Way I Cured My Child's Lying Habit" was featured on PopSugar. When she's not writing, Julee enjoys spending time with her family and exploring new baking recipes.
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