"Jolene writes with great heart and passion about a dog breed disenfranchised not because of what they are, but because of what we imagine them to be. I love stories that support the underdog, and Jolene's tale of her beloved pit bull terrier is exactly that. It is also a delight to read, and a worthy story to ponder. And you will fall in love with Rumer, I'll promise you that."
-Susan Knilans McElroy, author of Animals As Teachers and Healers and Animals as Guides for the Soul
"Jolene has truly captured the ways animals enrich and bless our lives in profound ways. Not only is Angel On My Shoulder a story of an exceptional, loving pit bull named Rumer, it is on a larger scale the defense of a gentle, loyal breed that has been much maligned and misunderstood. May it help everyone understand both the true nature of the American Pit Bull as well as the true nature of love."
-Katrina Kittle, author of The Kindness of strangers and The Blessings of the Animals
"Far more than any other breed, the American pit bull represents different things to different people. Badly managed dogs grab headlines because their behavior is atypical; Jolene's experience represents the far less shocking though no less fascinating reality of life with a peaceful, loving, comedic pit bull as 'best friend'. If you enjoy tales of true love, you will value this story."
-Diane Jessup, author of The Working Pit Bull and The Dog Who Spoke With Gods
On a bitterly cold February day in 1992, a woman named Jolene found herself with a choice to make: the brindle puppy in a kindly stranger's left palm-or the red puppy in his right?
For Jolene Mercadante, a librarian and lifelong animal advocate, this was the first tentative step on a journey that would impact the way she lived the rest of her life. She had no way of knowing how Rumer, a single little soul the size of a sausage, was about to change her life.
Through all of life's great adventures-the perfect five-week-old baby; the lanky, rebellious teenager; the extraordinary, splendid adult-Rumer was a creature of humor and love. She joyfully shattered the unjust "pit bull" stereotypes. She might not have been a heroic rescue dog, a therapy dog, or a war hero; there are other pit bulls who can claim this fame. But Rumer did touch the lives of everyone who knew her, and that made her heroic in her own way.
"She did save us, she did rescue us, and she was our hero in so many ways."
Rumer was an ordinary dog who lived an ordinary life, but that's what made her extraordinary. This memoir is an unforgettable love story and an uplifting journey brought about by the life of a truly pure and beautiful soul.