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He Was Searching for a Lost Dog. He Found More Than He’d Ever Hoped For. On Valentine’s Day 2019, someone stole Steven Carino’s dog, Oliver, from his car. Having lost his mother at thirteen and grown up with an alcoholic father, he could always count on his dogs for comfort and company. But now, with his beloved Oliver missing, Steven felt utterly alone. Then, the miracle. I He Was Searching for a Lost Dog. He Found More Than He’d Ever Hoped For. On Valentine’s Day 2019, someone stole Steven Carino’s dog, Oliver, from his car. Having lost his mother at thirteen and grown up with an alcoholic father, he could always count on his dogs for comfort and company. But now, with his beloved Oliver missing, Steven felt utterly alone. Then, the miracle. In a series of near-impossible coincidences, people from different walks of life crossed paths with Oliver and with Steven. Hardworking immigrants, wealthy suburbanites, car mechanics, deli workers, old friends, close relatives, street cops, gang members, a TV news reporter, social media followers around the world, and one very gifted hairdresser all played a part in Steven’s desperate journey to find Oliver. In the middle of it all, Steven realized that no one is ever truly alone--and that the power of community can be life-changing. Oliver is not just a book about a stolen dog. At its core, it’s a story about kindness, friendship, and the power of faith. As Steven says, “This is more than just a dog story. This is an everybody story. This is a love story.”


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He Was Searching for a Lost Dog. He Found More Than He’d Ever Hoped For. On Valentine’s Day 2019, someone stole Steven Carino’s dog, Oliver, from his car. Having lost his mother at thirteen and grown up with an alcoholic father, he could always count on his dogs for comfort and company. But now, with his beloved Oliver missing, Steven felt utterly alone. Then, the miracle. I He Was Searching for a Lost Dog. He Found More Than He’d Ever Hoped For. On Valentine’s Day 2019, someone stole Steven Carino’s dog, Oliver, from his car. Having lost his mother at thirteen and grown up with an alcoholic father, he could always count on his dogs for comfort and company. But now, with his beloved Oliver missing, Steven felt utterly alone. Then, the miracle. In a series of near-impossible coincidences, people from different walks of life crossed paths with Oliver and with Steven. Hardworking immigrants, wealthy suburbanites, car mechanics, deli workers, old friends, close relatives, street cops, gang members, a TV news reporter, social media followers around the world, and one very gifted hairdresser all played a part in Steven’s desperate journey to find Oliver. In the middle of it all, Steven realized that no one is ever truly alone--and that the power of community can be life-changing. Oliver is not just a book about a stolen dog. At its core, it’s a story about kindness, friendship, and the power of faith. As Steven says, “This is more than just a dog story. This is an everybody story. This is a love story.”

30 review for Oliver: The True Story of a Stolen Dog and the Humans He Brought Together

  1. 4 out of 5

    Barbara

    This is a heartwarming true story about a man and his dog. Steven Carino and Oliver Steven Carino, who drove people around for a living, was heartbroken when his Shi Tzu-Yorkie mix, named Oliver, was stolen from his van on Valentine's Day 2019. Steven had no spouse or children, and little Oliver was his best friend and cherished companion. Oliver Dark thoughts assailed Steven as he considered the dog-napper. Was it someone who took Oliver on a whim? Someone who wanted a dog of their own? Someone w This is a heartwarming true story about a man and his dog. Steven Carino and Oliver Steven Carino, who drove people around for a living, was heartbroken when his Shi Tzu-Yorkie mix, named Oliver, was stolen from his van on Valentine's Day 2019. Steven had no spouse or children, and little Oliver was his best friend and cherished companion. Oliver Dark thoughts assailed Steven as he considered the dog-napper. Was it someone who took Oliver on a whim? Someone who wanted a dog of their own? Someone who would harm the little pooch? Steven feared he might never see Oliver again, and could hardly bear to think of it. Steven playing with Oliver Steven called his older sister Laura, who could always 'set a target, zero in on it, and blast through all obstacles to reach it.' Sure enough Laura knew just what to do. Laura made missing dog flyers - offering a $2500 reward - to post around the Mount Vernon, New York neighborhood where Oliver was taken; arranged for a TV reporter to interview Steven; and posted the story to Facebook. Pretty soon thousands of people knew about Oliver, and many left messages expressing sympathy and encouragement. Steven frolicking with Oliver The search for Oliver went on for day after day, and came to involve a cadre of caring people. Steven's sisters joined him in Mount Vernon, to help look for the dog; Steven's uncle contributed $2500 to double the reward; children searched the streets calling Oliver's name; police, shopkeepers, and residents offered support; people called in tips; and so on. Oliver resting Steven had trouble maintaining hope, and grew despondent many times, but his faith helped sustain him - and Steven talks about this a lot in the book. At times, Steven even imagined little Oliver's reaction to being taken, and thought Oliver would be bewildered, but would behave himself, waiting for 'Stee' to come get him. Oliver was waiting for 'Stee' The story of the search for Oliver is interspersed with flashbacks to Steven's past, which was difficult. Steven's beloved mother died of cancer when he was thirteen, leaving Steven with a father who drank, got into rages, and constantly criticized his son. As a result Steven grew up feeling worthless and insecure, and he failed in many business and personal relationships. With shaky human interactions, Steven's best friends were always his dogs, all of whom he fiercely loved. Thus Oliver's disappearance was especially devastating. Still, the dognapping had a silver lining because Steven realized how much his friends and relatives loved him, and how kind the public could be. Steven and Oliver love each other I don't want to spoil the suspense, but books like this always have a happy ending, so the story is safe to read. There's a children's version as well, appropriately edited for content. This is a touching story about Steven and his adorable dog Oliver. Recommended to animal lovers everywhere. Thanks to Netgalley, Steven Carino, and Thomas Nelson Publishers for a copy of the book. You can follow my reviews at https://reviewsbybarbsaffer.blogspot.com

  2. 5 out of 5

    Sheena

    HAPPY PUBLICATION DAY!! Oliver is a heartbreaking story that slowly puts your heart back together as you read on. Steven’s dog Oliver is stolen from his car when he was out picking up food. He thinks his best friend is gone forever but his sisters and friends help him begin the search. Soon, the whole town helps out with making sure Oliver is found. The community joins together, making Steve realize a lot about himself and others. The community coming together for Oliver was so wholesome and Olive HAPPY PUBLICATION DAY!! Oliver is a heartbreaking story that slowly puts your heart back together as you read on. Steven’s dog Oliver is stolen from his car when he was out picking up food. He thinks his best friend is gone forever but his sisters and friends help him begin the search. Soon, the whole town helps out with making sure Oliver is found. The community joins together, making Steve realize a lot about himself and others. The community coming together for Oliver was so wholesome and Oliver himself is a wonderful dog. He sounds like SUCH a good boy. I’m so glad that he was reunited with Steven. (Not a spoiler, it says so in the synopsis that they find him). I also think that if knowing he wasn’t found, I’m not sure I would be able to read this because I was STRESSED waiting for them to find each other. I can’t imagine losing your dog that way, for a whole week, and not knowing what happened to them. This is a lovely book for all ages, perfect for any dog lover. I love how much our author loved dogs and the passion he feels for them because I could relate. Your heart breaks for him and in my case, a tear may be shed. Plus, look how adorable he is.🥺 Thank you so much to Netgalley, Thomas Nelson publishing, and specifically Lewis for an advanced copy of this book!

  3. 5 out of 5

    RoshReviews

    Fact 1: About 10 million pets are lost every year in the US. Fact 2: Of these, only about 15% of dogs and 2% of cats get returned safely to their families Doesn't this blow your mind? It's so sad and simply unbelievable! 'Oliver' tells the story of one such dog, stolen from his owner's car when he had stepped in a shop for a few minutes, leaving the dog behind. The owner, Steven Carino, who also happens to be the author of this book, then goes on a quest to get his canine baby back at any cost. As Fact 1: About 10 million pets are lost every year in the US. Fact 2: Of these, only about 15% of dogs and 2% of cats get returned safely to their families Doesn't this blow your mind? It's so sad and simply unbelievable! 'Oliver' tells the story of one such dog, stolen from his owner's car when he had stepped in a shop for a few minutes, leaving the dog behind. The owner, Steven Carino, who also happens to be the author of this book, then goes on a quest to get his canine baby back at any cost. As a real-life story, this book deserves a read. Being a dog lover, I was thrilled to see the passion that Carino has for his dogs and the committed efforts he put into being reunited with Oliver. His love is so obvious in the way he speaks about his little pet, has imaginary conversations with him, and creates imaginary responses from Oliver too. I enjoyed all the dog parent bits by Carino. Another positive in the book is the way Carino was supported in his quest. As he writes about his epiphany, "Maybe I’m not as alone in this thing as I think I am." Right from family to friends to Facebook strangers, so many people stepped in to help without expecting anything in return, just for a lost dog. It was amazing to see the community bonding over a pet. However, if I have to rate the book for its writing, it will dip sharply. As a debut author, Steven Carino probably felt the need to include as much as he could remember to justify his love for Oliver. This results in a rambling book with an overdose of information. There are many flashbacks interspersed with the present narrative, some of which are crucial and some others, superfluous. After a point, the philosophical soliloquies become a bit too much to handle. Carino also suddenly deviates to an excessively religious tone after the 70% mark, with him quoting biblical scriptures after every few paragraphs. It modified the tone of the book too much. (Just to clarify, I'm a Christian too, so this has nothing to do with the Bible and more to do with the way the story incorporates it.) I went for the book solely by virtue of its cover. And to a great extent, the hero of the cover, Oliver, didn't disappoint me at all. I fell in love with the little cutie and his antics. My dissatisfaction is mainly with the writing. I wish the book had been edited to a much tauter narrative. It would have been such a pleasure to read then. Still, I'd recommend this to all dog/pet parents and to cynics. It's a book that fills your heart with joy and hope that there is still goodness left in the world. My rating: 3.5 rounded up to 4 Thank you, NetGalley and Nelson Books for this ARC in exchange for an honest review. *********************** Join me on the Facebook group, Readers Forever! , for more reviews, book-related discussions and fun. Follow me on Instagram: RoshReviews

  4. 4 out of 5

    Cheryl

    This book would appeal to anyone who has ever owned and loved a dog! Steven Carino was down on his luck. His childhood had been very difficult but despite that, he had built a multimillion dollar company and had married a long time girlfriend. After his business declined and his marriage failed, his life drastically changed. The only bright spot in Steven’s life was his little terrier, Oliver. Steven doted on Oliver and Oliver returned his love tenfold. Their lives settled into a calm routine unti This book would appeal to anyone who has ever owned and loved a dog! Steven Carino was down on his luck. His childhood had been very difficult but despite that, he had built a multimillion dollar company and had married a long time girlfriend. After his business declined and his marriage failed, his life drastically changed. The only bright spot in Steven’s life was his little terrier, Oliver. Steven doted on Oliver and Oliver returned his love tenfold. Their lives settled into a calm routine until Valentine’s Day 2019 when Oliver was stolen! That one event seemed to cause Steven to completely break down. He was heartbroken and devastated. He felt that his life was in a tailspin. He could hardly function. He became obsessed with finding Oliver. At times I felt that this book could have been shortened. But after awhile, I began to realize that this feeling reflected just how Steven must have felt as the days passed without any news of Oliver. Thankfully, Steven’s two sisters jumped in and helped tremendously by putting up flyers and posting the account of Oliver and Steven online. They even arranged a television news report about Oliver and Steven! However, this is not only a story about a lost dog, it’s also a story of strong faith, trust, love, compassion, kindness and perseverance as Steven slowly realized that he was never alone and that his faith, his family, his friends, and complete strangers were there to provide encouragement, support and help. It's a story of community. Thank you to NetGalley, author Steven Carino, and publisher Nelson Books for giving me the opportunity to read the ARC of this inspirational book.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Raelle | raellephant

    I have so many things to say, but first, let me grab a tissue. It broke my heart reading about how Oliver was taken. My interest in this book actually came from my own yorkie, also named Oliver, and so it was really cool to read this book about someone who also has the same type of dog with the same name. Going into the book, even knowing that Oliver would be found, I was still sad. Seeing Steven's despair over losing his dog broke my heart. Stevens response and reaction just after Oliver was ta I have so many things to say, but first, let me grab a tissue. It broke my heart reading about how Oliver was taken. My interest in this book actually came from my own yorkie, also named Oliver, and so it was really cool to read this book about someone who also has the same type of dog with the same name. Going into the book, even knowing that Oliver would be found, I was still sad. Seeing Steven's despair over losing his dog broke my heart. Stevens response and reaction just after Oliver was taken resonated so much with me but it was hard to get through that part of the book. I kept having to pause it and come back to it later. I also think that this book is an important read for people who think that 'emotional support' animals are bogus, because this story is one incredible example about how helpful and essential an emotional support animal can be for those of us who need them. Reading this also made me wonder if Steven might be autistic. So many of the experiences he had and the way he explained life, both with and without his dog seemed to resonate with me, and I've learned over the past few years that a lot of the reason that is, is because I'm autistic. I related to Steven on a very personal level, even down to having an interest in memorizing the presidents when I was in 2nd and 3rd grade - I could also name all of them off in order, just like Steven. Perhaps that's another reason why I was left wondering if Steven was maybe autistic. Even though that's not the main focus of this book, it really stood out to me and made the connection that Steven and Oliver had feel a lot closer because I was able to draw a lot of parallels between Steven and myself, and Oliver and Oliver. It felt more like I was reading a book about a potential version of myself than anything. This story is about more than a lost dog. This story is about family and friendship, emotional support, trauma, despair, and not giving up when it feels like all hope is lost. If you're up for the tears, then this is definitely worth the read.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Cynthia

    Oliver is the true story of a little dog who was stolen from his owner’s car and the community of people who helped bring the little guy back home. It was abundantly clear that Oliver means the world to Steven Carino. As an animal lover and a pet owner, I do understand that love and have an appreciation for how meaningful their connection was. I think Carino communicated his emotions surrounding the loss very well, bringing the reader in to experience those emotions as well. The author did add a Oliver is the true story of a little dog who was stolen from his owner’s car and the community of people who helped bring the little guy back home. It was abundantly clear that Oliver means the world to Steven Carino. As an animal lover and a pet owner, I do understand that love and have an appreciation for how meaningful their connection was. I think Carino communicated his emotions surrounding the loss very well, bringing the reader in to experience those emotions as well. The author did add a lot of details from his past to the story. This helped me better comprehend his reaction to the theft, but the story deviated into these recollections more often than expected. Furthermore, every conversation was noted (not necessarily verbatim) and it was just a lot. I think we all have the propensity to be overly detailed when sharing our stories. Everything seems important and you never know what might be meaningful to someone else. I’ve no doubt I’ve been guilty of this, but I don’t have an editor for my thoughts. I understand why the author shared so much, but it did make the story drag, and it could have used more editing. I am a firm believer in everyone’s right to tell their story and tell it the way that they see fit. There is always an audience for that story. I want to be as fair as I can be, with that in mind. While I didn’t hate this book, I cannot say I enjoyed it either. I had hoped for a heartwarming and inspirational story, but I felt this was rather dreary and barely captivating. My conclusion is that I was not the right audience for it. I am immensely grateful to Thomas Nelson and NetGalley for my audio review copy. All opinions are my own.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Nursebookie

    Oliver By Steven Carino and Alex Tresniowski I loved this incredibly heartwarming and powerful memoir about our love for our animals and how much joy they bring to our lives. I know that in my household, our pets are families and for many they are more than families when they bring so much to enrich and bring happiness to our lives. just imagine when Oliver was taken from Steve, he was so heartbroken, lost, in misery and has lost his faith in all of humanity. This is a story of how when something Oliver By Steven Carino and Alex Tresniowski I loved this incredibly heartwarming and powerful memoir about our love for our animals and how much joy they bring to our lives. I know that in my household, our pets are families and for many they are more than families when they bring so much to enrich and bring happiness to our lives. just imagine when Oliver was taken from Steve, he was so heartbroken, lost, in misery and has lost his faith in all of humanity. This is a story of how when something awful happens in your life, you see the miracles that happen and how it teaches valuable lessons not soon to be forgotten.. There are many things in life that is out of your control where faith and trust is all you have left. submitting ourselves to our faith is what this book taught me as well as many others about the power of love, the kindness of strangers, the support of a community and how much empathy, kindness and generosity there is in the world. This was simply an incredible read I loved and enjoyed.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Amy Hammond-Hagberg

    It is -27 degrees in Minnesota and my nose hairs are forming icicles, I can’t see people smile in public because of the mask mandate, most of my grandchildren live six hours away, my favorite jeans are too tight, and I have a cold sore from using old lip balm. Is it time for a feel-good book! If you are experiencing similar angst, here’s a good read for you. If you are a doggie parent or just a dog lover, Oliver: The True Story of a Stolen Dog and the Humans He Brought Together will tug at your h It is -27 degrees in Minnesota and my nose hairs are forming icicles, I can’t see people smile in public because of the mask mandate, most of my grandchildren live six hours away, my favorite jeans are too tight, and I have a cold sore from using old lip balm. Is it time for a feel-good book! If you are experiencing similar angst, here’s a good read for you. If you are a doggie parent or just a dog lover, Oliver: The True Story of a Stolen Dog and the Humans He Brought Together will tug at your heartstrings. Steve Carino’s memoir is special. A quick synopsis: “I felt an awful, hard knot in my gut, like a punch — the mixture of shock and rage and vulnerability that comes with losing something that just a moment ago was there. The false, desperate hope that if you just look hard enough for it, the precious thing that was yours will still be yours because it belongs with you, right where you left it, and nowhere else.” On Valentine’s Day 2019, someone stole Steven Carino’s dog, Oliver, from his car. Having lost his mother at thirteen and grown up with an alcoholic father, he could always count on his dogs for comfort and company. But now, with his beloved Oliver missing, Steven felt utterly alone. Then, the miracle. In a series of near-impossible coincidences, people from different walks of life crossed paths with Oliver and with Steven. Hardworking immigrants, wealthy suburbanites, car mechanics, deli workers, old friends, close relatives, street cops, gang members, a TV news reporter, social media followers around the world, and one very gifted hairdresser all played a part in Steven’s desperate journey to find Oliver. In the middle of it all, Steven realized that no one is ever truly alone—and that the power of community can be life-changing. Oliver is not just a book about a stolen dog. At its core, it’s a story about kindness, friendship, and the power of faith. As Steven says, “This is more than just a dog story. This is an everybody story. This is a love story.” Pros: • As I began listening, I had a flashback to just a few days earlier. Carino’s sister is Laura Schroff, the #1 New York Times bestselling author of another feel-good book, An Invisible Thread, a memoir my book club had just discussed. It was interesting to read Steven’s slightly different take on their childhood. • Normally having the author narrator read his or her own book is the kiss of death in my opinion, but the raw emotion in Steven’s untrained voice really captivated me. • Oliver contains profound lessons about faith and forgiveness without being prescriptive. What Steven experienced when his beloved dog was stolen was life-affirming for him… and me. • Carino and cowriter, Alex Tresniowski did an excellent job creating suspense. I didn’t know if Oliver would be found around the next corner or if Steven’s hopes would be dashed once again. It was gripping. Cons: • The author weaves together anecdotes from his childhood and his search for Oliver. I listened to the audio version, and some of the transitions were awkward, most likely due to poor production editing. • There was some repetition in the book; the editor in me wanted to take out my red pencil. While Oliver isn’t fine literature, it is a lovely book filled with joy, love, and maxims about God’s faithfulness and it made my heart happy. Highly recommended.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Anne

    Thank you Netgalley for an ARC of this audiobook in exchange for an honest review. I am so glad I decided to pick up this book on a whim. I love dogs, and grew up with a maltese-poodle mix, so I was immediately attracted by this adorable dog on the cover and wanted to read it. I was very pleasantly surprised to find out that the author (and narrator) had grown up on Long Island, just like me. So listening to him narrate this book was like listening to someone from home, a very comforting feeling. Thank you Netgalley for an ARC of this audiobook in exchange for an honest review. I am so glad I decided to pick up this book on a whim. I love dogs, and grew up with a maltese-poodle mix, so I was immediately attracted by this adorable dog on the cover and wanted to read it. I was very pleasantly surprised to find out that the author (and narrator) had grown up on Long Island, just like me. So listening to him narrate this book was like listening to someone from home, a very comforting feeling. Although I hesitate to rate a nonfiction story lower than 5 stars, especially a memoir such as this, my rating is for the quality of the writing. It left something to be desired; the jumping back and forth from the time when Oliver was stolen to when the author was a child was jarring because there were no transitions. Perhaps in the print version, there is some sort of marking on the page that is lacking in the audiobook. I also found multiple instances where specific sentences and scenes are repeated, for example, describing how Oliver was scared when the author made his bed. We only need to hear those anecdotes once for them to make an impact about the dog's personality. Also, be warned before you read this that there is a lot of religion and a lot of descriptions of an abusive parent. I really enjoyed this book overall and loved reading about the people coming together to help Steven in his time of need. I also really related to how much Steven absolutely loves his dog and truly considers Oliver an important member of his family. Heart-warming read.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Sherene

    I was given this book in an audio version by NetGalley for an honest review Let me preface I knew the story or at least the public story of Oliver. I live not far from the stop mall where Oliver was taken from. I remember the whole event it hit me hard having lost my yorkie the week before I remember following it on the news and watching the tearful reunion on Facebook. I was one of the many people who not only shared the story but sent a message to Steve and his family wishing for Oliver’s safe I was given this book in an audio version by NetGalley for an honest review Let me preface I knew the story or at least the public story of Oliver. I live not far from the stop mall where Oliver was taken from. I remember the whole event it hit me hard having lost my yorkie the week before I remember following it on the news and watching the tearful reunion on Facebook. I was one of the many people who not only shared the story but sent a message to Steve and his family wishing for Oliver’s safe return. That being said it was nice to hear the whole story how they came to be so close. The story of someone’s life and how they were able to turn it around. How when you think you are truly alone in this world people from your past, family members you have not seen or spoken to in a while or complete strangers step up and make you realize you are never truly alone. My only issue was I wish a someone else had narrated it. Steve paused a lot and his voice broke several times as he described the events.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Kate (KitKat07210)

    With thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for an audio arc of this book, all opinions expressed here are my own. Oliver by Steven J Carino tells the true story of a stolen dog, the kindness of strangers and the ways tragedy can test our faith in God. While the story was lovely and heartwarming in the end, for me personally this is a case where the author shouldn’t have narrated his own book. The spacing between words and sentences was really off putting to me, so I couldn’t really soak in the sto With thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for an audio arc of this book, all opinions expressed here are my own. Oliver by Steven J Carino tells the true story of a stolen dog, the kindness of strangers and the ways tragedy can test our faith in God. While the story was lovely and heartwarming in the end, for me personally this is a case where the author shouldn’t have narrated his own book. The spacing between words and sentences was really off putting to me, so I couldn’t really soak in the story. And obviously as someone not used to narrating, the only “different voice” was a higher pitched squeaky one. I also found the chopping between then and now really jarring as there was no distinction made (most books will usually mention a date or something.) If picking this up, I definitely recommend reading it yourself. 2 stars.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Maureen Timerman

    This is a story that really pulls at your heart strings. A man whose life has been affected by so much loss, and the love of a little dog, and the touching of so many lives. Would I be able to forgive, I hope so, someone who hurt me so terribly by stealing my dog? Can or could I live my faith and offer forgiveness, that is what we hope Steven is able to do, and to come of terms with the loss of Oliver. What I didn't expect was the out pouring of love and help that comes from such a loss. Family an This is a story that really pulls at your heart strings. A man whose life has been affected by so much loss, and the love of a little dog, and the touching of so many lives. Would I be able to forgive, I hope so, someone who hurt me so terribly by stealing my dog? Can or could I live my faith and offer forgiveness, that is what we hope Steven is able to do, and to come of terms with the loss of Oliver. What I didn't expect was the out pouring of love and help that comes from such a loss. Family and friends, and strangers all take the loss of Oliver personally, and want to do all they can to return him to Steven. This is a quote from Steven and it sure does apply to this story "As Steven says,'This is more than just a dog story. This is an everybody story. This is a love story.'" I received this book through Net Galley and the Publisher Thomas Nelson and Zondervan, and was not required to give a positive review.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Kathy

    I was given a chance to read this ARC, thanks NetGalley and Thomas Nelson. I have to say that while I have owned many dogs in my life, and have had some disappear, I don't believe I have ever had any intentionally stolen. While I felt sorry for Steve and Oliver, I just could not make myself care that much about Steve. I wanted to read a story about a stolen dog, not read a book based 85% percent on his owner's life. Steve has some mental issues for sure, but I could really care less about what h I was given a chance to read this ARC, thanks NetGalley and Thomas Nelson. I have to say that while I have owned many dogs in my life, and have had some disappear, I don't believe I have ever had any intentionally stolen. While I felt sorry for Steve and Oliver, I just could not make myself care that much about Steve. I wanted to read a story about a stolen dog, not read a book based 85% percent on his owner's life. Steve has some mental issues for sure, but I could really care less about what happened to him when he was a kid. I don't care that he memorized 36 Presidents names, etc. I wanted to know about Oliver. To be honest, I skimmed over several pages when he was telling us and reciting all the psalms that he decided to learn. I am happy he got his dog back, happy he found out people cared in this world. But the book was a flop for me.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Brad

    I listened to the audio version of Oliver by Steven Carino. Carino is a driver in NY. On Valentines Day he brings his dog, Oliver, along with him. On the way home he stops for cigars and forgets to lock his car. Someone takes his dog and Carino is crushed and full of despair. Oliver is his whole life. This book is about the seven days after Oliver is taken First thing - get a professional narrator. The author does his own narration. I'm sure he thought he could tell his own story but the performan I listened to the audio version of Oliver by Steven Carino. Carino is a driver in NY. On Valentines Day he brings his dog, Oliver, along with him. On the way home he stops for cigars and forgets to lock his car. Someone takes his dog and Carino is crushed and full of despair. Oliver is his whole life. This book is about the seven days after Oliver is taken First thing - get a professional narrator. The author does his own narration. I'm sure he thought he could tell his own story but the performance is choppy and uneven. This was supposed to be about people coming together and there is some of that. But it's mostly stream of consciousness from Carino with flashbacks about how awful his life has been and how he's only gotten unconditonal love from his dogs and his life is now over because his precious Oliver is gone. The incessant crying got to be a bit much. I had a different expectation for this book and that may be why I didn't like it much. The last five minutes almost redeems it but can't make up for the other 97% If you were a fan of Lily and the Octopus you will probably enjoy this.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Deloris

    I enjoyed this book, I was attracted to the cover because it it reminds me of my Yorkie Inspector Gadget. What I got from this book was a touching story I could totally relate to , to have a dog is to be owned by them, they become your child, your life , you miss them when you’re not with them , I felt the connection with Stevens feelings for Oliver. I was totally engaged. Thanks NetGalley for providing this book for an honest review.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Kelly Long

    Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for providing this book in exchange for an honest review. As a dog-aholic, this book was love at first sight. The author's life is truly shaken when his beloved dog is stolen. While he searches for his sweet boy, he learns some life lessons and meets some people who he'd likely never know otherwise. I enjoyed this book and like that he gave some background on past trials in his life. I would be absolutely beside myself if my dogs were stolen so I really ad Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for providing this book in exchange for an honest review. As a dog-aholic, this book was love at first sight. The author's life is truly shaken when his beloved dog is stolen. While he searches for his sweet boy, he learns some life lessons and meets some people who he'd likely never know otherwise. I enjoyed this book and like that he gave some background on past trials in his life. I would be absolutely beside myself if my dogs were stolen so I really admire him for his determination to recover his dog, with the help of his amazing sisters.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Rosa

    More reviews at www.booksontour.net ----- You may not know this but I adore dogs. Unfortunately I haven’t been able to have one but I know in the future I will. I have always seen myself as an old lady living with a dog, so I still have hope. For this reason, when I saw that this book was available I didn’t hesitate in getting it. Oliver is the heart-warming real story of a dog who disappeared from his owner’s car. It narrates the odyssey of Steven J. Carino, the said owner, in trying to bring Olive More reviews at www.booksontour.net ----- You may not know this but I adore dogs. Unfortunately I haven’t been able to have one but I know in the future I will. I have always seen myself as an old lady living with a dog, so I still have hope. For this reason, when I saw that this book was available I didn’t hesitate in getting it. Oliver is the heart-warming real story of a dog who disappeared from his owner’s car. It narrates the odyssey of Steven J. Carino, the said owner, in trying to bring Oliver back. But it is a lot much more than that. In the book Steven tells us his own story. We learn about his family, his path through life, his failures, his flaws and why Oliver is so important for him. Furthermore, Steven tells us how although he thought he was alone in the world, and no one really cared for him, Oliver’s disappearance made him realise that he is indeed surrounded by the most marvellous people. THE INCIDENT Oliver was stolen from Steven’s car while he was shopping on Valentine’s day 2019 in Mount Vernon (New York). From that moment on, his only objective in life was to bring Oliver back. Of course this is what every single person would do for their pet. However, for Steven, Oliver represents much more than for any other person. As he doesn’t have a wife nor children, Oliver was his only partner in life. Oliver is a lifebelt on whom Steven grips in order to stay afloat. Oliver is his link to life, to reality, his friend, his family. I adored to listen to his conversations with Oliver, and the doggy’s imagined responses. This was just delightful. Furthermore, Oliver and his disappearance has helped Steven understand that he is not so alone as he thought and that people, in their majority, only wanna help. Steven is helped in his search by his own family, the residents of Mount Vernon, policemen and in a word, the whole town knows about his story and tries to help in one way or another. RELIGION I am an atheist, to be sincere. And I’m proud of it. For that reason, there were some passages of the book where Steven talks about God and the Bible to which I cannot in principle relate at all. However, I understand what he meant by including those passages from the Bible. Letting aside the religious elements, I can sympathise with the meaning of the words and the ultimate goal behind them. If someone makes something bad, like in this case, stealing a dog, it is normal to feel angry. Steven did. I would too. However, as the days pass on and Oliver does not appear, Steven begins to comprehend that the person who took Oliver has problems too and that deep inside, this person is maybe not bad. Steven’s transformation is so big that he even at the end of the story wants to help the person who stole Oliver from him. I don’t know if I could do it, so I am amazed by his enormous generosity and understanding. This makes me still have some faith in humanity. FINAL THOUGHTS ABOUT “OLIVER” If you like dogs and you are so lucky as to share your life with one of these fluffy balls you would like “Oliver” for sure. I found myself tearing up sometimes hearing Steven talking about his own life and what Oliver meant for him. You must be made of stone not to feel his suffering and desperation. But also hearing about his mother and his father made me very sentimental. I guess if you are religious you would appreciate the book even more. But as I said, on a deep level, religious or not, Steven’s learning throughout the book can apply to everyone. He is trying to transmit that although there are people who do bad things, there are others full of empathy, understanding, generosity and compassion. So I will totally recommend “Oliver” if you want to learn how from an awful event in your life, you can even end up learning something good about yourself that you could not have expected. Oh! And if you can, I’d recommend you to listen to the audiobook version which is narrated by Steven himself. The emotion in his voice really help setting up the mood for the story. Some people have complained about it, but in my humble opinion, no one would narrate this story as the person who has lived it, even if he is not a professional narrator. ---- Thanks to the publisher, Thomas Nelson and Zondervan, the authors Steven J. Carino and Alex Tresniowski as well as to NetGalley for providing me with a free copy of “Oliver” in exchange for an honest review.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Hannah-rose Russell

    How far would you go to find your stolen pet? On Valentine's Day 2019, Steven Carino left his dog, Oliver, in the car while he bought cigars after a long day at work; however, when he returned, Oliver was gone with no sign of his whereabouts. Feeling as though his heart had been ripped out of his chest, Steven falls apart. Embarking on a search to find Oliver, Steven will not stop until they are reunited; what he doesn't expect is the number of people willing to help him in the h How far would you go to find your stolen pet? On Valentine's Day 2019, Steven Carino left his dog, Oliver, in the car while he bought cigars after a long day at work; however, when he returned, Oliver was gone with no sign of his whereabouts. Feeling as though his heart had been ripped out of his chest, Steven falls apart. Embarking on a search to find Oliver, Steven will not stop until they are reunited; what he doesn't expect is the number of people willing to help him in the hunt. Oliver: The True Story of a Stolen Dog and the Humans He Brought Together is a heart-wrenching yet uplifting book that reminds us that when we put our trust in the Lord, He will always be with us and help us in our time of need. Steven is a fantastic storyteller! His portrayal of the events before and after Oliver's disappearance allowed readers to be right there with him and Oliver as they found their way back to one another. The flashbacks into Steven's life also gave us more insight into who he is and the journey he has been on, adding another element of connection in this incredible odyssey of healing, forgiveness, discovery, and faith. I enjoyed every moment of this book. Steven's words brought everything to life, allowing me to sit front and center for this amazing story of love. Every page emphasized the devotion Steven has for Oliver and vice versa, which will undoubtedly touch the hearts of animal lovers worldwide. Not only was this a book about finding a stolen pet, but it also paid homage to all the people, mostly strangers, who stepped up and took action. Steven's words couldn't be more profound, "Something was happening. Something bigger than me. My eyes were being opened to a greater truth about the world, an insight into our shared humanity, a close-up look at the extraordinary power of love and empathy." While we migrate past one another on the streets, you can be sure that when it comes time to take action, people will be there to lend a hand. Oliver reminds us of this truth and will be a beacon of hope into the lives of all who pick up this book. How far would you go to find your stolen pet? All. The. Way. "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight... Have no fear of sudden disaster or of the ruin that overtakes the wicked, for the Lord will be at your side and will keep your foot from being snared." Proverbs 3:5-6, 25-26 Positive content: 5⭐️ Language: 1⭐️ Sexual content: 1⭐️ Violence: 1⭐️ Age: 13+ *Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for providing me with a pre-release copy of this book. My thoughts and opinions are entirely my own!* Click Here to read an exclusive interview with the author, Steven Carino

  19. 5 out of 5

    SundayAtDusk

    When I was a child, a teenager, a young adult, I read every dog book I could get my hands on. That was before the big dog book boom, which was good because I would have gone bankrupt buying dog books. By the time such books were being published left and right, I pretty much only read animal books about other creatures. So, why did I choose this one to read? I’m not sure. I had some serious reservations about it when I saw it listed as an available ARC. Was the author going to be an overly sentim When I was a child, a teenager, a young adult, I read every dog book I could get my hands on. That was before the big dog book boom, which was good because I would have gone bankrupt buying dog books. By the time such books were being published left and right, I pretty much only read animal books about other creatures. So, why did I choose this one to read? I’m not sure. I had some serious reservations about it when I saw it listed as an available ARC. Was the author going to be an overly sentimental “rainbow bridge” type of pet owner? Since it was published by Thomas Nelson books, would the story be preachy or not complex enough, like other Thomas Nelson books I had read? Not having much else to read, I put my reservations aside and got the book. I’m glad I did, too. This memoir is pretty real and raw. It’s also well written and highly readable. Steven Carino was certainly not my image of a guy who cherished a little dog, and would be devastated when the dog was stolen from his vehicle. The reason he was practically destroyed at first was because Oliver was obviously his best friend and most loved companion. That’s one of the most interesting aspects of this story--it looks at someone who had chosen to love and trust a pet more than a person. Such individuals are not unusual at all in our society and never have been. Mr. Carino neither had the worst nor the best of childhoods. His loving mother died of cancer when he was 13. His father had a drinking problem, but was a good provider. His adult life had highs and lows, and he had periods where he drank too much, just like his father. Eventually alone and poor, he rents a small house on a farm, becomes self-employed in a way that provides enough money, and has small dogs as his constant companions. It wasn’t a bad life until the day his last dog was stolen. A whole lifetime of negative feeling would then come crashing down on top of him, and the book explores all that was behind those feelings. Yet the author ends up soaring above it all, due to the reactions and actions of others who helped him in his search for Oliver. It really is an interesting look at how someone who was a die-hard dog person becomes a die-hard people person, too, and deals with his anger, fears and pessimism. His faith in God also certainly helped him move forward, but he does have his rage and doubts to deal with. This book isn’t preachy at all. Mr. Carino’s faith seems very genuine, and he never appears to be trying to tell others what to think or believe. In this story, he just tells readers what he ended up thinking and believing after dealing with the harrowing taking of his most beloved little dog, and his desperate search to find him. (Note: I received a free e-ARC of this book from Amazon Vine.)

  20. 4 out of 5

    J

    I received an ARC from the authors and Nelson Books through NetGalley for an honest review. This was a powerful story. Steven's dog Oliver was stolen from his vehicle one night. He and his sister put out flyers and offering a reward for the return of Oliver. As he is looking for his boy, he not only lost his dog but he lost his faith in God. We learn of his struggles and why he is the way he is. He has sightings of his dog in Mount Vernon so he goes there and he finds the community, welcoming, h I received an ARC from the authors and Nelson Books through NetGalley for an honest review. This was a powerful story. Steven's dog Oliver was stolen from his vehicle one night. He and his sister put out flyers and offering a reward for the return of Oliver. As he is looking for his boy, he not only lost his dog but he lost his faith in God. We learn of his struggles and why he is the way he is. He has sightings of his dog in Mount Vernon so he goes there and he finds the community, welcoming, helpful, and kind. A lot of the people in the community is sure it is a boy named Del so Steven goes to his apartment where his mother says the dog isn't there and the community blames everything on Del. Even though Steven is pretty sure Del is the one who took his dog he can't find Oliver. Oliver stays in Mount Vernon and he is learning so much from the people who live there. Oliver was found wandering around by Manny and Walaa. They took care of the dog and happened to see a flyer that Steven had put up. Manny called Steven and Steven got to FaceTime with Oliver. He was only a block away from then and when he got near enough for Oliver to see him, Oliver jumped through the open window right into his arms. When Oliver was stolen, it sent Steven back to his old way of thinking. God let him down, His ordeal lasted seven days and in that time he was given many gifts. The gift of kindness, community, love, and with that Steven let go of his hatred, distrust, and resentment. When he got Oliver back he thanked God for putting him through the ordeal and showing him he could make it through and how much he is loved. Two weeks after getting Oliver back he went back to Mount Vernon to look for Del. After he had learned so much about himself in those seven days, he thought about what those seven days were like for Del. Steven knew that Del played a big part in his transformation and wondered if maybe he was meant to be a part of his. He someday wanted to take Del to an animal rescue and get him a dog of his own because he knew dogs make us better humans and bring out the best in us. This is a reminder that sometimes the worst thing that happens in your life can teach you valuable lessons and show you how loved you are so that we can make it through rough times. and see yourself differently.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Colleen

    *potential 2021 GoodReads best of memoir candidate* The audiobook was narrated by the protagonist and co-author Steven J Carino. I loved listening to Steven J. Carino! The man tells his story from the heart and wow ... this man loves his little dog. God bless him always! This is just a wonderfully heartwarming book! OMG. There were Several LOL moments in this book! In particular the "coffee pot mishap". And the poor guy's therapy session. And when Steven jumped out of his car when he saw Rocky. B *potential 2021 GoodReads best of memoir candidate* The audiobook was narrated by the protagonist and co-author Steven J Carino. I loved listening to Steven J. Carino! The man tells his story from the heart and wow ... this man loves his little dog. God bless him always! This is just a wonderfully heartwarming book! OMG. There were Several LOL moments in this book! In particular the "coffee pot mishap". And the poor guy's therapy session. And when Steven jumped out of his car when he saw Rocky. But it is not just a story, it is a message that will resonate in your heart if you open the door to your heart just a little. The advance read copy might be different than the actual final product, but chapter 12 or 13/section 21 ... Steven goes from being mad at God to concentrating on the person who took (Oliver). "It was an evil act, I hate the act, but I don't hate the person. In fact, I refuse to hate the person, whoever it is just doesn't understand the love that there is between (Oliver) and me. Doesn't know how that love is created, doesn't know what it means and I can't judge that person, because I don't know how they grew up. I don't know what compelled them to do this. Maybe they never learned ... " This really rung true with me; and I just need to replace (Oliver) with something that I've been hung up about. And from MLK, Darkness can't drive out darkness, only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that. Proverbs 3 verse 3 "Let love and faithfulness never leave you, bind them around your neck and write them on the tablet of your heart." ... To be human is to endure hardship. To endure hardship means that we are alive. Being alive is the greatest gift. God's challenges, in the end, are really blessings. They are how we learn what it means to be God's children. More than anything, I love how this story concludes and I honestly hope that the relationships in this story continue to grow. We have to trust that things that happen have happened for a reason. Thank you to NetGalley and the authors and the publisher/Brilliance Audio for the opportunity to review the advance read copy of ... Oliver: The True Story of a Stolen Dog and the Humans He Brought Together, by Steven J. Carino, Alex Tresniowski In exchange for an honest review.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Debbie Smith

    This story is about what happened when a very loved little dog named Oliver was stolen from his owner’s car on Valentine’s day. Steve, Oliver’s owner, is left a complete emotional wreck. And for those of us who have ever lost a pet, through death or otherwise, it is easy to empathize with the hollow place that was left in Steven’s heart. Though most dog lovers might reach for this book because of the cover, it is more about the dog’s owner than the dog. The story covers Steven’s emotional state, This story is about what happened when a very loved little dog named Oliver was stolen from his owner’s car on Valentine’s day. Steve, Oliver’s owner, is left a complete emotional wreck. And for those of us who have ever lost a pet, through death or otherwise, it is easy to empathize with the hollow place that was left in Steven’s heart. Though most dog lovers might reach for this book because of the cover, it is more about the dog’s owner than the dog. The story covers Steven’s emotional state, his reaction to Oliver’s loss, and finally the reaction of those hearing of the loss. The present, which is about the search for Oliver, is interspersed with past history of Steven’s life. While I have discovered that I love a good dog story, I found this was more of a memoir of Steven’s story during the time that Oliver was missing. In that regard I was disappointed. Though there is a good message that the author shares. My Concerns I had several concerns regarding this audiobook. It would have helped to have had a professional narrator since Steven’s jumpy reading style, which included pausing often and not just at commas, ended up making it very hard to listen to. The story felt repetitious and far too long for the topic. I hate to admit this, but it was also hard to like the main character. While people were doing everything in the world to help Steven, he was intent on holding on to the woe-is-me attitude and acting helpless. (Okay, I feel very bad saying that, but I’m being honest.) Conclusion This did have a very good lesson, and I appreciate that the author was willing to share what he learned and in turn perhaps help others. That being said, I would have been happier had this been a short story rather than a book. Did I like the message? Absolutely. It was a very good message that we all need to take note of. But for me, the story just wasn’t a good fit. Unfortunately, my Concerns outweighed the Positives this time. My thanks to #netgalley for the ability to listen to an ARC of this audiobook and to post my opinion of it.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Cathleen Grace

    On his way home from an exhausting day working, Steven stops by the store, leaving his dog, Oliver, in the car. Unfortunately, in those 10 minutes, poor Oliver gets dog-napped. The book tells the story of the week that follows. During that week, Steven, disconsolate from losing his best friend, is buoyed up by known family and friends. He also discovers the kindness of strangers, and that human beings are really all just doing the best they can with what they're given. As a dog lover myself, I am On his way home from an exhausting day working, Steven stops by the store, leaving his dog, Oliver, in the car. Unfortunately, in those 10 minutes, poor Oliver gets dog-napped. The book tells the story of the week that follows. During that week, Steven, disconsolate from losing his best friend, is buoyed up by known family and friends. He also discovers the kindness of strangers, and that human beings are really all just doing the best they can with what they're given. As a dog lover myself, I am a sucker for stories about how much a human loves their dog. And this book gives you that. Narrated by the author himself, there were times when the emotion came through his voice, and that was really touching. That being said, because he's not a professional narrator, it was at times a rough listen. The book had a strong Christian voice, which is fine, but the message was sporadic in the beginning, and I didn't understand how big of a transformation Steven was going to make at the end. I wish it would've been more evenly spread throughout the book. I did get a bit frustrated with the author's "woe is me" voice throughout much of the book. That's not to say that's not how he felt, but it made it difficult for me to want to continue reading it. But I'm sure it's a very truthful read, and those who experience severe depression will be able to identify with it, and it did allow me to see depression through new eyes. This is definitely a book for people who love their animals. They'll be able to identify better with how Steve felt when he lost his dogs. I know I was in tears at times while listening, especially if I considered this happening to my own dog, Roscoe. Thanks to Netgalley and Thomas Nelson Publishers for a copy of the book. All the opinions are my own.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Susan Johnston

    Princess Fuzzypants here: When you look at the face on the cover, and you read the blurb that it is the story about a stolen dog, you know you had better keep the tissues nearby. Here is a further leaky eye alert. This is a very moving story about a beloved dog who is snatched from a car and devastates his human. Oliver is more than a pet to Steven. He is his reason for living, his companion, his life. Losing him sets off a chain of events and emotions that threaten to overwhelm him in a sea of Princess Fuzzypants here: When you look at the face on the cover, and you read the blurb that it is the story about a stolen dog, you know you had better keep the tissues nearby. Here is a further leaky eye alert. This is a very moving story about a beloved dog who is snatched from a car and devastates his human. Oliver is more than a pet to Steven. He is his reason for living, his companion, his life. Losing him sets off a chain of events and emotions that threaten to overwhelm him in a sea of self pity. He has not had an easy life. Some of the pain and difficulties were caused by others, often unintentionally, as is often the problem with families. Some of them were self inflicted but when Oliver disappears, it comes crashing down and he is on the verge of giving up. And then something marvellous happens. People care. People reach out. People help. He never knew how many of them both in his life before and those he will meet on his journey truly cared about him and his little pal, Oliver. Person to person on Facebook and tv, the story spread and before he knew it there was an army of supporters who wanted to help. And it was from this army that the first glimmer and then success would unfold. Naturally his reunion with Oliver is going to be charged with emotion. Every animal lover will identify with his loss and his joy. They may have never, and we hope they have not, been forced to go through the hell of Steven’s situation but we can all empathize. But what lifts this story even more is the recognition of a formally cut off person who thought he was alone into someone who realizes that there are many caring human beings out there and that he can be one of them. It is a story well suited to the isolation so many of us are feeling thanks to the pandemic. Five purrs and two paws up.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Nicole Shaw

    Reading Between the Wines book review #18/115 for 2021: Rating: 3 🍷 🍷 🍷 Book 🎧: Oliver Author: by Steven J. Carino; Alex Tresniowski Genre: Biographies & Memoirs Release Date: Available Now!!! Released on January 26, 2021 Sipping Synopsis: Steven is a huge dog lover and uses his dogs for love and therapy due to some childhood issues. So, when his dog, Oliver, was taken right out of his car, Steven thought his life was over. Follow Steve’s journey to find Oliver and how he found the kindness and thoug Reading Between the Wines book review #18/115 for 2021: Rating: 3 🍷 🍷 🍷 Book 🎧: Oliver Author: by Steven J. Carino; Alex Tresniowski Genre: Biographies & Memoirs Release Date: Available Now!!! Released on January 26, 2021 Sipping Synopsis: Steven is a huge dog lover and uses his dogs for love and therapy due to some childhood issues. So, when his dog, Oliver, was taken right out of his car, Steven thought his life was over. Follow Steve’s journey to find Oliver and how he found the kindness and thoughtfulness of complete strangers. Final sipping thoughts: This was a feel good, happy ending book that was a good break from my usual psychological thrillers. I felt Steven’s despair and sadness. Not because I too have had a dog stolen but through his words and actions. While I knew Oliver was going to be found, according to the blurb, it did not prevent me from waiting with abated breath each time he got close to finding Oliver. “Stee’s” reliance on his faith in God and the reciting of Bible verses was also a nice addition to read. One thing that I did not like was the choppy back and forth of the timeline that left me confused at times. Oliver is a good book for those that want to read something that lifts their spirits and leaves a smile on your face. Cheers and thank you to @NetGalley and @ThomasNelsonandZondervan for an advanced copy of @Oliver #Oliver #ThomasNelsonandZondervan #NetGalley #advancedreadercopy #ARC #Kindle #Booksofinstagram #readersofinstagram #bookstagram #nicoles_bookcellar #bookworm #bookdragon #booknerd #booklover #bookstagrammer #bookaholic #bookreview #bookreviewer #IHaveNoShelfControl #ReadingBetweenTheWines #Biographies #memoirs #BiographiesAndMemoirs

  26. 4 out of 5

    Carol V

    I was expecting to read a book about how a stolen dog made his way home again, but this book was so much more! The audio version is told by the dog owner, himself, Steven Carino. When his dog is stolen from his car on Valentine's Day 2019, Steven feels that his life has hit rock bottom. During the next week, as he starts to look for his missing dog, Oliver, Steven is discovering so much more! He sees how much he is actually loved by family, friends, and strangers alike! Listening to Steven tell I was expecting to read a book about how a stolen dog made his way home again, but this book was so much more! The audio version is told by the dog owner, himself, Steven Carino. When his dog is stolen from his car on Valentine's Day 2019, Steven feels that his life has hit rock bottom. During the next week, as he starts to look for his missing dog, Oliver, Steven is discovering so much more! He sees how much he is actually loved by family, friends, and strangers alike! Listening to Steven tell his story was exciting. He puts so much feeling into his voice. My eyes often watered. Steven and his siblings grew up with an alcoholic, dysfunctional father. His loving mother died early from cancer. The story switches back and forth from the search for Oliver to what life was like for Steven growing up. He shares about the abuses of his father, his college experiences, and how marriage and divorce lead him down a path of destruction and alcohol. Having pets along the way pulled him up from a life of despair. Through the kindness of strangers and community, where everyone has your back, Steven learns about the power of love and righteousness in the hunt for his missing dog. He meets great people and even digs deep in his soul to find the power of forgiveness. This book is a healthy memoir and could be used as a guide for people facing struggles in their lives. It is amazing how social media, television, strangers, lost dog signs posted everywhere, and community can interconnect to help find a dog and help discover inner happiness in one's life!

  27. 5 out of 5

    Robin

    Steven is a middle aged man. Very much a product of his upbringing, he's seen highs and lows, been married and divorced. Now he lives alone in a small cottage he rents from the owners of the farm on which it sits. Oliver is his best friend. One evening, after a particularly long day at work. Steven takes Oliver with him for a ride. He makes a brief stop, leaving Oliver in the car. When he returns, Oliver is gone. Those who aren't pet people may find it difficult to understand, but a pet is more t Steven is a middle aged man. Very much a product of his upbringing, he's seen highs and lows, been married and divorced. Now he lives alone in a small cottage he rents from the owners of the farm on which it sits. Oliver is his best friend. One evening, after a particularly long day at work. Steven takes Oliver with him for a ride. He makes a brief stop, leaving Oliver in the car. When he returns, Oliver is gone. Those who aren't pet people may find it difficult to understand, but a pet is more than an animal that lives in your house. To those of us who live with them, a pet is a member of the family, one who provides unconditional love, who can read your mood and offer comfort at just the right time, and one that leaves a huge hole in your heart. To Steven, Oliver was his whole world. Interspersed with stories of his past, this is the story of Steven's frantic search for Oliver and the promises and the disappoints of the search, coupled his belief that he'll succeed and his fear that he won't. Simply written, the story beautifully conveys Steven's grief, his hope, his frustration and his discovery of the invisible threads that bind people together in both tragedy and in celebrations

  28. 4 out of 5

    Terri Wangard

    Steve’s mother died when he was 13. His alcoholic father undermined his self-confidence. Dogs helped calm him. Then Oliver was stolen from his SUV. At first, he’s a mess, but he experiences an outpouring of love: from store owners where fliers are posted, from Facebook users sharing his sister’s post, his uncle with whom he’s not in close contact doubles the reward, a friend’s George Bailey speech. He comes to believe that God or his deceased parents are trying to open his eyes to all the love h Steve’s mother died when he was 13. His alcoholic father undermined his self-confidence. Dogs helped calm him. Then Oliver was stolen from his SUV. At first, he’s a mess, but he experiences an outpouring of love: from store owners where fliers are posted, from Facebook users sharing his sister’s post, his uncle with whom he’s not in close contact doubles the reward, a friend’s George Bailey speech. He comes to believe that God or his deceased parents are trying to open his eyes to all the love he never realized was there. Proverbs chapter three was a favorite for him. He realized he hadn’t taken it to heart while Oliver was missing, and probably would stumble again in the future. Nothing unusual there. His belief that his parents and dead brother are watching over him—he gets mad at them (and God) for allowing Oliver’s theft—was surprising. His assumptions of what Oliver is thinking during his ordeal are endearing. I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book. All opinions are my own.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Sandra

    I enjoyed so much this adorable heart warming and heart wrenching story of Oliver and his human Steve Carino. Steve wrote a lot about his past and what helped make him who he is today. I believe it helped us to see where he came from and some of his struggles. I loved the fact that he shared with us all the positive things he learned from this trying but growing experience. Once I started this story, I couldn't put it down. I had to see what the ending was. As an aside, the very next day while w I enjoyed so much this adorable heart warming and heart wrenching story of Oliver and his human Steve Carino. Steve wrote a lot about his past and what helped make him who he is today. I believe it helped us to see where he came from and some of his struggles. I loved the fact that he shared with us all the positive things he learned from this trying but growing experience. Once I started this story, I couldn't put it down. I had to see what the ending was. As an aside, the very next day while we were getting the groceries in the house my 3 pound Yorkie got out and ended up three doors down our street, before we realized she was gone. I thought I already knew how Steve was feeling, but I truly learned how devastating that experience could be. Praise God Zoe was only gone between 5 – 10 minutes, but it felt like eternity. I loved this book and would recommend it. I thank Thomas Nelson Publishers for allowing me, through NetGalley, to read this book. The opinions expressed in this review are my own.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Lisa Konet

    I absolutely loved the story about Oliver, the stolen dog, and how a community worked together to reunite this sweet dog with his owner. The animal community is wonderful, compassionate and empathetic bunch of people who understand and appreciate what animals mean to people's health and wellbeing. This is just that story and more. If you were not crying your eyes out about what this little dog meant to his owner, then being snatched, then reunited after sometime; you are not paying attention. I I absolutely loved the story about Oliver, the stolen dog, and how a community worked together to reunite this sweet dog with his owner. The animal community is wonderful, compassionate and empathetic bunch of people who understand and appreciate what animals mean to people's health and wellbeing. This is just that story and more. If you were not crying your eyes out about what this little dog meant to his owner, then being snatched, then reunited after sometime; you are not paying attention. I went through all types of crying read this book and so glad there was a happy ending and the author shared his story with us. Thank you for that! I highly recommend this to any animal lover. You will not be disappointed. I will definitely be purchasing at publication. Thanks to Netgalley, Steven J Carino and Nelson Books: Thomas Nelson for an ARC in exchange for an honest review. Available: 1/26/21

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