Mental Health Therapy From Dogs

Mental Health Therapy From Dogs

There are many reports about how humans can gain positive mental health therapy from dogs.

We know that stroking a pet can reduce blood pressure and increase levels of serotonin and dopamine which reduce stress levels. Also, studies show that pet owners have lower cholesterol and triglycerides which prevent heart disease.

There are other huge benefits to general health from owning a pet, but I wanted to share how it can improve mental health too.

This post shows how owning dogs has helped on my personal journey suffering from mild depression and severe social anxiety for decades. I’m hoping that it will help others who are thinking of adding a dog to their family, but worried that they won’t be able to cope.

Mental Health Therapy From Dogs


I enjoy my own company but never feel truly alone when my dogs are with me. A dog is always there to give a warm welcome when I return home even if I’ve only be gone for a short time.

My dogs make me laugh every day, give me cuddles and a reason to get up in the morning.

They Never Judge You

It’s normal for anyone who has mental health problems to have bad days. Sometimes you want to hide under the duvet and the slightest chore is overwhelming.

Dogs accept you for who you are and for them it really is ok, not to be ok.

They absolutely don’t care if you haven’t combed your hair or emptied the laundry basket, they never judge and love you unconditionally….no matter what!


I always state how important it is to have a routine for your dog. However, it’s important for humans too. Routine adds structure to your day, defines day and night and promotes regular meal times.

Feeding times, walks and playtimes all need to be done when you have a dog, instantly installing a routine that can be built on.


We know that physical exercise really helps mental health problems. You may not feel like throwing on running gear but grabbing a dog lead and going for a stroll around the block is much easier to tackle.

On good days that stroll will become a substantial walk, and it is then that you begin to see huge mental health benefits.

Knowing that your dog needs a daily walk will give you the inspiration and confidence to take that first step.

Making New Friends

You would never approach a stranger in the street and start a conversation. However, it’s the most acceptable thing in the world if you have dogs!

Every dog owner likes to talk about their dogs and they really love to hear that you think their dogs are well trained, beautifully groomed or just downright cute.

It might start as a friendly ‘hi’ or remark about the weather, but it still puts a smile on your face and brightens your day.

Before long, regular chats take place and the dogs get some valuable canine friendship too!


There is no better feeling than having a contented dog snoozing beside you. They are always there to offer comfort and happy to spend hours at your side. Dogs pick up on our moods and will know when you are struggling with anxiety and depression. Just stroking your pet will reduce stress levels and the company of a dog eases feelings of loneliness.

Living In The Moment

This is something that I have struggled with but my dogs have helped so much, to take each day as it comes.

We are overwhelmed with plans and activities and forget to just relax and live for today. Dogs are excited by small things like a new toy or bone, a friendly visitor or a delicious treat.

They have taught me to enjoy the simple things in life.

Mental Health Therapy From Dogs


Since I got my puppy I have hardly ever switched on the television. I just find it fascinating to watch my puppy play, interact…even sleep!

My dogs make me laugh, fill empty hours and surprise me every day.

The dynamics in the house have changed since the puppy came along and I’m fascinated to see how the puppy will change the pack hierarchy. Over the days the puppy has become accepted by my other dogs and mutual respect has formed. It’s good to see new canine relationships form which will hopefully go on to form a tight bond.

Thinking Long Term

If you are a dog or cat owner it is a potentially a fifteen-year commitment to give the animal the care that it needs.

Therefore, you automatically start thinking about your long term health and how you can improve it.

The love and responsibility of a dog will make you rethink your diet, get a health check or join a yoga class. These are things that may have previously been pushed to the back of your mind, but now you will be spurred on to do them because you want to be healthy for your dog.

Mental Health Therapy From Dogs


It’s not just adults who suffer from mental health problems. Children can have anxiety and a furry friend can really help restore confidence, give comfort and put the fun back into life.

Dogs teach children how to be responsible. They learn to empathise, care and be respectful in the company of animals.

This is a post that I wrote about children and dogs.

How Children Can Learn From Dogs

Borrow A Dog

If you don’t feel that you can take on the responsibility of taking on a dog yourself, why not borrow one?

You could ask a friend or neighbour if you could take their dog for a walk or tag along on a dog walk. Spending time with dogs really improves mental health even if it is just for a short time. is an excellent UK website which has been specifically designed to connect people with mental health problems and friendly, fun-loving pooches.


Here are a few of the dogs who have helped me over the years. Some have lived with me their whole lives, belong to family members or others I have fostered for just a short time. The main thing is that they have all really helped me.

Mental Health Therapy From Dogs

Some were clowns who made me laugh, others needed lots of exercise so we walked for miles. There are the ones who just knew when I needed a hug, one would get up in the night with me when I couldn’t sleep and a special rescue dog taught me to count my blessings!

I really hope this post has helped to show how time spent with a pet can give valuable mental health therapy.

Do you have a dog who has helped with anxiety or depression?

I would love to hear your stories.

Thank you for reading.


A Year Of Second Chances by Kendra Smith


Reading the acknowledgments  I was shocked to read that this book nearly didn’t happen because Kendra Smith was badly hurt in a road traffic accident whilst writing A Year of Second Chances. Sending Best Wishes to this amazing author and brave lady.

Thank you to Aria Fiction for a copy of the book via NetGalley, which I have reviewed honestly.

When You See Me by Lisa Gardner

When You See Me


Lisa Gardner


Book Description

New Beginnings at Glendale Hall by Victoria Walters

New Beginnings at Glendale Hall


Victoria Walters

Two weddings and a baby…but who will get their happy ever after?

Emily Prescott’s life isn’t going to plan. Her dreams of starting a family with fireman boyfriend Greg and opening up her own bakery in London feel like they will never come true. So when a wedding invite arrives from her oldest friend, Beth Williams, Emily is thrilled. Not only will she get to return to her childhood home in Scotland, but best of all – Beth wants her to bake the wedding cake!

However, her excitement is cut short when she discovers that Greg has cheated on her. Devastated by his betrayal, Emily flees to Glendale Hall, Beth’s grand estate in the Highlands, and tries to distracts herself with helping with the wedding plans, but that’s not easy when Greg keeps hounding her to forgive him. Then she’s introduced to Glendale’s new young and handsome vicar Brodie, and things become even more complicated.

When Emily discovers that Greg’s betrayal runs deeper than she imagined, she finds herself with a whole host of decisions to make, especially when she discovers her long awaited dream is finally being fulfilled – at exactly at the wrong time…

Escape to Scotland and fall in love with this gorgeous and inspiring romance from the bestselling author of Coming Home to Glendale Hall! The perfect feel-good read for fans of Holly Martin, Heidi Swain, and Jill Mansell.

My Thoughts

I reviewed Coming Home To Glendale Hall last year and it was one of my favourite reads of 2019.

This time the story is concentrated around Emily, who travels to Glendale Hall in Scotland to attend her friend Beth’s wedding.  Emily was a real friend to Beth when she appeared on her doorstep, homeless, pregnant and alone. Now, the tables have reversed and it is Emily who needs the help of a friend.

All the previous characters are there, with an added extra, a hunky vicar called Brodie who really catches Emily’s eye.

I love the location of Glendale Hall, the Scottish mansion with a host of warm, caring characters. Emily frustrated me at times, in my opinion, she gave her boyfriend Greg far too many chances. I wanted her to surround herself with people who love her and to achieve her dream of owning her own bakery. I was so eager to find out what choices Emily makes that I devoured the book quickly and will really miss the residents of Glendale.

There is romance, weddings, a thoroughly enjoyable storyline and lots and lots of delicious cake!

This can be read as a standalone, but please don’t miss out on Coming Home To Glendale Hall, it’s a perfect winter romance.

Thank you to Hera Books via NetGalley for a copy of the book, which I have reviewed honestly.

Its finally March, and a dog training fail!

I’m so glad to see March this year and we have some sunshine!

The winter has seemed endless, especially with a young puppy to housetrain.

I just thought I would post a very short video to show how Ripley’s training is going. As you can see he is so obedient!


I think it’s fair to say I won’t be winning any dog trainer of the year awards!

Of course. the mummy guilt crept in and I remembered that it’s been over a week since he had a new toy.

So, of course, the poor boy has to resort to playing with his empty toy box!

Now Spring is approaching, there will be lots of outside walks.

Wish me luck, I think I’m going to need it!


The Cottage on Wildflower Lane by Liz Davies

The Cottage on Wildflower Lane by Liz Davies

Today I am thrilled to join the Blog Tour for The Cottage on Wildflower Lane. 

Thank you to Rachel’s Random Resources, the author and publisher for a copy of the book, which I have reviewed honestly.

The Cottage on Wildflower Lane

Book Description

Esther’s life isn’t perfect (whose is?) – but she’s happy enough living in her little flat with her boyfriend, Josh. But that’s about to change. Bored out of her mind in work, she wishes that something, anything, would happen to liven her life up. Unfortunately, her wish comes true when Josh calls her from the airport to tell her he’s going to work in a bar in Spain, and she’s not invited, Esther is devastated, and her unhappiness is compounded when she discovers she can actually view the bar via a webcam link and watch him chatting up other girls. But when she inadvertently clicks on a link to another webcam which shows a pretty cottage and the rather hunky man who lives in it, her interest is piqued and she wishes she could get to know him. Wishes don’t really come true, though – do they…?

The Cottage on Wildflower Lane Full Tour Banner

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My Thoughts

I was drawn to The Cottage on Wildflower Lane immediately by the stunning cover and intrigued by the book description. Can you really meet a guy via a streamed webcam? How on earth would you find him and why, oh why, would he have his home streamed online for everyone to see?

The main character is Esther, who’s life isn’t going to plan. She is stuck in a dead-end temping job and her boyfriend has dumped her and gone to work in a bar in Spain. Feeling upset and lonely she watches a webcam every evening which is situated at The Pink Flamingo bar, looking for a glimpse of her ex-boyfriend Josh. By chance, she scrolls across other webcams and is intrigued by a hunky man, living in a picture-perfect cottage. He spends much of his time alone and appears to be as upset as Esther feels.

This charming, romantic story is full of coincidences and near misses which keeps the pages turning. Esther is a lovely main character, the girl next door who just wants to be loved. Her dating life leads her to some extremely ‘odd’ and dishonest characters which leave you itching for her to find the perfect man.

He is much closer than she thinks, but how long will it take for her to realise?

There are some really funny moments and extremely tender romance which makes this the perfect read for true romantics.

About The Author


Liz Davies writes feel-good, light-hearted stories with a hefty dose of romance, a smattering of humour, and a great deal of love. She’s married to her best friend, has one grown-up daughter, and when she isn’t scribbling away in the notepad she carries with her everywhere (just in case inspiration strikes), you’ll find her searching for that perfect pair of shoes. She loves to cook but isn’t very good at it, and loves to eat – she’s much better at that! Liz also enjoys walking (preferably on the flat), cycling (also on the flat), and lots of sitting around in the garden on warm, sunny days. She currently lives with her family in Wales, but would ideally love to buy a camper can and travel the world in it.

Grown Ups by Marian Keyes

Today is my 600th post! So, I thought I would celebrate with a review of a new publication by one of my favourite authors Marian Keyes.

 It’s very apt that the title of the book is called Grown Ups because it’s something that I struggle with despite being over fifty! Does anyone ever feel truly ‘grown up’ ?

This blog has been my escape, my retreat and my salvation over the last three years.

A sincere thank you to everyone who supports Waggy Tales Blog, you really keep me going!

Now, on to the book review:-

Grown Ups by Marian Keyes


‘Magnificently messy lives, brilliantly untangled. Funny, tender and completely absorbing!’ GRAHAM NORTON

‘It’s SUCH a treat. I felt like I was reading the cleverest cream cake of words’ CAITLIN MORAN

They’re a glamorous family, the Caseys.

Johnny Casey, his two brothers Ed and Liam, their beautiful, talented wives and all their kids spend a lot of time together – birthday parties, anniversary celebrations, weekends away. And they’re a happy family. Johnny’s wife, Jessie – who has the most money – insists on it.

Under the surface, though, conditions are murkier. While some people clash, other people like each other far too much . . .

Everything stays under control until Ed’s wife Cara, gets concussion and can’t keep her thoughts to herself. One careless remark at Johnny’s birthday party, with the entire family present, starts Cara spilling out all their secrets.

In the subsequent unravelling, every one of the adults finds themselves wondering if it’s time – finally – to grow up?


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My Thoughts

I’m a huge fan of Marian Keyes and so excited to read her newest publication Grown Ups.

The book features the  Casey family from Ireland, three brothers, their partners and a host of unruly offspring.

Business owner and mum of five Jessie Casey takes great pride in organising family ‘get-togethers’. Her enthusiasm and family dedication is not shared by all, but the brothers and their families comply partly down to the fact that her soirees are free, luxurious and far out of their own price ranges.

At first, I did find it a little difficult to keep track of all the family members, but they are all completely diverse, individual characters and soon everyone fell in to place. Throughout the book relationships change, issues are uncovered, insecurities arise and all of a sudden the Casey’s become a complex, multidimensional and totally fascinating group of people.

The book deals with serious issues that are described in-depth, impeccably researched and entirely relevant. I enjoyed the humour introduced by the younger children which gave balance to the more complex storylines and gained insight into the angst-ridden and complicated life of teenagers and young adults.

This character-driven, family drama draws you in slowly and doesn’t let go until the final page. It deals with every emotion imaginable, problems which arise in every age group, the strength of relationships and the importance of family bonds.

The Irish wit and relatable characters make this another hit for this talented author.


‘Comic, convincing and true. Grown Ups has an almost Austenesque insight into character. Keyes knows how to make serious issues relatable – and get a few grownup laughs, too’ THE GUARDIAN

‘Hilarious, alternately heartwarming and heartbreaking. I loved everything about it’ DAILY MAIL

‘Superb. Warm-hearted, wise and highly entertaining’ OBSERVER

‘Keyes at her best: capturing everyday voices with humour and empathy with writing that you’ll devour in a weekend. Just pure and simple joy’ STYLIST

‘I loved every word. I will be missing those gorgeous vibrant characters for many weeks to come’ LIANE MORIARTY, bestselling author of Big Little Lies

‘Messy, tangled complex humans who reminded me that few of us ever really sort our lives out at all’ JOJO MOYES, bestselling author of Me Before You

‘Her best yet. Charming, funny and poignant, but also profound, heartbreaking’ NINA STIBBE, bestselling author of Reasons to be Cheerful

‘Sensitive, funny, wonderful, immensely touching’ NIGELLA LAWSON

‘A novel that is warm and witty but never afraid to tackle the big stuff’ ELIZABETH DAY, bestselling author of HOW TO FAIL

‘Funny & thoughtful and such brilliantly drawn characters that I am genuinely bereft my time with them is over’ HANNAH BECKERMAN, bestselling author of If Only I Could Tell You

‘She’s only gone and done it again! Brilliant as ever’ JANE FALLON, bestselling author of Tell Me A Secret

‘Marian Keyes manages to wrap family dynamics, female angst, good jokes and serious stuff into a really appealing form’ WOMAN’S OWN MAGAZINE

A 4 Month Old Chihuahua Puppy (What To Expect)

What To Expect

From A

4 Month Old Chihuahua Puppy


We welcomed Ripley into our family a few weeks ago now and I just wanted to update all the progress, problems and proud moments we have experienced. I’m not sure if Ripley is a typical 4 month old Chihuahua puppy, this breed are all very individual, but hopefully, some of this information will be useful to other Chihuahua owners.


13 weeks -4 month old Chihuahua puppy



Why Did I Choose The Chihuahua Breed?

I have had previous experience with Chihuahua’s and I love their playful, loving and feisty natures. I wanted a small dog who would hopefully become a companion to a very anxious and sometimes grumpy rescue dachshund.

A new puppy needed to be confident, assertive and playful.



Ripley was chosen because he came from a loving household with many dog companions (both small and large) I watched him interact with the other eight dogs and could see that he really enjoyed being part of a large pack. He greeted me enthusiastically with no hint of shyness or mistrust. All his companions, including his parents and siblings, had the same laid back but extremely playful nature, which is exactly what I was looking for.


14 Weeks -4 month old Chihuahua puppy

First Days

Actually, most of it is a complete blur if I am honest. I felt a huge weight of responsibility caring for such a tiny dog. He weighed under 1kg and I was extremely conscious of treading on him, shutting a door on him, losing him under the sofa, the list was endless.

My aim in the first few days was to make Ripley feel welcome, safe and secure in his new home.

I was conscious of the fact that he had come from a busy household and now he had to settle in a much quieter home. We knew he would be missing his parents and littermates and for a tiny thirteen-week Chihuahua the world could be a very scary place.

I wanted to maintain his outgoing, confident personality at all costs and knew, at this age that everything he experienced, either positive or negative could have massive consequences in his later life.

At this time I made a special effort to give loads of attention to my two other dogs so that they didn’t feel left out. When a puppy comes along the dynamics change and it is important that they viewed the new addition as a positive change. I kept to their routine and made sure that the puppy respected the older dogs space and toys.

4 month old Chihuahua puppy


Introducing a 4 month old Chihuahua puppy to the outside World.

My aim in the first weeks of Ripley’s life was to introduce him to family, friends, children and other dogs. This was a great success, everyone wants to meet a Chihuahua puppy and he met six other dogs belonging to my family during that time.

We couldn’t go for walks yet but I still felt it was important for Ripley to spend time in the garden. At first, he didn’t want to venture off the patio, but he would happily sniff around, feeling the wind in his fur for the first time.

Within the first week, he began to explore the lawn and would follow the other dogs further into the garden. To be honest I was paranoid that he would find a tiny space under the shed or a gap in the fence so we double-checked that the garden was totally secure.

During the first weeks, we wanted Ripley to experience as much as possible. To get him used to the noise of thunder and fireworks we played the sounds occasionally. The volume was quiet at first and we increased gradually and he didn’t react at all. (YouTube have loads of videos with these sounds or there are phone apps that you can use)

4 month old Chihuahua puppy

To Crate or Not To Crate?

Previously Ripley had not been crate trained and I wanted to keep everything as normal as possible for him. However, although his bed was placed close to mine, he refused to stay in it! Every night we had a battle of wills, he would jump out of his bed, I would calmly put him back in and so it went on…

I was concerned that if he had the freedom to do as he pleased he could get hurt. Also, a crate would enable me to have a shower or nip to the corner shop, knowing that he was safe.

The crate was placed close to the bed where Ripley could see both his human and canine friends.

I made his crate warm and cosy with a couple of special toys and placed him in it for just ten minutes at first. He was fine as long as he could see me but cried if I left the room.

I spoke to him softly, carried on doing chores and opened the door so that he could come and go as he pleased. After a few days, I noticed that he would go to his crate voluntarily and he settled down well at night too.

I’m hoping the crate will be a temporary thing. My other dogs sleep in beds, but I’m happy to see how we progress for the time being.

House Training

15 weeks 4 month old Chihuahua puppy

House training in winter is not for the faint-hearted!

As I said before, I encouraged Ripley to spend time with me in the garden. If he did a wee or poo in that time I praised him to the moon and back. He also observed that the other dogs went outside to toilet and puppies will always follow their older companions.

Some days the weather was so bad that I had to resort to puppy pads in the house. It was too frightening for Ripley to go outside in high winds that could easily knock him over.

After a nap, playtime or a meal I would take the puppy outside, or place him on a puppy pad.

I had a reasonable amount of success with this and it gave me a chance to show Ripley how pleased I was if he used the garden or pad.

However, at four months old there are still accidents, almost daily. I look out for the signs that Ripley needs to empty his bowels or urinate and direct him to the garden or pad as quickly as possible. The signs are easy to spot, he sniffs frantically, circles and looks for corners. If an accident occurs I clean up instantly, without speaking to the puppy and move on. A puppy wants to please and by praising good behaviour and ignoring bad, he will soon learn which actions get the best rewards.

If you would like more information on house training a puppy, there is a blog post here which has some great tips. Also, take a look at this post which shows how to permanently remove stains from Puppy Accidents.

16 Weeks 4 month old Chihuahua puppy

Going For Walks

Now that Ripley is fully immunised it is time to start going for lead walks.

I had trouble finding a harness small enough for him at first but eventually I managed to find one that fits correctly and we practiced wearing the harness around the house.

At first, Ripley hated the lead and would refuse to move, biting the lead and trying to wriggle out of his harness. It took patience and treats to persuade him to take a few steps forward but gradually he is getting better.

We choose walks in quiet areas away from loud traffic. Due to weather conditions, we are only outside for ten minutes at one time. As the weather improves, the walks will get longer and I will take Ripley to some busier areas so that he gets used to traffic, other dogs, pushbikes and children.


I chose a good quality dry puppy food to give to Ripley. At four months old he is growing rapidly and needs good nutrition to stay healthy.

Chihuahuas are renowned for being fussy eaters so I was pleased to find a brand he likes straight away. He has three meals a day which I give to him when we are alone in the kitchen away from other distractions. I keep myself busy and he eats slowly, usually clearing his bowl.


On the whole, Ripley has been a dream puppy. I have however seen a very strong-willed side to him regarding not staying in his bed at night.

I am conscious of not treating him like a baby and desperately want him to retain his outgoing personality into adulthood.

This is an honest account so I have to mention something here that may be stomach-churning. However, it is common in all puppies.

One very unsavoury problem I encountered was that he was compelled to eat his own poo! I mentioned it to the vet who was neither surprised or concerned about the behaviour. The method I am using to stop this is a firm ‘No’ and to remove the poo as soon as possible.

I have been told that putting pineapple in the poo makes it taste awful and the puppy stops this behaviour, but it is by no means foolproof!

I have encountered this problem before and find that it is a short phase that some puppies go through.

Here is a blog post I wrote about dogs eating foreign objects including Coprophagia (which is eating faeces).

4 month old Chihuahua puppy

About  The Chihuahua Breed

If you are thinking of adding a chihuahua to your family, here are a few breed characteristics which may be helpful.

The Kennel Club states that the general appearance of a chihuahua is small, dainty and compact. 

Their temperament is spirited and intelligent.

They can weigh up to 2.7kg (6lbs).

They are described as:-

An Alert little dog; swift-moving with brisk, forceful action and saucy expression.

They can live up to 18 years old.

A Chihuahua needs 20 minutes of exercise a day.

They are considered moderate fur shedders.

Here are a few items to make life easier with any puppy, which I purchased myself and recommend.

I got this crate in 24′ which is a great fit for a 4 month old Chihuahua puppy. I put his donut bed inside to make sure it is really comfortable for him and cover with a blanket. I’m hoping this will be fine for him as he gets bigger too because there is plenty of room.

There is loads more information about Crate Training here. This shows how I had my mind changed about using a crate (with my previous puppy).

I  bought these donut beds for my other dogs and loved them so much I had to get Ripley one. These beds wash beautifully, they keep their shape and dry quickly. The high sides are designed so that dogs feel safe and secure. The small one fits nicely into a 24′ inch crate.

Here is my full review of The Donut Bed

A  4 month old Chihuahua puppy will want to chew everything. His teeth are sharp and these Nylabone puppy teethers are really small, just the right size for a tiny mouth. I bought three of these so I could always offer him one when he started chewing slippers, buttons or fingers!

Here is my step by step guide to Overcoming Puppy Biting. It explains why puppies have the need to chew and why it is such an important part of their training.

If You Are Thinking Of Adding A Chihuahua To Your Family

The breed is often considered a ‘lap dog’ and used as a fashion accessory. These are high energy and fast-moving dogs who hate being left alone. They are intelligent dogs that need to be mentally stimulated, or they will make mischief! A chihuahua does not perceive himself as a small dog and can produce a big attitude if not trained correctly.

I hope you have enjoyed reading about the life of a 4 month old Chihuahua puppy. I’m sure that there will be many more updates from myself and Ripley.

Rescue A Chihuahua

Please consider rescuing a chihuahua if your circumstances allow. I have fostered and rescued previously and it is so rewarding and fulfilling.

For US please visit Chihuahua Rescue and Transport

For UK please visit Chihuahua Rescue UK

Additional Reading

Here are a few links to other posts on this blog which may be useful if you are thinking of buying a puppy. They show how to avoid puppy farmers and how to recognise signs of illness in a very young puppy.

12 Ways To Spot A Puppy Farm

Healthy Puppy Checklist, Spotting Signs Of Illness In A New Puppy

Finally, we all suffer from moments that I call ‘Puppy Overwhelm’. A new puppy in the household is not easy.

However, I wrote this blog post to help anyone who is feeling stressed with their new addition. I have taken care of many puppies as a fosterer and a parent and I have felt overwhelmed at some stage, every single time.

I hope it helps.

Surviving Puppy Overwhelm, 15 Lifesaving Tips To Help In Your Puppies First Weeks.


Thank you for reading.







Ted Bundy, The Only Living Witness by Stephen G. Michaud and Hugh Aynesworth

Ted Bundy, The Only Living Witness


Stephen G. Michaud and Hugh Aynesworth

Book Description

‘One of the 10 best true crime books ever written’ NEW YORK DAILY NEWS

‘This is the most complete self-portrait ever painted by a serial killer… as unique a document as Bundy was a killer. There are lessons in this book for everyone’ ROY HAZELWOOD, FORMER FBI PROFILER

Intelligent. Articulate. Evil. Killer.

Two journalists with unprecedented direct access speak to Ted Bundy and those closest to him – friends and family.

What follows is a candid and chilling full account of the life and crimes of the most notorious serial killer in history.

What Bundy had to say in over 150 hours of face-to-face interviews is as relevant today as it was at the time.

Ted Bundy _ 2Blog Tour Twitter Graphic2


Amazon Affiliate Purchase Link

My Review

In April last year, I read and reviewed Ted Bundy, Conversations With A Killer also by Stephen G. Michaud and Hugh Aynesworth and found it fascinating. So, you can imagine how excited I was to get the chance to read the author’s new book about Ted Bundy called The Only Living Witness.

A quote from the Foreword states “Although Bundy never actually confessed to Michaud and Aynesworth he did reveal to them what is probably the most complete self-portrait ever painted by a serial killer”

This book delves deep into the personality of someone who was at one time described as a ‘normal’ man. There are interviews from people who actually knew Bundy…his friends, family, and witnesses, all meticulously recorded by the two journalists who wrote the book.

The authors have balanced the book extremely well, giving graphic details but not over dramatising these atrocious crimes. At times you forget that this is actually true crime and many, many people’s lives have been destroyed by this sinister criminal.

Having watched the Netflix documentaries I felt I knew quite a lot about Ted Bundy. However, there is much more to learn in this book. It is well written, meticulously researched and gives a balanced, honest and thorough account of Bundy’s life.

Highly recommended for lovers of true crime.

Thank you to Mel from Mirror Books for a copy of the book, which I have reviewed honestly.


The Girl From The Workhouse by Lynn Johnson

Today I am thrilled to take part in the blog tour for The Girl From The Workhouse by Lynn Johnson.

Many thanks to Rachel’s Random Resources, Hera Books and the author for a copy of the book, which I have reviewed honestly.


Even in the darkest of times, she never gave up hope

Staffordshire, 1911. Ginnie Jones’s childhood is spent in the shadow of the famous Potteries, living with her mother, father and older sister Mabel. But with Father’s eyesight failing, money is in short supply, and too often the family find their bellies aching with hunger. With no hope in sight, Ginnie is sent to Haddon Workhouse.

Separated from everything she has known, Ginnie has to grow up fast, earning her keep by looking after the other children with no families of their own. When she meets Clara and Sam, she hopes that she has made friends for life… until tragedy strikes, snatching away her newfound happiness.

Leaving Haddon three years later, Ginnie finds work as a mouldrunner at the Potteries, but never stops thinking about her friends in the workhouse – especially Sam, now a caring, handsome young man. When Sam and Ginnie are reunited, their bond is as strong as ever – until Sam is sent to fight in WW1. Faced with uncertainty, can Ginnie find the joy that she’s never had? Or will her heart be broken once again?

An emotional, uplifting and nostalgic family saga that will make you smile, while tugging on your heart-strings. Fans of Sheila Newbury, Kitty Neale and Sheila Riley will love this beautiful read.


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My Thoughts

I live close to The Potteries and have worked in Burslem so I was really excited to read Ginnie’s story and find out what life would have been like in the early 1900s.

My heart went out to Ginnie when she is sent to Haddon Workhouse at just eleven and separated from her family. The book portrays just how hard the conditions in the workhouse were and Ginny has to grow up fast. She adapts to the harsh lifestyle quickly and makes lifelong bonds with people, trusted friendships that stay with her far into her adult life.

After three years Ginny is collected from the workhouse by her sister Mabel who is now married and expecting her first child. Ginny soon finds out that her sister not only wants a helping hand around the house, but an extra wage coming in. She starts to work in a nearby pottery factory working as a mouldrunner, a job no-one wants to do.

The book is heartbreaking, emotive and well researched. I really felt for Ginny who was obviously intelligent but never given the chance to learn to read and write. The character has an amazing spirit, always finding the positives in a harsh and sometimes cruel existence. This is an easy, enjoyable and informative read, recommended for lovers of historical fiction.



Author Bio –

Lynn Johnson was born in the Staffordshire Potteries and went to school in Burslem, where the novel is set. She left school with no qualifications and got a job as a dental nurse (and lasted a day), a nursery assistant, and a library assistant before her ambition grew and she enrolled at the Elms Technical College, Stoke-on-Trent and obtained six O’levels. She obtained a Diploma in Management Studies and a BA Hons in Humanities with Literature from the Open University while working full-time.

Most of her working life was spent in Local Government in England and Scotland, and ultimately became a Human Resources Manager with a large county council.

She started to write after taking early retirement and moving to the north of Scotland with her husband where she did relief work in the famous Orkney Library and Archives, and voluntary work with Orkney’s Learning Link. Voluntary work with Cats Protection resulted in them sharing their home with six cats.

She joined Stromness Writing Group and, three months after moving to Orkney, wrote a short story which would become the Prologue to The Girl From the Workhouse.

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