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Pound for Pound

A Story of One Woman’s Recovery and the Shelter Dogs Who Loved Her Back to Life

Shannon’s poignant memoir is a story of hope, resilience, and the spiritual healing animals bring to our lives. Pound for Pound vividly reminds us that animals are more than just friends and companions — they can teach us how to savor the present moment and reclaim our joy. Rich with emotion and inspiration it is essential reading for animal lovers and anyone who has struggled to change.

SoulPaws Blog

Mental Health

When Hatred Feels Tempting…

My friend is a beautiful soul—a beautiful soul recovering from addiction and some other mental health issues. And instead of gripping onto her demons for dear life, she’s slowly uncurled her fingers and reached out to hold the hands of others: counselors, recovered addicts, doctors, etc. She made major sacrifices in the name of her healing. And […]


The Beauty in Falling Apart

Nine years ago, I met with a group of female high schoolers every month or so at a coffee shop in downtown San Diego. I’d designed an after-school program, SouLit, as a way to empower young women. To remind them that it’s who they are deep inside that matters, not what they look like or where they sit […]


SoulPaws: A Place to Heal Deeply

When describing SoulPaws Workshops, which are designed to offer free animal therapy to those suffering from eating disorders, I find myself talking about Dr. Annie Petersen a lot. She is my partner, and I need to let people know that she’s in on this. Like, she has her doctorate in human-animal bond studies, she is someone who knows a heck […]


Standing in The Same Place – Learning to Let Go of Victimhood

I sat in Balboa Park with my friend, Eve. Today, she wore short black hair off to the side, and black pants and a blazer. Even though I’ve known her for years, I still get a little nervous around her. Because Eve has a relationship with God. Like a real, living-breathing relationship. Like she talks to God as much as […]

Mental Health

Morning Medicine

It’s 8 a.m. and time for my daily dose of medicine, the one I take in addition to my anti-depressant. Time to grab a female powerhouse/truth-teller like Cheryl Strayed or Nayyirah Waheed or Glennon Doyle Melton or Pam Houston, and open up her book. Drink in her words. Spoonful after spoonful. Time to read until I remember who I am again. Until that creative […]

Mental Health

Soft. And Fiercely Brave.

I have a dear friend who gave me a gift on her own wedding day, seven years ago. Having gotten married not too long ago, I acutely remember the amount of things that were on my mind when I got married. My to-do list was not stored in my brain in some calm, orderly way: flowersthequotesthebridesmaidsthecaketheceremonytheflipflopsinadditiontomyheelsthehairspraytheweatherthedjmusicthenailstheschedule. All I hoped […]

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