Will you love me? by Barby Keel


Rain is lashing down when Barby Keel is called out to an emergency unfolding at the gates of her animal sanctuary, deep in the Sussex countryside. A greyhound had been dumped under the cover of darkness, and is at death’s door.

In the 37 years she has dedicated her life to the welfare of animals, Barby has witnessed the horrors that humans are capable of, but never has she seen anything as barbaric as this poor dog’s condition. Cigarette burns scar his flank, and he is so malnourished that he struggles to stand, every rib showing through his patchy fur. It’s touch-and-go whether he will survive the night.

The dog, who Barby names Bailey, proves he has a fighting spirit and, slowly but surely, begins the long road to recovery. But Barby is facing her own battle with ill health – one that threatens the future of the entire sanctuary…

Will You Love Me? is an emotional, joyful true story of the deepest bond that exists between humans and animals, and shows how in rescuing others, we can rescue ourselves.


As soon as I read the blurb for this book, I just knew I had to read it, and I had it on pre-order.

I have a rescued lurcher dog, and her story is quite similar to that of Bailey, the dog in this book. She was found straying, in a terrible condition, and spent a few months in a rescue centre, until we adopted her.

The first couple of chapters in this book are told from the dog’s point of view, and it works really well. Immediately, we are brought into the horrific world of poor Bailey, and the treatment of him is shocking.

Thankfully he ends up in the animal sanctuary, and his long journey to recovery begins. The staff are so wonderful there, and finally he is loved and cared for. Barby is going through a difficult time herself, and she and Bailey end up healing together.

This book shows the importance of animals in our life, and the wonderful bond we can have with them. In spite of the cruelty that Bailey’s life starts with, he learns to trust and love again.

A touching and poignant story, highly recommended for animal lovers.



Barby Keel has run an animal sanctuary in the countryside in Sussex for 54 years. At the age of 28 Barby bought four acres of land for 1400, built her own home brick by brick, and then dedicated her life to caring for the animals who were often dumped at her door. Barby is working with Cathryn Kemp, Sunday Times bestselling writer, award-winning author and a former journalist. She has written across the spectrum of the British press, both tabloid and broadsheet, and online, and for many magazines. In 2002 she won the Peter Wilson Award for Journalism before running her own press agency writing for radio and television. She is the author of Coming Clean: Diary of a Painkiller Addict, published by Piatkus in 2012, which won the Big Red Read Prize for non-fiction in 2013. Cathryn has written seven other titles, including Jam Butties and a Pan of Scouse, We Ain’t Got No Drink, Pa and A Fish Supper and a Chippy Smile.


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