The Incredible True Story of the Castaway Dog

By Emma Pearse
(Da Capo Lifelong Books, Paperback, 9780738216065, 336pp.)

Publication Date: January 2013

Other Editions of This Title: Hardcover, Hardcover, Compact Disc, Compact Disc

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The remarkable true story of a family’s beloved dog lost at sea, her amazing survival on an isolated island for five months, and her extraordinary return home

About the Author

Emma Pearse is an Australian journalist who lived in New York for over ten years, where she wrote for New York magazine, the Financial Times, and The Village Voice, among others. Emma lives and works between Australia and New York. This is her first book.

Conversation Starters from


  1. Dave and Jan believed “that childhood and family life were better with dogs.” Would you agree, and why?

Praise For Sophie

Publishers Weekly, 10/3/11
“A tender, delightful story of how a cosseted pup turned into a hardy, intrepid—and very lucky—‘supercanine,’ this book will endear itself to dog and adventure lovers everywhere.”

Kirkus Reviews,
“This story of canine loyalty and the power of human-animal relationships is as charming as its blue-furred heroine. A treat for dog lovers.”

Temple Grandin, author of Animals in Translation and Animals Make Us Human, August 29, 2011
“It was amazing how this dog swam to a remote island and survived to be reunited with her family. All dog lovers should read this wonderful book.”

Library Journal
“This emotionally uplifting saga of a Queensland, Australia, family who lost overboard their beloved blue heeler dog, Sophie, while on a weekend boating trip reflects the strength and loyal spirit of these people and canines….Animal lovers and survival story enthusiasts will enjoy this riveting, true store, told with strong local flavor.”

Booklist, 1/1 issue
“Dog lovers will appreciate this heartwarming story of animal survival and the ties between humans and animals.”

American Way, February 2012
“A heartwarming tale of the power of love and perseverance.”

Shelf-Awareness, 2/3/12“Both a hero’s journey and a testament to the bond between humans and their beloved dogs…a compelling tale of hope that any dog lovers, whether they have suffered the heart-wrenching disappearance of a pet or not, will appreciate.” Seattle Kennel Club. 2/1/12
Sophie packs every bit of real-life drama with an absorbing Australian accent and a bit of refreshing good fortune to boot…remarkable and crisp narrative, Sophie nourishes as well as celebrates with a richly detailed mix of passion, inspiration and hope you won’t soon forget.”


Cesar’s Way, March/April 2012“Her story will encourage you.” Richmond Times Dispatch, 3/4/12
“A miracle…and one that will touch not only readers devoted to their pets but also anyone who has known the healing power of love.” Hudson Valley News, 3/1/12
“[A] miraculous story of a brave dog who survived insurmountable odds.”, 3/16/12
“For dog owners who have ever gazed into the adoring eyes of their pet and felt like there were no bounds to what this creature would do for them...this book will confirm that hunch.”

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