Pawprints On Our Hearts

How A Few Incredible Dogs Changed One Life Forever

Non-Fiction - Memoir
184 Pages
Reviewed on 06/19/2022
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Author Biography

After rescuing a homeless puppy from the streets, who later passed away, Kerk Murray was moved to write Pawprints On Our Hearts, a book that would serve as a fundraiser to help at risk animals. During this time, he expanded his vision for helping animals by founding The Lexi’s Legacy Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization committed to ending suffering. Today, the nonprofit has helped rescue and provide care to over 1,000 abused animals and raised over $200,000 in donations and services for animal rescue organizations across the world.

Kerk plans on writing several more books to advance the cause of animal welfare. For updates and sneak peeks into his next books, be sure to follow him on social media and join our mailing list!

    Book Review

Reviewed by Viga Boland for Readers' Favorite

How does a man who admits he “didn’t know the first thing about writing a book or telling stories” reduce this reviewer to tears at the end of his book Pawprints On Our Hearts: How A Few Incredible Dogs Changed One Life Forever? Sure, I’m a dog lover, so it’s only natural I’d respond to a loving tale about dogs. What I didn’t expect from Kerk Murray was that I would not only enjoy a story about those four-legged furry humans who steal our hearts and ultimately become one of the family but that I would be reading such a touching and raw memoir. Having owned four dogs during my lifetime, I smiled as Blaze/Maximus stole Kerk’s sandwich off the table or tore up the house when left alone and how I identified with the grief he felt when Chelsea, Lexi, and little Gunner passed away. Murray’s natural and unpretentious ability to capture his feelings in print made those recollections so immediately relatable.

Equally engaging were his recollections of being bullied as a youngster, his dreams of becoming a “gladiator” in whatever future profession he chose, and the self-loathing he felt when his youthful plans went astray as the result of his actions. But as any good memoir writer should, Kerk Murray gave me a happy ending as he found his true mission in life, thanks to the support of his wife and the lessons he learned about being a fully loving human through his pets Chelsea, Lexi, Maximus, and Spartacus. There is no way I will share more of the details of Murray’s memoir in this review as I want everyone who has ever loved, enjoyed, and lost a pet to read and experience the beauty of Pawprints On Our Hearts for themselves. What I will tell you is that about a year ago, Murray’s experiences with his dogs led him and his wife to sell off the bulk of their worldly possessions to establish the non-profit Lexi’s Legacy Foundation. To date, this foundation has raised over $100,000 and your purchase of his book will help the Murrays continue their work. Along with photos, at the end of the book are links to various other non-profit foundations. I have checked out all of these, along with visiting the author’s website. I hope you will do the same, and if you are a dog lover, please buy this book.

Natalie Soine

Pawprints On Our Hearts: How A Few Incredible Dogs Changed One Life Forever by Kerk Murray begins when Kerk received a rescued miniature pinscher named Chelsea. This helped Kerk to learn that dogs simply want to be loved and cared for. She also gave Kerk the courage to stand up against bullies and remained his constant companion throughout high school. Kerk’s next canine companion, Lexi, was a border collie and lab mix born on 4 July 2004. When Kerk took the wrong path in life, it was Lexi who put him back on the right track, saving his life in the process. Kerk went on to marry Crystal and they added Maximus and Spartacus to their family, who taught the couple to have patience and understanding when training puppies. Kerk also rescued a stray, Gunner, and found a loving home for him. Kerk’s experience with Gunner inspired him to begin Lexi’s Legacy Foundation, a non-profit organization committed to ending animal suffering in every community through sales of this book.

Kerk Murray has penned a beautiful story. Pawprints On Our Hearts shows the reader how dogs can help their owners deal with traumatic events through their spiritual connections. Kerk has shared with us his life journey and the loving dogs that all had a positive impact on his life and changed his future. The book is well-written, beautifully illustrated, and filled with photos of all the dogs in Kerk’s life. His journey would have been completely different and he may not even have survived had it not been for his canine family. Kerk and Crystal have sacrificed their own luxuries to support various organizations, raising over $100,000 and helping more than five hundred abused animals. All of this book’s proceeds will be used to help end animal suffering. I would encourage people of all ages to purchase this delightful, educational book.

Pikasho Deka

Pawprints On Our Hearts: How A Few Incredible Dogs Changed One Life Forever is an inspirational coming-of-age memoir by Kerk Murray recounting his experiences with his four-legged furry companions. After an unfortunate encounter with a Doberman as a thirteen-year-old, Kerk never had much to do with animals until his mother brought home a ten-year-old rescue dog named Chelsea. Initially hesitant to get too close to her, Kerk eventually forged a strong bond that would last a lifetime. Bullied in high school and suffering a barrage of anxiety and trauma during his late teen and early college years, Kerk found solace in the company of his furry best friends at home. Now, with his wife, he has opened The Lexi's Legacy Foundation, a non-profit organization committed to ending animal suffering, and giving back to those who shaped his life.

This is a gem of a book for any animal lover. Kerk Murray eloquently expresses the thoughts and feelings of many of us who grew up with animal companions. Pawprints On Our Hearts is a touching memoir that showcases how being kind and empathic toward animals makes us better as human beings. Murray uses his own life story as a reminder that our furry best friends are always there for us. No matter the circumstances, they are willing to give unrestrained love and support in times of our need. The fact that the proceeds from this book are going to a non-profit that seeks to help animals in need makes it all the more worthwhile. I'm glad I read this book and highly recommend it.

Maria Victoria Beltran

Kerk Murray’s Pawprints On Our Hearts: How A Few Incredible Dogs Changed One Life Forever, as the title suggests, is a story about the enduring friendship between man and his canine friends. It’s a lazy Sunday morning and Kerk and Crystal are still comfortably sleeping but they are awakened by Maximus, a thirteen-pound, dark-haired Yorkiepoo, and Spartacus, a thirteen-pound, white and copper Morkie. Not exactly an ideal situation as one of them, this time, Kerk, has to get up and attend to the dogs. As a thirteen-year-old boy, Kerk had a traumatic encounter with a dog but growing up with Chelsea, a ten-year-old miniature pinscher brought home by his mother as a gift from one of her clients, has certainly changed his perception of canines. Chelsea enriched his growing-up years in ways only a dog can. Then Lexi became a family member, a border collie and lab mix who comforted him at times when everything seems to go wrong in his teen years.

Pawprints On Our Hearts is a compelling true story about a kind of friendship that is unconditional and pure. As the saying goes, dogs are a man’s best friend and this has been proven true ever since men and wolves became friends hundreds of years ago. Kerk Murray’s story is another testament that such a relationship is as beneficial to humans as it is to their canine friends. Written in the first person singular, the book is an easy read. The author is a natural storyteller, so much so that although this is his first book, he has complete control of his style and story. Similar experiences may have been told before but seldom with such strength and novelty. Looking forward to the author’s next book, I highly recommend this to all kinds of readers!

Miche Arendse

Pawprints On Our Hearts: How A Few Incredible Dogs Changed One Life Forever by Kerk Murray is a touching memoir following the life of the author as he finds solace in life through the dogs he never thought capable of saving him. Kerk recounts his life growing up in Atlanta, where he faced various challenges from drug abuse to depression, but with the help of his animals, he found himself walking down the right path.

Pawprints On Our Hearts by Kerk Murray is a heartwarming story in which the author not only opens up and shares his life experiences but shows how having an animal companion can change your life in the most unexpected ways. Being an animal lover myself, I could relate to this story in so many ways and found myself in tears many times while reading this book. I find it so amazing that Kerk not only managed to overcome such hardship in life but decided to make the most out of it by founding a non-profit organization. The book was not only filled with touching stories and tear-jerking moments but it was compiled in such a way that you felt every single moment, every milestone along the road. The writing style was authentic and honest which fits the theme of the book and allowed the reader to become immersed in the story. I enjoyed this memoir and I highly recommend it to anyone who has a love for animals.