Nick Ut/AP
Jodi Guglielmi
April 06, 2016 09:05 AM

Jaycee Dugard is finally ready to leave her painful past behind her.

It’s been nearly six years since Dugard was rescued after being kidnapped and spending 18 years in captivity. Dugard, 35, opens up about her new life in her second memoir, aptly titled, Freedom: My Book of Firsts – and PEOPLE has the exclusive first look.

“I am so much more than what happened so me,” Dugard tells PEOPLE in this week’s issue. “[The book] is about who I am now and the many moments that go in creating the life I now live.”

Freedom will highlight both the triumphs and struggles Dugard has experienced since adjusting to life on her own.

Jaycee Dugard's new memoir, Freedom: My Book of Firsts

Keeping in tune with her 2011 memoir A Stolen Life, the second book features a single photo of Dugard on the cover – but this time, she’s accompanied by a furry friend.

Dugard says including her dog on the cover was a symbol of her perseverance.

“My first book featured me and my new puppy on the back – now he’s on the front cover with me. He’s done a whole lot of growing, and in so many ways so have I,” she explains.

Freedom: My Book of Firsts hits shelves on July 12.

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