By: Jo Coudert
Publication Date: August 2010
Reviewed by: Ellen Feld
Review Date: October 11, 2010
A very old dog who is separated from his family, a fawn raised by caretakers at an assisted living center, a destructive rabbit who wiggles her way into her owners heart, and a pair of mud loving ducks who befriend a lonesome woman are just a few of the stories in The Dog Who Healed A Family.
Consisting of eighteen true stories, the book opens with the account of the Topp family. Moving from Indiana to California in pursuit of a job for Mr. Topp that does not materialize, the family decides to return home. When their truck breaks down, they are forced to take a bus the rest of the way. But the bus company refused to take Snoopy, the family’s beloved 17-year-old dog. With no alternative, the Topp’s boarded the dog at a veterinarian’s and vowed to find a way to get their pet home. The rest of the story recounts how the generosity of strangers is responsible for seeing Snoopy safely home. Warm-fuzzy feelings all around.
The book cover shows an absolutely adorable puppy but don’t make the mistake of assuming this book is only about dogs. Indeed, dogs are a small part of this collection. With so many books today centering on dogs and only dogs, it was quite nice to read a book that featured all sorts of animals, from a goose to a miniature pig (and don’t worry, cat fans, there’s a sweet story about “Boston” the kitten).
Although the writing in The Dog Who Healed A Family is a bit simplistic and campy, for those who love animals, the book will be very satisfying. There are no stories here that are truly amazing, that will make you stop and wonder at the astonishing capabilities of animals. Instead, the author recounts tales of the effects animals have on their human caretakers. For instance, “Sweet Elizabeth” tells the story of a rambunctious, furniture-eating rabbit who tested her owner Jane’s resolve every day. When Jane had finally had enough and sent the rabbit to a new owner, she realized just how much she missed and loved the rabbit. Elizabeth soon found herself back with Jane. That’s it, no rabbit-out-of-a-hat tricks, just a cute tale about how loving animals are and how wonderful it is to be loved by one.
Quill says: You’ll laugh, cry, and get that warm, fuzzy feeling all over as you read through the pages of The Dog Who Healed A Family.