Reading, for me, is entertainment and an escape from the real world. But it can also inform and stretch the boundaries of the life I live.
I wanted to like this book, because it was a gift from my sister, and because it was about a rescue pup and the family who loved him. Despite all this, I found it dull and badly written. The language has been simplified to literally a 5th grade reading level, per Flesch Kincaid. Thus we are treated to such descriptive and emotional delights as:
"Her injury was fatal, and we were all devastated, especially my mother and grandfather."
"I looked at them with disgust and stormed out the door."
"She was very proud of her dad. The truth is that I did what every other dog lover would have done."
"I felt horrible for her. I whispered to the technician, 'She had to put the cat to sleep, didn't she?' She gave me a sad look and said they did."
"He was upset but very strong. I could see his eyes well up, but he held his emotions back."
The story itself is fairly mundane - the dogs do common doggie things and the author and his family experience the usual joys that our pets bring to our lives. I think the book can be useful to some for its description of the struggle most of us will have to face sooner or later: the end-of-life decisions we must make for a beloved pet who is suffering from an incurable illness or progressively poor health, and the guilt and spiritual questions that sometimes come with those decisions. It only amazes me that a middle aged man who has been a dog lover all his life had never before gone through it.
But even here, the clumsy prose and simplified language robs the story of emotional impact.
I'll keep this book on my shelves and treasure it, but only because it was a gift from my sister and for the thoughtful, loving inscription she wrote on the flyleaf, which moved me far more than anything else contained in it.