Troutbirder

Troutbirder
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Tuesday, March 3, 2015

One Good Dog


There is a genre of animal stories out there. Dogs, cats, horses, you know the routine. For my spouse it’s often cats like “Sneaky Pie Brown” from Rita Mae Browns, mystery series.  I was grew up loving Rin Tin Tin, Lassie and  later Marley from Marley and Me. More recently, knowing nothing about horses, I was enthralled by Laura Hillenbrand’s Seabiscuit.  You know where I’m coming from then.  Hurt, lonely, lost, and afraid. human and animal build trust, love and companionship and help each other survive and prosper. I don’t look for these stories. They just seem to find me like our rescue dog Lily did. She showed up hungry and abandoned at our friend’s dairy farm on Easter Sunday a year ago. When our friend passed on we took Lily the GSD into our home.
Ray (Troutbirder) & Lily


Or Chance, another dog in big trouble, who I found in One Good Dog by Susan Wilson, on the shelf of our local library.    Chance is a  mixed-breed pit bull who was trained to fight for the entertainment of cruel people.  When Chance escapes this miserable life and meets up with Adam a fascinating tale of struggle and redemption follows. Adam is an arrogant “high roller"  living the  good life until he snaps, hits his secretary and loses it all.   Adams job, wife, house are all gone in a flash. Adam is assigned “volunteer” work at a shelter for the indigent by a judge who is bent on teaching him to become “a better person.” Adam meets Chance and a homeless man with dementia at the shelter. The somewhat predictable plot follows.   Still you gotta cheer for the flawed man and feisty dog.
I was put off briefly by the dog narrating part of the story.  Mr. Ed, the talking horse of sixties TV, never appealed to me. But then this book began to work as I and Chance became better acquainted. Rescued animals, and rescued people can make for a very compelling story of second chances and unqualified loyalty and love.  I liked the book a lot... 

And as a side note I've been invited to join "The Book Review Club."   Sponsored by children's book author Barrie Summy  the first Wednesday of each month sees book reviews in both young adult and adult fiction and non- fiction genre.  Take a look......

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book review blogs
@Barrie Summy

21 comments:

Rose said...

I don't usually read animal stories unless I can be sure the animal survives--I cried so much at the end of the movie "Marley and Me," I just couldn't read the book. This sounds, though, like a very uplifting book!
You brought back some old memories with "Mr. Ed.":)

pattinase (abbott) said...

Funny I should read this right after reading a Russell Banks story about the loss of a dog rather than the breakup of a marriage tore a family apart. I have never owned an animal but I often put animals in my stories. Dog lover by proxy perhaps.

Far Side of Fifty said...

Sounds like my kind of book! :)

Barrie said...

Love how you relate your finding Lily with this book. Both our dogs are rescue dogs. I think this book sounds terrific. I'm curious to read the section/s narrated by the dog. Thank you for reviewing. AND WELCOME!!!

Carla from The River said...

Hi,
I cry my eyes out at most animal stories. I even cried reading The Call of the Wild. But I do enjoy them. :-)
Thank you.
Carla

Stacy said...

Like Rose, I can only read a novel about an animal if I have been assured the animal doesn't die at the end. Same for movies.

Welcome to the book review club!

Lucy said...

Particular members of my family have that knack of attracting animals in need of a good home. :)

Like others have said, I like to know the animal survives the story. I tend to get more upset by an animal being hurt in a story than I do if the hero / heroine of a story are hurt.

Thanks for the review and welcome to the group!

Sarah Laurence said...

Welcome to the book review club, Ray! You made me smile with your aside about Mr. Ed. I liked Black Beauty and War Horse, but I think an animal narrator might work better for a younger audience. I enjoyed how you connected your own dog rescue story to the one in the book. Lucky Lily! As I teenager I volunteered at an animal shelter in NYC and met some interesting dog and owner characters.

Cloudbuster said...

I love animal stories! This one sounds especially appealing. Great review. Thanks for pointing me in this book's direction!

Lin said...

I'm with the majority here...I don't like it if the animal dies. I think they should have that right at the start---the animal dies in this book....or no animals die in this book. Then I can decide if I want to read it or not.

I'm all about rescue animals. I just got my mom a parking lot cat from where I work. I'm not sure who saved who--my mom is smitten with her new cat friend.

Linda said...

I love animal stories...and animal related videos, as I am sure you have noticed by my blog posts. :) This does look like a very good book.

Sam I Am...... said...

Hi Troutbirder and thank you for dropping by my blog. This book sounds like it is "right up my alley" as I have 2 rescue dogs and a rescue cat and I've had horses in the past. I love them all!
They're like angels in my life and I've always said that I don't choose them....they choose me. Thank you for the review...it's on my "never-ending" book list now.

Linda McLaughlin said...

Welcome to our Book Review Club, Ray.

Glad you enjoyed the book. I like animal stories, too, but only if the animal lives. Still haven't forgiven the author of Old Yeller. ;)

I enjoy the mystery stories by Spencer Quinn about a private detective and his canine companion, who narrates the books. I reviewed the first three of them a couple of months ago.

Ellen Booraem said...

Welcome from me, too! We also have a foundling cat and a rescue dog (a pit bull mix and a total sweetheart). Loved how you equated your own experience with the experience of reading this book. Sounds like an animal narrator I might actually like!

Arkansas Patti said...

I like the idea of the flawed character finding redemption via a dog most people view as flawed. I have had several pits and their bad reputation is way over blown. The ones I had couldn't have been sweeter nor more gentle.
I will definitely give this a look. Thanks for the review.

Retired English Teacher said...

I will put this book on the list as a selection my hubby and I could listen to on a road trip. I'm not one to read animal stories. Neither is my husband. We have listened to books on tape about dogs during road trips and have been enthralled. I think we would like this one too.

amanda | wildly simple said...

Great review! (I laughed about Mr. Ed)
I think I'll add this one to my to-read list.
This post, and the comments above got me thinking about animal books I've read. My favorite animal book of all time is Rascal, by Sterling North. A raccoon of all things - and yes, it has a good ending! :)

Busy Bee Suz said...

This story does sound intriguing! I love that the rescues of the world find you...I didn't realize your Lily had such an interesting past.
Have a great weekend.

Sharon Henning said...

I haven't read any animal stories recently, although I've enjoyed them in the past. The stories are old, such as "Old Yeller", Where the Red Fern Grows" and "Rascal".
I love animals, however, I've owned everything from hamsters to fish, birds, frogs and rabbits. Now I have two dogs and just acquired a couple of hermit crabs which are really quite amusing.
Judging from your review, maybe I need to start reading animal stories again.

Linda said...

Dogs are such honest animals! And very very perceptive.

Montanagirl said...

I really do enjoy animals stories - but I too, am one of those people who likes the animals to survive. I hate sad endings. You really do share some good reads with us.