A wonderful friend asked me one day, “Have you read this?” and showed me a copy of this hard cover book with a beautiful Golden Retriever’s photo on the cover. I hadn’t, and she instantly offered to let me borrow it. I tucked the book into a bubble-envelope as I lugged it here and there, for I never wanted anything to happen to her treasured possession. You see, it is a signed copy inscribed: To Nancy–in memory of Cody, Katie, and Pepper. Dean Koontz 4.7.10
Dean Koontz’s story about his dog Trixie is brilliantly told. A BIG LITTLE LIFE: A MEMOIR OF A JOYFUL DOG had me laughing quietly, crying unabashedly, and relating deeply to the love people have for the furry friends that grace our lives.
“This book will change your life,” my friend Nancy said. And it has. I look at my almost 11-year-old Golden Lab Rex and see the times he waded into the frothing surf at the beach, chased a tennis ball through the crackle of fallen leaves, pranced like a rabbit through the snow in the mountains an hour from our home. Like Dean Koontz, I have many memories that I draw upon, for as a character in his novel The Darkest Evening of the Year says:
“Dogs’ lives are short, too short, but you know that going in. You know the pain is coming, you’re going to lose a dog, and there’s going to be great anguish, so you live fully in the moment with her, never fail to share her joy or delight in her innocence, because you can’t support the illusion that a dog can be your lifelong companion. There’s such beauty in the hard honesty of that, in accepting and giving love while always aware it comes with an unbearable price. Maybe loving dogs is a way we do penance for all the other illusions we allow ourselves and for the mistakes we make because of those illusions.”
Thank you, Dean Koontz, for opening my eyes to even more of the joy and love we share with our dogs. And thank you, Nancy, for entrusting the care of your precious book to me to read.
You can find A BIG LITTLE LIFE on Dean Koontz’s website: http://bit.ly/9LarIU
Postnote: I had this post scheduled to send today and didn’t realize how relevant it would be to me. My mother passed away last night. Sudden, yet expected. A person is never ready for the ache in the heart. This is true of losing a mother, or a beloved pet. I thank Dean again for showing me that all that we love is precious in this world and to enjoy every moment that we have together.