Two Plus Four Equals One is a celebration of the partnership of people with disabilities and their assistance dogs. For me that celebration began with the connection I experienced with Shannan Dumke in her story, The Gift of Zen. The ending caught me so off guard I found tears running down my cheeks as I absorbed the exciting climax.
A shiver ran down my spine when I read Canine Relief, a story that describes the experience of a paranoid schizophrenic who chose to train her own dog to help her gain confidence and independence. And another when I realized that the service dog for a seizure patient was none other than a Bichon Frise that has saved her owner's life.
|© R. Smith|
Now I found myself in Chapter 7, The Agony of Retirement and Loss. Having only recently lost my Retriever mix, Xena, who spent two years of her life nurturing me through frequent migraine headaches, I put the brakes on and lay the book down. I wasn't sure I was ready to read this chapter.
A few days later, while straightening up, I noticed a photo on the back of the book, which was lying upside down on the desk. I immediately realized this must be the author--my contact person. Her dog drew me in and I read the bio. Kathy Nimmer, the book's writer/editor is blind, and yet lives a full life with her third guide dog, Elias. What's more, she's a speaker, author and award-winning teacher. Suddenly I had the strength to pick up the book and continue.
When reading about another seizure patient with a dog that had an innate ability to signal its owner of impending trouble, I remembered the Bichon and grinned. This story featured a Pekingese/Pomeranian mix. Who knew toy-sized dogs could be service dogs?, I asked myself outloud. Oliver's ear twitched as if to signal his understanding.
Going Home, Mom is one of many poems in the book written by Kathy Nimmer. Each offers another peek into her unique experiences, and this one hit home with me--a gentle goodbye from a dog that has accepted her fate naturally, as dogs generally do.
|© M. Massie|
Cole and Ilia
Want to read this book? I'll be giving away 3 copies in a drawing. Enter by leaving a comment here or on my Facebook page by 4:00 PM, Friday March 4. The drawing winners will be announced on Saturday, March 5. If you simply don't want to wait on the contest, you can order from this link, or from Amazon, right here: Just click the ad and you'll be on your way.
Other great book reviews on All Things Dog Blog:
The Darkest Evening of the Year, by Dean Koontz
Oogy--A Dog Only a Family Could Love, by Larry Levin
Barkonomics, by Paris Permenter and John Bigley
A Small Furry Prayer, by Steven Kotler (reviewed by Kristine Tonks)