Friday, 12 June 2015

Book Review: Dog Crazy by Meg Donohue

Read: June 9 - 10  Verdict: 4 stars

Maggie Brennan loves dogs and works as a pet bereavement counsellor (yep, they exist!). However, Maggie has some problem off her own that despite all her academic achievements, she can't seem to fix on her own. Then Maggie meets Anya, a vivacious young woman who is angry at the whole world. Anya believes, despite what her family say, that her missing dog Billy was stolen and is not, in fact, dead.  Sometime about Anya stirs Maggie and she soon finds herself pushing her own boundaries to help one girl find her lost dog.

This book is one for dog lovers. Or animal lovers. It's not for anyone indifferent to our canine companions, or someone who scoffs at peoples pain over the deaths of animals, when they treat them like family. For a dog lover, this book will allow you to recognise all the different feelings you have had towards your own dogs (or give you a glimpse at what you cane expect if you ever get one). It has a very real glimpse into the power a dog has to reach into your heart with chocolate brown eyes and grab it, squeeze it, and claim it as theirs.

Maggie is lost. She is living in a strange new city, and still hasn't gotten over the death of her best friend, and dog, Toby. Toby was Maggie's rock and helped her combat fears and anxieties that she never knew she had until he was gone. Now Maggie is a prisoner in her own fear, and the bars of her cell have been put there by her own mind.

For all her anxiety, Maggie is an extremely likable character. She has a very good heart and calm, quiet demeanor that radiates kindness. And despite her illness, Maggie really pushes to beat it when she needs to.

There's a great character development for both Maggie and Anya in this book (and Seymour). Maggie learns to be brave, and how to count her breaths. Anya learns that there can be things found to smile about, even when you don't think you can be happy ever again.

There was such a great emphasis on rescue dogs as well in this book, that as an owner of a rescue dog myself, I really enjoyed. Between Sally and Seymour, the book gave any readers thinking about adding to their home an idea as to where to find it.

The strongest element in Dog Crazy was, naturally, an owners bond to their dog. It describes perfectly that ragged, helpless feeling you get when you simply can't help your friend anymore. The horrible decision of deciding what the best thing to do is, and the emotions of when you might be ready to move on with another. When Maggie eventually got around to talking about saying goodbye to Toby, I was on my morning commute and had to gulp away tears while standing on a packed train carriage!

A definite must-read for anyone who is a fan of waggy tails!

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