Saturday, April 5, 2014

A dog named Boo: The underdog with the heart of gold by Lisa J. Edwards

Sometimes it seems as though animals come into our lives at a time when we need them the most, and that is definitely the case with Lisa and a little dog she names Boo.  After living through a complicated childhood, Lisa had overcome most of her issues to become a moderate success with a husband, two dogs, and two cats.  Her life had taken some unexpected turns, and life wasn't perfect, but she had found balance and a way forward - a balance that was shaken through a series of events including the diagnosis of her brother with a terminal illness, the ups and downs of married life with a man who was as damaged in his own way as she was, and a build up of stressors and niggles from her chronic pain and mobility issues   Into this complicated world came a little dog named Boo - who seemed to face as many challenges as Lisa did, if not more.

Boo was not your typical dog, he seemed to have issues with his vision and mobility, and he was not the brightest crayon in the box - what he was was himself.  Through trial and error (sometimes trial by error) Lisa discovered that her hopes and dreams for Boo would never work out, but that he instead has his own little niche to carve out.  Through her animal assisted therapy and animal assisted activity work, Lisa introduced a whole bunch of people to the amazing little dog that no one and nothing could bring down.  He may have just scraped through his therapy animal test, but Boo turned out to have a unique gift for therapy work - including helping to heal some of the wounds that Lisa had carried for a long time.

A dog named Boo struck a chord with me, mainly because I have an aging therapy dog who has worked some of the same magic as Boo.  Working, or in my case volunteering, in the world of animal assisted therapy can be tiring and leave you feeling drained - but it is also an incredible moment to watch the change your dog can have in someone else.  I couldn't help but smile about some of the anecdotes Lisa shared because they could almost have been some of my anecdotes, and while my dog is not as challenged as Boo he still faces some challenges   This is a very bravely told story, Lisa doesn't pull her punches when she tells her story and it is impossible not to connect with her and the realisation that she has overcome so much to be the success she is. 

This is a very personal story and some people may struggle to read parts of Lisa's story, but it is an important story to read so you can understand where Lisa comes from and why the relationship with Boo is so important   A deeply touching and moving story of the human companion animal bond and what our companion animals can mean to us.  There were times when I had tears rolling down my cheeks, not only because of the loss of the dogs in Lisa's life, but also because of some of the stories that she shares and the dramatic impact Boo had on people.  My advice, read this book with tissues nearby!

If you like this book then try:

Reviewed by Brilla

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