January 18, 2010

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New Year, new book!

Happy New Year, everyone.  I know, we've been at this new year for a few weeks now, but, well, better late than never.  By now we've all had the chance to decide if we like 2010 or not.  So far I'm not really all that happy with it.  It's been dreary and rainy.  Sure, I've had lots of good quality naps and snuggles but I could do with a nice warm sunny walk.  Is it summer yet?

While we're all cooped up inside avoiding the rain, we read.  The latest is A Big Little Life by Dean Koontz.  I've reviewed Mr. Koontz's dog Trixie's memoirs here before; this is Mr. Koontz's memoir of Trixie. 

Think of A Big Little Life as the anti-Marley and Me.  Trixie is a good dog.  An exceptional dog.  This is due in no small part to the fact that until she was 3 and forced to retire due to an elbow surgery, Trixie was a Canine Companions for Independence dog.  Carefully bred, intensively trained.  Otherwise, how would she put up with neatnik owners who wipe her feet EVERY time she enters the house, brush her twice a day and vacuum once a day so that there will be no fur in the house, and oh, yeah, take her to the groomer EVERY WEEK for a bath.  Maybe I'm a little biased.  I don't like baths.  But honestly, can a person really call himself a dog person if he can't stand a little mud and fur in the house?

That said, A Big Little Life is a heartfelt love story.  Trixie changed Mr. Koontz's life as much as she changed his writing.  She helped to open his eyes to the miracles and mysteries of everyday life.  It is an especially good story for those who may think that the loss of a dog makes owning another too painful to bear. 

Mr. Koontz sums up with this:  "If by the example of her joy and innocence, a dog can greatly change two lives for the better, then no life is little, and every life is big.  The mystery of life is the source of its wonder, and the wonder of life is what makes it so worth living."