Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Good Dog. Stay.

I love Anna Quindlen's writing. I often think of a great book she wrote about ten years ago called Black and Blue. It was one of those great reads that went from me to my mom to my sister to my grandmother in the matter of about a month. Each one of us liked it so much that we had to share it with the next. So needless to say, I try to stay current with her novels.

When I saw her newest book, a retrospective about her dog, I wasn't sure what to expect. I borrowed Good Dog. Stay. from the library on CD and it was 45 minutes long. So last night as I was stuck in a post-rush hour traffic jam, I was able to listen to the whole thing.

I grew up with dogs. When I think of the two I had in my young life, I can easily be brought to tears from all the happy and not-so-happy memories. We are able to bring dogs to work. Outsiders think this is a fantastic benefit, and it is, but my allergies make it so that I pretty much sneeze all day long. And while I love dogs, the intermittent barking throughout the day is enough to make me lose my mind. Regardless, I still love the only living creature that will give you unconditional love.

So Quindlen's story about her family's dog truly hit a chord with me. Her children grew up and then out of the house with him. They would come home from college and Beau would remember them with one sniff. And when it was time for Beau to be put down, each child made sure he or she was there for his last breath. Quindlen's words were so poignant, that in about 20 minutes I felt like the dog was my own. It's difficult to drive and cry! But this book is absolutely worth the 45 minutes (or approx. 95 pages).