Monday, June 4, 2012

Monday for Mari

I'm in love with a dog I didn't know.

It started with a suggestion from John Morgan to research other dog books, as I'm writing my own. So I went to Amazon & googled. And I got sucked into this:

Sweet Lou.
I knew going into Last Dog on the Hill  that Lou lived 16 years and that this book was a tribute to his life. So I knew as I was reaching the end of the book that I would also be reaching for the tissues at the end of his life story. I boo-hooed my way thru the last part, of course. This dog was a real hero. He confronted an armed robber, attacked a rapist and during the course of his life saved hundreds of troubled & misbehaving dogs from certain euthanization. In the process, he gave Steve Duno a new profession as a dog trainer.

"Real heroes are not pompous or bigheaded. They're accidental and sweet and good-hearted, with nothing to prove. Farm kids called to war, cops and firefighters rushing into eternity, plain folk when the dykes break. They are uncomfortable with attention tendered for simply doing what seemed right at the time." (p. 187)

Reading Lou's story also sparked memories of all my dogs. Steve talks about how Lou would place his paw over his foot, and that this was a typical Rottweiler behaviour. I laughed at the memory of Remi, who used to do that, too!

"Our friendship defined us. These days I can't think of myself, or of life before or after him, without imagining him here forever, like an inscription carved in my heart."  (p. 181)

My sweet Remi & Barkley.
"The essential crime committed against all dog owners is born of the love we hold for them, which, like the love of a child, runs deep. No parent should have to bury a child, they say, but that is what we dog owners must do, not once but time after time, throughout our lives. While we remain unchangeable to their sweet eyes, they run from birth to the grave in an instant of our own measure. They burn like kindling, and though we know we can never replace one dog with another, we keep trying, in hopes of reviving hints of some great dog gone by. No; they are not children we bury. But dogs like Lou come close. They come very, very close." (p.5)

My sweet Millie & Maggie.
This book is Lou's story, but in the process of reading it, you will fall in love with your own dogs even more.  My friend Gareth from Mystic Pet said that all dogs want is a master to be devoted to & love. I think it goes two ways when you have a special bond with a dog. This book is a testimony not just to Lou's loyalty and devotion, but also to that of the author's. For anyone who has ever rescued a dog and wondered, Who rescued whom? Read this book.

Here's a trailer for the book:

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