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Novel Dog

04 Oct

9781250014368-1This book was reviewd in a publishing/book industry newsletter this morning: A Man of His Own by Susan Wilson.

The tagline at the end of the review: “A stray dog unites and transforms three lives affected by World War II.” My kind of love story.

I haven’t yet read the book—haven’t even bought a copy—but what I read in the summaries and reviews online brought back memories.

The dog in the story is a mixed-breed Shepherd, which reminds me of the family dogs we had when I was a kid: Smoky, a German Shepherd pup, and Kanook, an older Shepherd, two friendly dogs I didn’t know I was supposed to fear. Other people looked at them askance, but I hugged and rode and wallowed them, nary a care in the world.

Later, after they disappeared, we adopted another puppy, a tiny ball of fluff, a German Shepherd-Collie mix that grew into a beautiful dog with intelligence bordering on human, an excellent sense of comedic timing, fierce love, and a deep connection to his humans.

As fathers are prone to do with their children, Dad called him by our names, but he only responded to his own. My brother and I spoke to him as to one another. He’d follow a conversation like a tennis fan watching a match at Wimbledon, his golden-brown eyebrows twitching, ears turning or flopping or standing according to his interest.

He was friendly to strangers, until they raised their hands or appeared a threat. Then he stood between us and them. He never attacked, never threatened first, but if you were going to start the fight, he’d finish it.

Almost two decades gone, and still greatly missed—Rocky, you were the best dog ever.

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