the dog who healed a family / and other true animal stories that warm the heart & touch the soul / by Jo Coudert Harlequin 2010 182 pp.
This is a collection of eighteen delightful short stories about animals and how they love and change human lives for the better. It has always been a medical fact that if a senior citizen with high blood pressure adopts a dog as a pet, his blood pressure will be reduced significantly, as the constant attention given to the dog creates a calm and soothing aura that is pure, healthy and happy.
Jo Coudert has a very laid back and genuine style of writing. Her characters are real, as is the dialogue they speak. Their dilemmas are as accessible as our own. We’ve either been there ourselves or know family or friends who’ve had similar experiences.
In the story about the family who adopts three new children, who just cannot find happiness as readily as the family members would wish, it is a dog Shaneen, also adopted by the family and reluctant to get too close, that somehow not only connects to the new siblings but is responsible for them becoming closer and happier with their newfound family. A simple game of tug of war with a blanket brings a new smile where there was none and much inner peace.
My favorite is the story about the pig. Pigger, formerly known as Lord Bacon, it is pointed out, is cleaner and friendlier than most dogs. He imitates and learns faster, also performing more tricks than most canines. What his short visit brings to the mother, who has lost the ability to enjoy life, is truly amazing. She now has a “red rash of affection” from the pig’s large snout rubbing against her inner thigh. And when she shares his love with seniors and others, Pigger works miracles.
The pets in these stories include not only dogs and a pig, but also a duck, a deer, an owl, a swan, and a goose, among others.
These animals love unconditionally and most interestingly, their love brings “a relief from the complications of human love.” When one loves a pet, it is not necessary to worry about if or how or how much that love will be returned. Pets, unlike people, do not explain or complain about what they are supposed to do, they just do it, and that includes spreading an incredible bundle of love toward those who love them in return.
for adults already pet lovers and also for those that need convincing