Skip to main content

Book Review: A Big Little Life


Oh people. Oh DOG people.

Dean Koontz who? Trixie, the Koontz family dog definitely stole the show on this one. That is sort of the point on a memoir about man's best friend. I can't remember why or how I found this book and added it to my 2012 list late last year, but this was a good one. An easy read at 270 pages, this book made me think that I really need to read some more of Koontz's work; his writing is wonderful, and that I miss our dogs, or having a dog, a lot.

I love dogs, and even though our family doesn't have any dogs currently (we lost both 2 years ago and our living situation prevents it), all four of us talk about 'when we have our next dog' and 'we can't wait to take our new pup on walks' and on and on. We love dogs. Our kids love dogs, and some of our happiest family moments have happened with our playful pets around to share them.

Dean Koontz and his wife Gerda never had children and after many decades of marriage decided to get a pet. They had decided to adopt a dog that was released from Canine Companions for Independence (an organization that trains, fosters out, and unites owners with various types of guide dogs) and it was just the amount of whimsy and magic their family needed. This book is a special tribute to the friend who helped them see the world anew--full of wonder, sweetness, and simple joy at the world around them. Koontz's writing was superb, and he articulated so well how people and animals can coexist peacefully, and how amazing these creatures really are in terms of work ethic, loyalty, and friendship.

Of course all animal stories must come to an end as they are  so often with us a short time, but his chapter on Trixie's death was heartbreaking and yet still hopeful. One of the things I kept bringing up to Stefan while I read, was how well trained and obedient these dogs were, and how adopting a release dog (one who can't participate as a guide dog because of a medical condition, but needs a home) would be an option for us in the future. I even mentioned that at some point we might want to become volunteers for an organization like this, which the 18 month training period is for people who love dogs and will be consistent trainers for their next owners--something Stefan is extremely good at and enjoys, and that our family would find as a simple extension of life.

I would give this book 4 out of 5 stars for the excellent writing, the love and friendship between every page, and for the worthy cause it promotes. Of course, we don't see dogs as children, and would never call them as such, but as we are tenders on this earth of creation--pets included--it is our responsibility to care for them in a humane, and loving way, and this book reflects that concept beautifully. 


Popular posts from this blog

How To: DIY Sand/Water Table

How To: Build A Sand/Water Table for Under $30!
Sorry this took me so long to blog, but I had to have a tool list and full instructions before I could do so.
A little history on my love for the sand/water table. I love the idea behind tools for tiny hands, i.e. the Montessori Method, and like to have Lukka 'figure things out for himself', even when he is playing. I try to have the most simple and basic toys available for 3 reasons: a) simple toys generally have less parts, which means less of a hassle for me
b) simple toys inspire way more creativity and imagination than do 'exact replica' toys
c) they are much more aesthetically pleasing to look at, therefore, not making every nook and cranny of our house an eyesore!
I know the last reason is just for me, but it's true. Plastic things don't generally last 1/2 as long as wooden or fabric toys, and they are unattractive. For this reason, I started to look for a wooden sand/water table as opposed to a plastic one …

The Rule of Threes

Costco aftermath
This is what my kitchen looks like for at least an hour after a Costco trip. I haul in everything after an exhausting journey through the busiest store (seemingly) in this country and I just can't do a dang thing more. For an hour. While I get a breather. And eat some obligatory reward chocolate. Eventually I'll get to those piles and everything will be put in it's proper place, but usually it stays like this for that necessary hour. 
                                                                          *** I don't think I'm alone in sensing that our culture has gone hog-wild with unrealistic expectations in just about every department, and I want to tell my friends, and anyone else who will listen, that we can only do so much in a day.  My husband once told me a friend of his pondered the busy-ness of our modern lives and said something to the effect of, "God gives us just enough time in the day to do only the things we need to do." …

17 in 2017 // What Happened? What Didn't?

one of Ani's goals: learning to bake!
This year was a great one--we did SO much as a family and I really think by setting up some 'Things to Do' with the kids in my goal list for 2017, we made them happen rather than thinking we could do them 'someday'. We traveled a lot in 2017; we hit every state on the West Coast including Alaska! We started our 6th year of homeschooling and went a bit rogue in a few subjects like Math. I started and finished a beloved book series with the kids. There were a few things that didn't happen because of circumstances, but almost everything else DID happen, and I'm proud of that! Intentions + action for the win! 

What Happened

*Learn to make pakora and butter chicken (crock pot): This might be cheating but a friend of mine sells Epicure spice blends and they just came out this past year with a pakora packet. It's healthy, fast, gluten-free, and delicious and I'm counting it! I also made the most delicious butter chicken…