Skip to main content

Book Review: A Big Little Life

photocredit

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. 

Comments

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 …

Subscription Boxes as Homeschool Curriculum

Ani painting her first diarama
The subscription service business sector is exploding the online retail market. You can now buy toys, pet products, clothing, stationary, beauty products, eco-cleaning supplies, and even organic snacks all in monthly packages with excellent branding. While print magazines are slowly fading away, a new type of subscription purchasing is taking place in droves--for those who are too busy or depleted to run one more errand (hand raised here), you can get a fun surprise on your doorstep for a decent price. These are excellent as curriculum because all the work of planning and gathering has been done for you! Now it's just up to the child to execute and enjoy the process. 
I have tried a few subscription services as either birthday gifts or a trial run for homeschooling, and let me tell you there are some awesome businesses going up! I want to highlight a few of them for you that can be used as homeschooling curriculum for elementary grade kids. With each…

Snapshot Story of Malibu, Lake Louise Inlet, British Columbia

top photo: The Blainiacs; self-titled, our group from bible study

There are too many words to share everything about Malibu, so I'm going to share a few pictures, and some words in this post. Malibu is a Young Life camp that is it's own little village in the middle of nowhere, British Columbia, or at least it feels that way--very isolated. It's right at the top of Lake Louise Inlet (right before Lake Louise) but really, there is nothing out there. It is what a leader called "The Thin Place"; the place right in the middle of heaven and earth. It's beautiful, welcoming, joyful, and raw, pristine.


This lodge is where "Club" happens. This is where the large group of the 220+ women who were present for Women's Weekend  would get together twice daily for skits, singing, and hearing speakers before breaking out into small group time. The Women's Weekend follows the Young Life way in how they structure the retreat. Everything we did resembled what t…