When you sit down with The Dog Who Healed a Family you might want to have a box of tissues or a fresh hanky handy. This collection of animal tales by Jo Coudert is at once funny and moving. Coudert recounts 19 stories of animals that surprise and amaze, as well as tug at the heart strings.
Not limited to dogs and cats, The Dog Who Healed a Family tells stories about birds (including an owl, a goose, a swan, and a parrot), a fawn, a pig, a duck, snakes, and a variety of other beasts, including a javelina. All of the stories expound on the unique relationships that humans form with the animals they adopt (or the animals that adopt them) or assist.
The title story is a bit of a heart-breaker. It details what happens when a family of five adopts three emotionally scarred children and the difficulties they all encounter. Just when things seemed darkest, the veterinarian dad suggests the family should adopt a dog that was about to be euthanized, much to mom’s displeasure. The dog’s first night with the family was memorable only due to its howling, but it soon began to work its doggie wisdom — healing the hurt and bringing the family together. If not tears to your eyes, this tale will at least bring a lump to your throat.
When a fawn is stuck between the pickets of a fence, its mother turns to a human for help. A goose, born without feet and destined for the Thanksgiving table, is given new life via a pair of Nikes. A cygnet is saved from drowning and becomes a couple’s pet swan; will it be able to live a swan’s life? These stories and others are lovingly related, and often there is a touch of romance in the telling.
The Dog Who Healed a Family is a family-friendly book that can be enjoyed by adult readers and shared with children. There are heroic animals, tragic animals, and funny animals inhabiting its pages; it’s sure to appeal to the animal lovers amongst us.
Bottom Line: Would I buy The Dog Who Healed a Family? Sure — the stories are gently told and uplifting.