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Chicken Soup for the Pet Lover's Soul
Canfield, Hansen, Becker, Kline (ed.).
Barnes & Noble
This is soul food !! The kind of book that makes you glad you own a dog and puts your faith back in humankind. Story after story demonstrates just how important animals are to our emotional and spiritual well being. As you read each story you realize that, contrary to how the media portrays the current human condition, there are still a good many people who do kind things for one another.
This book shows how animals build bridges between people bringing out all that's kind and good and compassionate, quite refreshing from the doom and gloom of the evening news. The first time I picked this book up I was in Barnes and Noble bookstore browsing several new doggie book titles. I sat in a comfy chair (the kind that finds you comatose within minutes) and started randomly reading a story about a homeless man living out of his car. He was holding a sign up to passing cars that said he was selling his dogs because he could no longer care for them properly.
A woman passing by caught sight of this man and stopped. The dogs looked well fed and cared for, so she asked the man why he felt that he needed to give them up. He replied that it broke his heart to give them up, but he had recently moved to this city to find work and start a new life and things were not going as planned. He was just about out of money and did not want the dogs to go unfed or to suffer life without shelter.
She asked the man to stay where he was and returned an hour later with a hundred dollars worth of dog and human staples to feed the three of them for at least a month! The woman told him that she hoped this would help him get on his feet and be able to keep he and his dogs together until he could find work. There was hope in his eyes as she walked away.
I sat there and cried afterwards, relieved that the human spirit was alive and well in the world. I received this book as a gift from a client (thank you Elaine and Cody Mac Donald) and felt the same way about most of the other stories too. They touched upon the greatness of the human spirit, and the awesome powers of love that people are capable of with the help of our animal angels. It was one of my favorite books of the year (I read about 3 new ones a month).
I read the entire book, all 380 pages in a weekend and felt like a million bucks! The stories are short and well written, emotional and moving without being too sappy or outlandish. They vary in content from people helping people because of an animal, to animals helping the people who share their lives. Many of the stories are preceded by thought inspiring quotes, my favorite reads as follows:
Dogs have given us their absolute all. We are the center of their
universe. We are the focus of their love and faith and trust. They
serve us in return for scraps. It is without a doubt the best deal a
man has ever made.
-- Roger Caras, President, ASPCA --
Don't miss this book, it'll put your faith back in the basic goodness of the human spirit !!