The Dog Who Saved Me - A Book Recommendation

Cooper Harrison grew up in a small town called Harmony Farms. He was raised in the family home passed down from the generations. It was run down and with his mother passed it was filthy. He never brought friends home as it stunk bad; that and he preferred to be out of the house whenever possible rather than endure any time with his brother Jimmy - the town bully, and later the town felon, or his father Bull - the town drunk.

Cooper's dream from a small child was to become a policeman, and one day when he had had enough of his home life - if he ever felt it was a place to call home - he packed up and left. His plan was to never look back, but even the best-laid plans can change.

Cooper Harrison was living his dream. He was married and was a member of the Boston K-9 unit. Things were going great for him until one tragic day when he was taken out at the knees. Argos, a white Shepherd - his partner and first love - was killed and Cooper was injured. Cooper struggled to move on from the grief, and the guilt of losing Argos.

His friend Lev Parker offered him a job back in his hometown as the Animal Control Officer while he worked through his physical and mental recovery. The last place he wanted to be was back in Harmony Farms, but his wife having grown tired of his 'pity me' mood and overindulging in the drink he reluctantly took it. He didn't want to work with animals - he was done with animals, but he needed a job and his wife wanted him out of the house.

My thoughts on the book

I was ready to put this book down almost as fast as I had started reading it until about chapter 3. Cooper Harrison is the one telling the story, and in my head he sounded the way Bruce Willis's detective character in Sin City spoke - Monotone. I also found there were too many uses of commas in many of the sentences. Maybe it was deliberate to provide that kind of read, but they tripped me up a few times where I had to reread the sentence to understand what the author was trying to say, in a number of cases ignoring the punctuation.

By chapter 3 I got over what to me was excessive punctuation (maybe I don’t use enough in my writing- very possible), and the monotone of Cooper Harrison actually became enjoyable - The story had pulled me in!

I liked the characters. There was just enough information on them to make them come alive. Throughout the book, at appropriate times there were sections in italic that provided bits of the past. These were relevant in providing insight into Cooper's childhood and added more depth to the characters of the story. I especially enjoyed the perspective of 'The Dog' as he is called through the book, but it wasn't like he was talking, making it childish. Well done!

I rate this a 4

I give it this rating not because of the punctuation or the few errors I picked up on, nor the monotone of the main character - as I did grow to appreciate that. I give it this rating simply for my expectations not being met. Given the fact that it is about a man, and a dog that saves him I was expecting this to be an emotional story - broken man meets dog and the bonds that form. I expected tingles and maybe me trying to swallow down a building lump once in a while. In fact, I was looking forward to that. I felt for the dog and the trauma that he had barely lived through, but that was about it on the emotion, and it wasn't much. The only part that gave me tingles was the very end. Maybe I am dead inside. Kidding. I cry or at least get choked up easily. This didn't do it, and I very much wanted and expected that.

Do I recommend this book?

Yes! If it is in my recommendations I recommend it! It is a good book if you are looking to pass time. It just wasn't the emotional rollercoaster I expected.

In closing this post, the opinions expressed above are just that - my opinion.

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