The Puppy That Came For Christmas and Stayed Forever by Megan Rix
|The Puppy That Came For Christmas and Stayed Forever by Megan Rix|
|Reviewer: Sue Magee|
|Summary: Forget the title - this isn't a Christmas novelty book but a serious and informative look at the highs and lows of looking after a puppy for the first six months of its life - and then passing it on. Recommended.|
|Buy? Maybe||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 256||Date: October 2010|
|Publisher: Penguin Books|
Megan Rix and husband Ian took on two massive challenges at the same time. Their failure to conceive a child became something of an issue with Megan being, as she herself said 'north of forty'. Time was passing quickly and it looked as though IVF was the only option if they were to have the long-for child. It's time-consuming and traumatic. At the same time the couple became involved with a charity which provides helper dogs for people with disabilities. Puppies come to a family for six months to do their basic training and then move on. And that was how Emma, a soft, sweet-natured, adorable puppy came into their lives. Predictably, they fell in love with her.
Giving Emma up at the end of six months was heart-breaking, but it had to be done. As Emma left, Freddy arrived and the cycle began again. For how long can you go on taking a dog into your home and, inevitably, your heart and then giving them up? Megan and Ian realised that helping disabled people to live an independent life was a wonderful thing to do, but that there was a limit to the grief they could give themselves. It was time to get their 'forever dog'.
Now, I'd like you to forget the title of this book, because it really is a little bit misleading. Most of the book is not actually about Traffy, the dog who was to stay with Meg and Ian. It's bout Emma and Freddy, the dogs who were destined to go on to become helpers to disabled people and it's a wonderful, heart-warming story. There's lots of detail about the training which the dogs have and how they can change people's lives. If I'd just looked at the title of this book I might have missed a fascinating story.
It's well-told too. Megan is hat delightful mix of someone who is besotted with dogs, but who knows that you can't be too silly with them if you're to get the best life for them. The two 'charity' pups which she and Ian looked after might have been wonderful training for their 'own' dog but Emma and Freddy had the best possible start in life. The more I read about people who take puppies on for the first part of their lives, the more I see puppies in the village who are destined to become working dogs, the more I kno that I could never do it and I have to take my hat off to Megan and Ian.
I'd like to thank the publishers for sending a copy to the Bookbag.
If you'd like to read more about taking on a dog on a short-term basis we can recommend The Badness of King George by Judith Summers. If you're interested in how guide dogs are trained than you might enjoy Second Chance by Elizabeth Wrenn. If you need to know more about IVF and fertility treatment you can't do much better than The Complete Guide to IVF by Kate Brian.
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