Reading recommendations: A Big Little Life, a memoir of a joyous Dog, Dean Koontz
"In each little life we can see great truth and beauty, and in each little life we glimpse the way of all things in the universe."
Dean Koontz thought he had everything he needed. A successful novelist with more than twenty #1 New York Times best sellers to his credit, Dean has forged a career out of industry and imagination. He had been married to his high school sweetheart, Gerda since the age of twenty and together they had made a happy life for themselves in their Southern California home. It was a picture of peace and contentment. Then along came Trixie.
Dean had always wanted a dog, had even written several books in which dogs were featured. But not until Trixie was he really open to the change that such a beautiful creature could bring about in him. Trixie had intelligence, a lack of pauixy, and an uncanny knack for living in the present. And because she was the joyful and direct as all dogs are, she put her heart into everything, from chasing tennis balls to playing practical jokes to protecting those she loved.
A service dog with Canine Companions for Independence, Trixie retired at three to become an assistance dog of another kind. She taught Dean to trust his instincts, persuaded him to cut down to fifty hour work week, and perhaps most important, renewed in him a sense of wonder that will remain with him for the rest of his life. She inspired him in so many ways, even though she lived only twelve years. In this big world she was a little thing, but in all the ways that mattered, including the effect she had on those who loved her, she lived a big life. What a girl!
And Homers Odyssey, A Fearless Feline Tale, Or How I learned About Love and Life with a Wonder Cat, Gwen Cooper
The last thing Gwen Cooper wanted was another cat. She already has two, not to mention a phenomenally under paying job and a recently broken heart. Then Gwen's veterinarian called with a story about a three-week-old eyeless kitten who'd been abandoned. It was love at first sight.
Everyone warned that Homer would always be an "underachiever", never as playful or as independent as the other cats. But the kitten nobody believed in quickly grew into a three pound dynamo, a tiny daredevil with a giant heart who eagerly made friends with every human who crossed his path. Homer scaled seven foot bookcases with ease and leaped five feet into the air to catch flies in mid buzz. He survived being trapped alone for days after 9/11in an apartment near the World Trade Center, and even saved Gwen's life when he chased off an intruder who broke into their home in the middle of the night.
But it was Homer's unswearing loyalty, his infinite capacity for love, and his joy in the face of all obstacles that inspired Gwen daily and transformed her life. And by the time she met the man she would marry, she realized that Homer had taught her the most important lesson of all: Love isn't something you see with your eyes.
Trixie and Homer, an exceptionally joyous dog and a blind cat. These two pets I'll never forget, you won't either.
And Lisa Wingates Tending Roses
The lessons that most enrich our lives often come at unexpected moments and unlikely places. That's what Kate Brown learns when she moves temporarily, with her husband and baby son to her grandmother's Missouri Farm. It's a time of crisis and indecision, she is struggling with demands of being a new mother, a not-so-new wife, and a well meaning but often impatient granddaughter. Given the job of convincing Grandma Rose to move into a nursing home, Kate is despairing of finding the right answers. Then she discovers her grandmothers journal, and sees life, and her grandmother in a completely new way.
Don't forget Lisa will be here with us at Rylander November 16th, 2 p.m. Do come, give her a real San Saba welcome!
See you there!