Friday 18 March 2016

Book ~ "Jem: Lessons in Living" (2016) John Donald Middleton

From Goodreads ~ John Donald Middleton was no stranger to dogs. He and his family adopted, sheltered and loved a variety of canines over the years. But from the beginning, he knew Jem was different.

The four-pound bundle of thick, fawn-colored fur tumbled into John's life during a tough season. After years of constant business travel and alcohol abuse, the husband and father of three grown children was in recovery and rebuilding his relationships. Jem's total devotion and firecracker spirit became his inspiration.

With honesty and tenderness, John chronicles their years together - a time filled with comedy and eventual tragedy, and seasoned with the loyalty of a small dog with a big heart.

John is a husband, father, native Texan, and pug enthusiast.A graduate of Texas A&M University, he spent more than thirty years in business, most of them on the road. He's a recovering alcoholic, sober since 2010. He is now semi-retired--if working two part-time jobs and volunteering for the DFW Pug Rescue can be considered "retired." He and his very patient wife, Denise, live in Hurst, Texas, with four rescue pugs, and their "grand-dogs" often come to visit.

Over the years, Middleton had had many dogs.  He and his wife, Denise, have adult three children who have also had dogs over the years.  This is the story of Jem, the pug Middleton had bought as a puppy for his son, Matt, who had moved back home, which meant the author got to spend a lot of time with Jem.  Jem was the brother of Middleton's other son, Josh's dog, Scout.

Middleton was out of town a lot on business but also had the opportunity to work from home often.  When he did, he would have Jem and Scout spend the day with him, along with his older dog, Wendy.  Jem and Middleton spent a lot time together and he took the dog everywhere.  Jem came along right around the time the author recognized that he was an alcoholic, which made their bond even tighter.  Despite having many dogs over the years, I could feel the bond between him and Jem ... and the author was honest in acknowledging that Jem was different and how much he meant to him.

Middleton is now retired and is a voluteer with DFW Pugs Rescue Club.  A portion of the proceeds from the sale of this book is being donated to this rescue.

No comments: