Tuesday 18 June 2019

Book ~ "Lessons from Tara: Life Advice from the World’s Most Brilliant Dog" (2015) David Rosenfelt

From Goodreads ~ David Rosenfelt's loyal readers of the Andy Carpenter series are familiar with Tara, the golden retriever sidekick. Many also got to know Tara from "Dogtripping", David's nonfiction book about becoming a slightly nutty dog rescuer and the dog that started it all. Here, finally, is a book all about the inspirational canine who taught David everything he knows. Well, he did know how to tie his shoes before he met and came to love Tara but that's about it. 

Through Tara, David learned about dating, about being able to share his emotions and also about everyday stuff like who gets to use the pillow if several dogs are sleeping in your bed (clue: It's not the human) and why random barking will never be something that can be eliminated. 

I discovered David Rosenfelt's Andy Carpenter series about four years ago.  I've read and enjoyed them all ... the first one was published in 2002 and I'm looking forward to #19 coming out next month.  Andy is a lawyer who is married to Laurie and they have a young son named Rich.  He also has a golden retriever named Tara, who he thinks she's the best dog in the world..  I've also read his Doug Brock series ... the first was published in 2012 and the third/last one was published this past March.  Doug is a police officer who was shot in the line of duty and has lost the last ten years of his memory.

I enjoy reading books about animals.  I knew David and his wife, Debbie, are involved with rescue dogs so have been wanting to read this book for a while (I volunteer with a cat rescue).  When David and Debbie started dating, she had a golden retriever named Tara who he soon grew to love.  Tara passed away and they eventually started getting involved in dog rescue.  Their mission was to take, place and/or adopt older dogs that would be euthanized because most people want younger dogs.  They started the Tara Foundation, named in honour of Tara.  In Tara's memory, they have never not taken in a golden retriever, regardless of how many dogs they had.

According to his website, David and Debbie currently have 27 dogs (they live on a property in Maine so there is lot of room for the dogs).  This book is about the rescue process, finding homes for the dogs and what it's like living with that many dogs ... who sleeps where, who is friends with who, the barking, the vet appointments, making the final days of a senior dog's life the best it can be, etc.  They have rescued almost 4,000 dogs and found them homes.  Their own home has became a sanctuary for those dogs they rescued that are too old or sickly to be wanted by others.

I like the writing style of this book ... like his Andy Carpenter series, it was funny, sarcastic and amusing.  It was interesting to read about life as an author, what it's like rescuing dogs and the lessons he has learned along the way.  I like that he gave props to everyone who has helped them along the way (vets, rescues, etc.) and named names to acknowledge them.  Very cool!

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