Sunday, July 15, 2012

Charlie: A Love Story, by Barbara Lampert

They say that a dog is man's best friend.  But Charlie is a woman's best friend.  Charlie was a golden retriever rescued by Barbara and her husband, and brought into their already fur filled family.  Yet at the heart of the matter, Charlie was Barbara's dog.  He blessed her life in ways she never knew imaginable, and gave her love beyond any she had known.  He was so much more than just a pet.  When he began to have some serious health problems, she kept a journal to help her though the struggles, and to allow her to remember their magical time together.

As a serious dog lover, with two dogs of my own, I related to this book so much.  While I love both my dogs equally, I have a different relationship with each of them, and my relationship with my older dog, Dexter, sounds so much like Barbara and Charlie.  There are times when Dex looks at me, and you can just see the love in his eyes.  It brings me to tears, much like this book did.  This was not an easy book for me to read, because of all of Charlie's health issues.  It is never fun to consider the mortality of someone you love, be it a person or an animal.  We try not to think about the days our dogs will not be here, but it is the reality of having and loving a pet.  So, yeah, this book certainly brought on the waterworks.  But, it still was a worthwhile read.

Barbara and Charlie's relationship is so beautiful and special.  People who are not animal lovers or pet owners may have a hard time relating to this book, and might find it boring, but for those who have pets, or adore all kinds of animals, this book is a deeply emotional, and heartwarming read.  Barbara shares so much about her life, not just about Charlie.  We hear about her passion for her garden, and how gardening helps her cope with the stress of Charlie's illnesses.  We get an intimate view of her marriage, and we learn the stories of many of the other animals that have been and are in their lives.  This is a snapshot, unedited and unfiltered, of Barbara's life.

This book was an emotional read for sure, but it was still a pleasant book, and really positive when viewed in the correct light.  While this may not appeal to some people, to the animal loving reader, this book will certainly resonate quite deeply.

I received a review copy courtesy of Tribute Book Tours.  View the rest of the tour here.

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