c.2014, Sourcebooks $14.99 / $17.99 Canada 272 pages
Throughout your life, it’s nice to know who’s got your back.
First came your family, a cheering section eventually bolstered by accumulated friends. Later, you drew strength from teachers, mentors, BFFs, and co-workers: a good, lifelong back-up team, just like you need.
Teresa J. Rhyne always knew her dogs were protectors, and vice versa. But in the new book “The Dogs Were Rescued (and So Was I),” that goes both ways.
When we last saw Teresa Rhyne (in “The Dog Lived (and So Will I)”), she was on the road to recovery from breast cancer. Her dog, Seamus, was feeling better after cancer treatment of his own, and life was sweet.
But it wasn’t to last: in 2011, Seamus’ cancer returned just days before Rhyne would embark on a dream trip to India. Reluctantly, she went anyhow but, unwilling to share her thoughts, she worried alone the entire time. That didn’t gain her any friends and it nearly ruined her trip.
Despite diet changes and medical intervention, not long after Rhyne was back Stateside, Seamus took a turn for the worse. She let her boy go but, days later and despite her grief, she spotted a beagle-girl online and in need of fostering. The timing and that adorable face made Rhyne reason that she could foster, no problem.
Daphne came – and stayed.
While Seamus had endured his last bout with cancer, Rhyne had started to look into better nutrition for herself and for him. As an animal lover, she became horrified by what she was eating, and then by ingredients in cosmetics and cleaning products. Having a beagle – a common animal used in laboratories – made her feelings even keener. Rhyne decided to try veganism.
But dogs are like snacks sometimes: you can’t just have one, so petite Percival moved in with Rhyne and her boyfriend, Chris. Percival was small – smaller than Daphne, who didn’t like the newest family member – which meant rescue had to be performed again and again…
I truly struggle with what to say about “The Dogs Were Rescued (and So Was I).”
There’s humor in this book, and kibble for dog-lovers, particularly beagle fans, to enjoy. I liked that a lot.
The struggle, I think, is best described by author Teresa J. Rhyne herself when she mentions how she’d become an evangelist for animal rights. She later admits to having a conversation with a friend who warned that fierce anti-meat, anti-testing rhetoric may eventually “alienate” people.
And there’s the issue: Rhyne’s newfound zeal is admirable – even emulatable – but it eventually becomes the bigger focus of the book which, I’m sure, will be off-putting for readers looking for doggie delight. They may instead feel blasted with something they’re definitely not prepared for. I know it surprised me.
I guess, in short, there’s your warning: this book isn’t for everybody. Read it if you’ve made or are considering a lifestyle change that’s mindful of animals. If that’s not your thing, then “The Dogs Were Rescued (and So Was I) will surely take you aback.
Disclaimer: The views expressed on this weblog are mine alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of PBG Lifestyle Magazine.