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Book Review: The Art of Racing in the Rain

Sometimes a book affects you in such a strong way that you’re actually forced to stop reading, put the book aside and think for a while.

Garth Stein’s The Art of Racing in the Rain did that to me.

Sometimes that book also happens to have a talking dog in it.

Through Enzo, a surprisingly observant dog, the reader learns all about his family and their ups and downs.  It’s the kind of book that any dog could write, if they could A) talk or B) had thumbs. And I ate up every single word.

I’m not sure which part I loved the most.  Enzo being really upset when Denny (his owner) starts dating (and then marries) someone who diverts his attention away from Enzo-Denny time? Or maybe when Enzo realizes how much he loves Denny’s wife? (This is so B and A, by the way.) Or maybe when a baby enters into the house and that bond grows?

Actually, I think the best (and most emotional) part is when a very old Enzo gets Denny through the worst time of his entire life and Denny returns the favor by letting Enzo go.

True story: I sobbed like a baby.  So hard in fact that B came over to see what was wrong.  He’s perceptive like that.

Now the amount of love I have for family members with cold noses and wagging tails would have made this book hit home anyway, but recent events in our family made it hit just a little bit closer.

We said goodbye to sweet T just after Easter and it’s been a slow and painful adjustment ever since. With that experience fresh in my mind, I didn’t just read every word of Enzo and Denny’s goodbye, I felt them. Right in the feels.

But at the same time, I took comfort in Enzo’s story.  I like the idea that if a dog is good, he (or she) will come back as a human. I like the idea that T spent her days loving us, protecting us, worrying about us.  I like the idea that she had a fantastic life with us and left with no regrets. I think Enzo and Denny’s story helped my heart heal a little bit and you can’t ask for more than that.

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