A Big Little Life: A Memoir of a Joyful Dog

A Big Little Life: A Memoir of a Joyful Dog

4.2 232
by Dean Koontz
     
 

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"In each little life we can see great truth and beauty, and in each little life we glimpse the way of all things in the universe."

DEAN KOONTZ thought he had everything he needed. A successful novelist with more than twenty #1 New York Times bestsellers to his credit, Dean had forged a career out of industry and imagination. He had been married to

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Overview

"In each little life we can see great truth and beauty, and in each little life we glimpse the way of all things in the universe."

DEAN KOONTZ thought he had everything he needed. A successful novelist with more than twenty #1 New York Times bestsellers to his credit, Dean had forged a career out of industry and imagination. He had been married to his high school sweetheart, Gerda, since the age of twenty, and together they had made a happy life for themselves in their Southern California home. It was the picture of peace and contentment. Then along came Trixie.

Dean had always wanted a dog--had even written several books in which dogs were featured. But not until Trixie was he truly open to the change that such a beautiful creature could bring about in him. Trixie had intelligence, a lack of vanity, and an uncanny knack for living in the present. And because she was joyful and direct as all dogs are, she put her heart into everything--from chasing tennis balls, to playing practical jokes, to protecting those she loved.

A retired service dog with Canine Companions for Independence, Trixie became an assistance dog of another kind. She taught Dean to trust his instincts, persuaded him to cut down to a fifty-hour work week, and, perhaps most important, renewed in him a sense of wonder that will remain with him for the rest of his life. She mended him in many ways.

Trixie weighed only sixty-something pounds, Dean occasionally called her Short Stuff, and she lived less than twelve years. In this big world, she was a little thing, but in all the ways that mattered, including the effect she had on those who loved her, she lived a big life.

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Editorial Reviews

Kirkus Reviews
In his nonfiction debut, mega-bestselling novelist Koontz (In Odd We Trust, 2008, etc.) presents a humorous, poignant portrait of his remarkable dog. The author and his wife adopted three-year-old Trixie in 1998. Elbow surgery forced the golden retriever into early retirement from Canine Companions for Independence (CCI), an organization that raises and trains assistance dogs for people with physical disabilities. Trixie fit right into the Koontzes' disciplined writing life and spotless California home. She was so well-trained that she relieved herself on command and rested calmly under restaurant tables, ignoring tasty scraps thrown to her by other diners. But impeccable behavior and uncanny intelligence-including attempts at speech-never diluted her exuberance or innocence. These qualities restored Koontz's sense of wonder and encouraged him to take more risks in his fiction writing. Here, the media-shy author opens up about childhood poverty, love for his wife and his spiritual beliefs. He also provides plenty of laughs, borne more of his self-effacing humor and mastery of language than doggie antics-though Trixie's "own" essay is certainly a highlight. Any post-Marley dog memoir cannot escape comparison to John Grogan's blockbuster. Determined to convey that the exquisite magic and mystery of Trixie put her on a different plane, Koontz preempts the debate early on. "This is not going to be a memoir about a pillow-destroying, cat-chasing, furniture-chewing, miscreant kind of canine," he writes, "she was something more than a dog . . . this spirit was a wonder and a revelation." Trixie defied conventional wisdom from animal behaviorists who believe that dogs cannot express emotions,judge character or remember things as humans can. Friends, family and strangers corroborated that Trixie was "special" in an otherworldly sense. Unprompted, an Indian neighbor informed Koontz, "Your dog is a person who has almost arrived at complete enlightenment and will in the next life be perfect and blameless, a very great person."Heady stuff for a pup, but Koontz's talent lies in making the preposterous believable. Was Trixie some sort of angel? Regardless, her enchanting story will have fans panting for more.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781401323523
Publisher:
Hyperion
Publication date:
08/25/2009
Pages:
288
Product dimensions:
5.70(w) x 8.30(h) x 1.00(d)

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