Cherished: 25 Writers on Animals They Have Loved and Lost [NOOK Book]

Overview

Because “grieving for an animal can be a pretty lonely place,” Barbara Abercrombie created this joyful and poignant, funny and smart collection of commiseration. Readers meet the cat who liked to fish tampon tubes out of the trash and then appear “jauntily holding one in his mouth as if smoking a cigarette,” the dog who demanded down pillows, and even a coyote who became part of the family. The sometimes surprising things animals add to a household — and how their loss reverberates — are highlighted, and because ...
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Cherished: 25 Writers on Animals They Have Loved and Lost

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Overview

Because “grieving for an animal can be a pretty lonely place,” Barbara Abercrombie created this joyful and poignant, funny and smart collection of commiseration. Readers meet the cat who liked to fish tampon tubes out of the trash and then appear “jauntily holding one in his mouth as if smoking a cigarette,” the dog who demanded down pillows, and even a coyote who became part of the family. The sometimes surprising things animals add to a household — and how their loss reverberates — are highlighted, and because these are such fine writers, each essay also reveals larger truths about life. Whether the reader is grieving a loss, cherishing a current companion, or simply relishing a tale well told, the message is clear: it is better to have loved and lost...
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Editorial Reviews

Christopher Schoppa
No pet enthusiast can browse these stories and not be moved.
—The Washington Post
Library Journal
Abercrombie (writing, Univ. of California-Los Angeles), after realizing that little existed to comfort those grieving over the loss of their furry loved ones, solicited stories from 21 well-known authors to celebrate and lament the all-too-short lives of our companion animals. Contributors include Anne Lamott, Carolyn See, and Jane Smiley. Lamott writes of Sadie, a black Lab that comforted her and her son through life's trials and tribulations. See and her family take in a dog, believed to be half-coyote, and love it unconditionally despite its wild ways. Smiley relates her deep love for her horse, Mr. T, and the pain of losing it too early from heart complications. Each story relates the pivotal role animals have in our lives and the inevitable loss inherent in loving creatures whose life span is far shorter than ours. Note that all royalties from the book's sale go to the Best Friends Animal Society (www.bestfriends.org), an organization whose mission is "to bring about a time when there are no more homeless pets." VERDICT A heartbreaker that will be warmly embraced by animal lovers.—Diana Hartle, Univ. of Georgia Science Lib., Athens
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781577319580
  • Publisher: New World Library
  • Publication date: 3/12/2011
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 240
  • Sales rank: 759,888
  • File size: 334 KB

Meet the Author

Barbara Abercrombie teaches in the writing program at UCLA Extension. The author of novels (Good Riddance and Run for Your Life), children's books, and many essays and articles in national publications, she lives in Santa Monica, California.
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Table of Contents

Preface Robert Goldman xi

Introduction Barbara Abercrombie xiii

1 Isha Carolyn See 1

2 A Story about The General Michael Chitwood 7

3 Hope Robin Romm 13

4 Mr. T.'s Heart Jane Smiley 27

5 Fluff Joe Morgenstern 37

6 Seamus and Spud Judith Lewis Mernit 45

7 Calico Melissa Cistaro 57

8 Red the Pig May-Lee Chai 67

9 This Dog's Life Anne Lamott 79

10 True Love Samantha Dunn 87

11 In Molly's Eyes Billy Mernit 99

12 Winesburg Barbara Abercrombie 109

13 Party Girl Monica Holloway 117

14 A Religion Named Yoyo Linzi Glass 131

15 My Sal Jacqueline Winspear 139

16 Kiki Cecilia Manguerra Brainard 149

17 Wonder Dog Victoria Zackheim 157

18 My Virtual Cat Jenny Rough 165

19 First Dog, Best Dog Sonia Levitin 175

20 Taking Stock Thomas McGuane l85

21 Dog Years Mark Doty 189

Epilogue 197

Contributors 201

Acknowledgments 209

Permissions 211

About the Editor 213

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 2 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 24, 2011

    Loved animals are hard to lose.

    Once you have loved an animal, your life is enriched. When they die, a little bit of you dies also.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 1, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    These writers share their personal experiences in order to empathize with other grieving pet owners

    The loss of a beloved animal is often best commiserated among fellow pet owners. Those who do not have a four-legged family member in their lives often cannot comprehend the inconsolable void that accompanies the death of a pet. When the earthly bond of unconditional love is shattered, only the memory of it remains. That is the empathetic feeling that is captured in the short story collection, Cherished: 21 Writers on Animals They Have Loved and Lost edited by Barbara Abercrombie. It is a heartfelt look at bereavement and grief throughout the animal spectrum. There is no defined limitation as to what constitutes a pet, and each of the contributors reflects on the specific losses they have endured. For many, it is the first time they have turned to writing in order to express the emotions that accompanied their final good-byes.

    The standout piece of the anthology is "True Love" by Samantha Dunn concerning her horse, Gabe. In a fitting description, she writes, "I see him again each time I go to a movie theater and the logo for TriStar Pictures appears on the screen - the strong white chest, the thundering legs." What makes this relationship even more remarkable is that at the time, Samantha was living in a trailer park - not the typical residence of a horse owner. Throughout her teenage years, Samantha enjoyed riding and caring for Gabe. It is not until she returned home during a college break that she learned that her grandmother had sold the elderly equine to a children's summer camp. Samantha never found out if this story was true, or just something her grandmother told her in order to comfort her about Gabe's final resting place. Choosing not to uncover the truth, this unresolved ending still effects Samantha to this day.

    In "Party Girl," Monica Holloway explores the animal-autism connection between her son, Wills and their shepherd-collie mix, Hallie. Monica shares, "there was a deep love between them, but it was as if Hallie were a protective aunt, standoffish but fiercely protective." When Wills was 12-years-old, he returned the favor. After Hallie fell into the pool and her arthritic body sank like a stone, it was Wills who jumped in and saved her. Pretty impressive for an autistic boy who didn't like getting his clothes wet. As the selection comes to an end, Hallie is rapidly approaching her final days. Monica ends with a poignant thought, "Hallie ... has been the one constant through the years, completely devoted but asking nothing in return." It is a fitting summation of love between pets and owners everywhere.

    The subject matter of the book may be one that many readers will be afraid to approach. The loss of one's pet is hard enough without having to endure the blow-by-blow accounts of other owners for over 200 pages. The repeated scenes of physical deterioration and subsequent euthanization do not make for happy reading. The ending of each story is known before diving in. While it can lead to an experience of continual heartbreak, the collection's intention is to help a pet owner through the grieving process by being able to gain insight from the coping strategies of others. Whether this is a helpful strategy or not is up to the needs of the individual reader.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 23, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

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