Comet's Tale: How the Dog I Rescued Saved My Life
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Comet's Tale: How the Dog I Rescued Saved My Life

4.4 41
by Steven Wolf, Lynette Padwa
     
 

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Forced into early retirement by a spinal condition, Steven Wolf reluctantly left his family and moved to Arizona for its warm winter climate. A lifelong dog lover, the former hard-driving attorney is drawn to a local group that rescues retired racing greyhounds. When Comet, a once-abused cinnamon-striped racer, chooses to “adopt” Wolf, he has no idea that… See more details below

Overview

Forced into early retirement by a spinal condition, Steven Wolf reluctantly left his family and moved to Arizona for its warm winter climate. A lifelong dog lover, the former hard-driving attorney is drawn to a local group that rescues retired racing greyhounds. When Comet, a once-abused cinnamon-striped racer, chooses to “adopt” Wolf, he has no idea that a life-altering relationship has begun—for both of them.

Racers, cruelly treated and exposed only to the track and cage, have no inkling of the most basic skills—walking on tile floors, climbing stairs, even playing with toys or children—so Wolf must show the mistrustful greyhound how to thrive in the real world. Gradually, a confident but mysterious spirit emerges from the stunning animal. And when Wolf’s health starts to worsen, the tables turn and Comet must now help Wolf with the most basic skills.

Wolf teaches her to be a service dog, and soon enough she’s hauling his wheelchair at top speed through airport terminals, towing his cart through the grocery store, helping him get out of bed, and attracting friends to Wolf’s isolated world. She plays a crucial role in restoring his health and even saving his marriage. Their unshakable faith in each other makes them winners once again.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Greyhound advocate Wolf, along with Padwa (Everything You Pretend To Know and Are Afraid Someone Will Ask), tells the story of Comet, a once-abused racing dog. Owing to a spinal condition, Wolf leaves his family and moves to Arizona for its warm climate, where he is drawn to a group that rescues retired racing greyhounds. Through this group he meets Comet, a dog who chooses to adopt him. Comet knew only racing tracks and cages; she had to learn how to climb stairs and even how to play with toys. With Wolf's patience and love, however, she blossoms into a beautiful, calm, and special dog. Unfortunately, Wolf's health worsens and it becomes Comet's turn to help the author with the most basic tasks. Much to the amazement of greyhound owners, he teaches her to be a service dog as she physically helps him get out of bed, tows his cart in the grocery store, attracts friends to Wolf's isolated world, and plays a crucial role in restoring his health and marriage. VERDICT This heartwarming story is recommended for all readers who will enjoy learning about greyhounds.—Eva Lautemann, formerly with Georgia Perimeter Coll. Lib., Clarkston
Kirkus Reviews
The close bond between man and dog is only part of this absorbing tale of love, family and dealing with disability. At 43, Wolf, a successful attorney, appeared to be at the top of his game when his spine gave way. Only gradually do we learn that his physical problems began when he was 16 and required a spinal fusion. In the years since his surgery, he had pushed himself to the limit. His condition was considered inoperable, and he was forced to retire--and spend the winter in Arizona while his family remained in Omaha. Depressed and suffering agonizing pain despite heavy medication, he struggled to maintain his independence. An encounter with foster greyhounds led him to adopt Comet, an abandoned greyhound who had been trained to race. Comet was not only an affectionate companion; she was also protective and sensitive to her owner's increasing disability. The author began to rely on Comet to help him navigate simple tasks such as getting out of bed or opening doors, and ultimately he trained her to become a service dog who could accompany him everywhere. With the assistance of Padwa (Quick, Answer Me Before I Forget the Question: Everything You Need to Know About Turning 50, 2007, etc.), Wolf offers a wealth of fascinating detail about Comet's socialization and about the breed, who are valued for their keen intelligence, speed and agility. After several years, Wolf found an orthopedic surgeon who was able to partially reconstruct his spine, increase his mobility and reduce his pain. The author admits to becoming manic and refusing to recognize that he was still fundamentally disabled. In his obsessive drive to resume his former life, he alienated his wife, who could not accept his self-destructive behavior. Only then was he able to come to terms with his previously flawed view of manliness and independence, rebuild his marriage and treasure each day. A heartwarming story that will hold appeal far beyond just animal lovers.
Hudson News

Hudson News Best Books of 2012

Shelf Awareness

Shelf Awareness’s Top Ten Best of 2012 for nonfiction

Booklist

“Both honest and heartwarming, and a wonderful salute to the power of man’s best friend.”

Review quotes

“A powerful tale about life, family, and personal healing that reminds us all that greyhounds are love!” —Christine A. Dorchak, president of GREY2K USA

Hudson News Best Books of 2012

Shelf Awareness Nonfiction Top Ten Best of 2012

“Everything you want a memoir to be: wise, moving, honest, and true. I loved it, and so will you.” —Louis Bayard, author of The Pale Blue Eye

“The close bond between man and dog is only part of this absorbing tale of love, family and dealing with disability . . . A heartwarming story that will hold appeal far beyond just animal lovers.” —Kirkus Reviews

“Told with abundant humor, humility, and a writing style as graceful as a greyhound, Comet’s Tale abounds with revelations of the way life surprises us. I loved this book!” —Anne Hillerman, author of Tony Hillerman’s Landscape

“The story of Steven Wolf and his rescuer, Comet, is one of the best I know. I’m glad Comet saved Wolf's life so he could write this marvelous book.” —Craig Johnson, author of the Longmire series

“Both honest and heartwarming, and a wonderful salute to the power of man’s best friend.” —Booklist

From the Publisher
“A powerful tale about life, family, and personal healing that reminds us all that greyhounds are love!” —Christine A. Dorchak, president of GREY2K USA

Hudson News Best Books of 2012

Shelf Awareness Nonfiction Top Ten Best of 2012

“Everything you want a memoir to be: wise, moving, honest, and true. I loved it, and so will you.” —Louis Bayard, author of The Pale Blue Eye

“The close bond between man and dog is only part of this absorbing tale of love, family and dealing with disability . . . A heartwarming story that will hold appeal far beyond just animal lovers.” —Kirkus Reviews

“Told with abundant humor, humility, and a writing style as graceful as a greyhound, Comet’s Tale abounds with revelations of the way life surprises us. I loved this book!” —Anne Hillerman, author of Tony Hillerman’s Landscape

“The story of Steven Wolf and his rescuer, Comet, is one of the best I know. I’m glad Comet saved Wolf's life so he could write this marvelous book.” —Craig Johnson, author of the Longmire series

“Both honest and heartwarming, and a wonderful salute to the power of man’s best friend.” —Booklist

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781616200459
Publisher:
Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill
Publication date:
10/09/2012
Pages:
272
Product dimensions:
5.60(w) x 8.40(h) x 1.00(d)

What People are saying about this

From the Publisher

“Absolutely delightful! A very good book about a human whose life is transformed by a greyhound. Makes me want to adopt a greyhound right away!” —Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson, author of Dogs Never Lie About Love

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