The Puppy That Came for Christmas: How a Dog Brought One Family the Gift of Joy

The Puppy That Came for Christmas: How a Dog Brought One Family the Gift of Joy

by Megan Rix


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A perfect gift for dog lovers, The Puppy That Came for Christmas is the heart-warming true story of the little dog that changed one couple’s life forever. 

All Megan Rix ever wanted was a baby. Yet, month after month, Megan’s dreams were dashed. Would her life ever feel complete? Megan and her husband, Ian, found a surprising answer when they began training golden retriever pups to become service dogs for people with disabilities. But opening their homes and hearts up to Emma, and then Freddy—only to have each move on after six months—eventually took its own toll. Megan and Ian didn't know if they could continue. Then, one Christmas, little Traffy came along and stayed...

An instant international bestseller, The Puppy That Came for Christmas is a heartwarming and inspirational story that will captivate dog lovers everywhere.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780452297487
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 10/25/2011
Pages: 256
Sales rank: 799,625
Product dimensions: 5.14(w) x 7.68(h) x 0.62(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Megan Rix is an award-winning and Sunday Times bestselling author. She was born in London, and lived in the United States, New Zealand, and Singapore before marrying her husband, Ian, and settling in England. She has two dogs.

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Puppy That Came for Christmas 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 24 reviews.
PASrCatLady More than 1 year ago
This book was a very heartwarming story. It shows how service dogs are trained for people with disabilities and the great love they share with those who train them. The book brings both tears and laughter while being read.
kimberouch More than 1 year ago
Meg and Ian are going through some changes in their lives. They are struggling to have a child and not sure how to create a family. They start small with a dog. They become puppy parents to some future Helper Dogs. Meg finds a home with the Helper Dogs organization. These pups are trained to assist people with a variety physical disabilities. Each set of puppy parents nurture and train their dog so they can continue on to becoming a full fledged helper dog. Meg and Ian take the lovable Emma into their hearts and home. We get to see the trials and tribulations of training and puppy life. The hardest part is letting Emma continue on her training after six months. It also hurts that Meg is no closer to becoming pregnant. With more puppies to be trained Meg and Ian continue on this journey of exploration. With new and old friends, cuddly puppies, and plenty of love everyone finds their way. The book was an easy read and fun story. It could be a little sporadic from time to time. The telling of past and future events got muddled into the present. It is a great book for dog lovers.
harstan More than 1 year ago
In her early forties, Megan and Ian Rix wanted a baby, but even fertility treatments seemed to fail. Rather than mope, they train golden retriever pups as Helper Dogs for people with disabilities. However, six months as "foster" parents to Emma, followed by Freddy broke their hearts when the canines moved into their permanent homes. Ready to quit as trainers, Traffy The Puppy That Came for Christmas, joins the household. However Traffy remained a permanent member of the Rix household. With an obvious nod to John Grogan's Marley and Me, Traffy is indeed the dog who brought joy to the Rix family. Well written, canine lovers will appreciate Megan Rix's account of how much happiness a dog that is part of a loving family brings to the bonded household. Harriet Klausner
Laura_Corbett on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
OMG! What a quick read and hit home in so many ways! Being a canine foster parent, I found the book very touching! I would recommend to all of my canine foster parent friends. Thank you so much for sending me an advance copy and allowing me to share my review with my friends!
Carolee888 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Megan and Ian Rix wanted a baby so much. Time was running out, Megan was already forty three. She had only met Ian two years before. They had always felt that their family was incomplete. Ian had had an awful childhood being in foster homes on and off because of his parents fighting. It was such a bad experience that he blocked everything about it in his memory. That fact would become important later in the book. Both of them wanted to have a baby to give it a much better childhood than Ian¿s and Megan had always wanted a child.The appointments and consultations for trying to have a child was only one focus for this book. The other was training puppies to be Helper Dogs. She saw an ad requesting volunteers for people to give expert training to the dogs so that they could go to disabled people. So all through the long journey with the fertility clinic, they go through training dogs to be Helper Dogs. I loved this book, Megan and Ian were a loving couple and she is very honest in this memoir, telling of all her fears, mistakes and love for Ian and the dogs. And of course the dogs were adorable. There are lovely photos of them all through this book. Both Megan and Ian went through a lot of torment and worry with trying to have a baby and both loved the dogs so much! The first dog she trained was Emma, a sweet, gentle and eager to please golden retriever. She came at Christmas time. The second one was Freddie, a rambunctious, energetic, bouncy, dog who gulped his food down quickly. If you read this book, you will fall for both dogs. In this book, you will learn a lot about training dogs to be Helper Dogs, the anguish of not being able to bear children and most of all you will learn what truly makes a family.I recommend this book to all dog lovers, people interested in training Helper Dogs and those going through the difficulties of not being able to physically bear children.
Rbeelee on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Meg and Ian's struggles as they tried to have children and how, as inexperienced dog people got involved in the organization Helper Dogs by raising and training puppies, kept me enthralled to the last page. I learned a lot about this type of organization, but told through the heart. Meg was honest throughout, and in the end could see the bigger picture of all that had been gained even though it hurt while it happened. An absolutely delightful read!!
WillowOne on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book touches on loss in several forms; physical, psychological & emotional. While also touching on love in different forms; human to human & human to animal.Meg & Ian decide thy want to have a child soon after marrying, but they have more trouble than expected. While working their way down the tortuous road of schedules, temperatures, blood tests and Doctor visits they find a mutual love for dogs. They become involved with a group called Helper Dogs, a group that trains puppies to help people with disabilities and they decide to become puppy parents. Through Helper Dogs they are given a puppy to raise and train for 6 months when it will move on to another home and its second phase of training. They come to find that although the work is rewarding it is also very heartbreaking when you must give up the puppy you have raised for 6 months. During the course of their second 6 month stint as puppy parents they realize that it is too hard to give up another puppy and that the next puppy they take in will be their forever puppy. During this time they are faced with the almost impossibility of becoming natural parents and the hardships that would be faced trying to adopt or become foster parents to a child in need. Through this year they find that a baby can come in human or animal form and the love that is received from either is always good.When I was chosen to read and review this book I felt I wold probably be a good match. I have also been through the ups and downs of trying to conceive a child and came out on the other end with only animal children. I could clearly identify with Meg and Ian and the heartbreak and hope that is lived with day to day when having trouble conceiving a child. You soon find that if you are not successful you must stop the madness and find something else to focus on. This is for your emotional and mental well being.I found the book to be uplifting. The story of love, loss, laughter and eventual healing threaded throughout the story caused me to want to keep reading. I recommend it to those on the pregnancy journey, those working in the helper animal community or the ordinary animal lover.
writestuff on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Megan Rix and her husband, Ian, were struggling to conceive a baby, when they unexpectedly connected with Helper Dogs ¿ an organization which trains dogs to be placed in homes to assist persons with disability. They never dreamed that deciding to become puppy parents to a Helper Dog puppy in training would change their lives¿but it did. Neither Megan nor Ian had much experience with dogs, so when Emma (a sweet golden retriever puppy) arrived at their home, they did not know what to expect. Showering Emma with love and toys, the couple soon fell in love with their new puppy. When the day came to give Emma up so she could continue her advanced training and be placed with a person who needed her, Megan and Ian were devastated. Quickly they accepted a new foster puppy named Freddy, once again putting their hearts at risk. When Freddy also left them to advance in the Helper Dog program, Megan and Ian decided it was time that they found a puppy who would stay with them forever.In The Puppy That Came For Christmas, Rix relates the joy, the heartbreak, and the rewards of fostering puppies to help those in need. Intertwined in the story of becoming a puppy parent is the grief and frustration of infertility. Rix shares her sustained efforts to become pregnant ¿ the fertility drugs, the pain at seeing those around her conceive while she remains infertile, and the toll that infertility takes on a woman and her partner. In a book about love, loss, and healing, Rix¿s memoir reveals the power of a dog¿s unconditional love to alleviate even the deepest emotional pain.My only complaint with the book,which I admit is a personal one, was Rix¿s tendency to propagate the stereotype of the German Shepherd breed as aggressive and scary. She mentions the breed several times, always in a negative light. Having owned several German Shepherds in my life, I know they are loyal, intelligent, highly trainable, and very lovable¿even with small puppies and children. Any dog, regardless of breed, has the potential for aggression (in fact, my German Shepherd pup experienced an unprovoked attack by a lab mix which left her with a deep puncture wound to the face and nearly cost her the vision in her eye when she was only six months old). In a book which shows just why dogs are so special, I was dismayed that Rix chose to perpetuate a myth about a specific breed.Rix does tell the reader that she knew little about dogs when she stepped into her role as puppy parent, so I can forgive her gaff when it comes to the German Shepherd breed¿especially because the rest of the book is a heartwarming portrayal of the importance of dogs in our lives.Readers who love dogs or who have ever considering fostering dogs, will find much to enjoy in Rix¿s poignant memoir.
mpensack on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A newly married couple, who live near London, cope with infertility issues while also becoming new "Puppy Parents" for a Helper Dogs organization. This book chronicles their experience as "Puppy Parents" and describes their heart breaking attempts to have a child. The author gives honest details about her emotional struggle. In spite of my interest in dogs as well as infertility, I found it difficult to stay interested in this book. I found some of the chronology and event details boring. This book was not engaging to me and I ended up skimming parts of it. Still, the ending is heart warming.
dulcibelle on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Megan and her husband Ian wanted children. But, it seemed it wasn't to be. In an effort to fill the void, they started as "puppy parents" for Helper Dogs - dogs trained to help people with disabilities. This book relates Megan's experiences with the Helper Dogs and how they lead to Megan and Ian getting a dog of their own.This is a sweet little book that gives lots of information on what's involved with raising Helper Dogs. It's also a story of how a family comes to accept that their most desired dream isn't going to come true - and what they can replace that dream with. It's a wonderful read; no tissues required!
kittycrochettwo on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I love reading books about dogs, so when this one came in the mail I sat down and read it the same evening. Well it turned out to be much more than just another cutesy dog story. Instead its about the authors journey of longing to have a baby and deciding that while she and her husband Ian deal with the issues of infertility they will volunteer in a charity program called Helper Dogs. We read how the Helper Dog program works and we follow along as Emma, and then Freddy the two helper dogs that Ian and Megan take care of opens their hearts allowing them to ultimately find their forever dog Traffy. This story was just wonderful. It takes place in England so some of the terms and wording were a bit different but I quickly adjusted. The author easily brought to life the ups and downs of being a volunteer taking care of puppies for Helper Dogs.I could imagine the excitement and pride she felt in Emma and Freddie. I thought it was clever that Emma actually had her own newspaper article, and in a sense became a spokesperson for the program.Freddie was a real character, and I can't help but wonder how the two dogs are faring now. The author also allows us to feel the disappointing struggles she and her husband had with infertility. The message I took away from this story is that family is whatever we choose to make it, and for many of us our beloved pets are often the only family God chooses to bless us with. This book will hold appeal for anyone who enjoys dog stories, but more than that its a story of family and one woman's struggle with infertility. Recommended!* I won a copy of this book from Librarythings Early Reviewer program.*
schoolnurse on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This was a wonderful story. I can only imagine how it would feel to open my heart to a little puppy only to have to give it away. Even if I knew it was to help others. This is a story that will leave you with a warm heart, the urge to help others and respect for the volunteer helper dog trainers who give of themselves to help those in need.
GRgenius on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
What starts as a heartfelt desire to share their lives with a family turns into a furry affair that would benefit not only themselves but others in need. Megan and Ian were two that wished to be more but fate doesn't always take into account what we want when it weaves its tapestry and as their hopes of adding a little one to their home dwindled with time, so did their aspirations. However, all of that changed one sunny day on the opposite side of the world when a puppy named Goro opened their eyes to a new take on extended family.Yes, my friends it was the small act of renting a puppy for an afternoon stroll in a foreign country that introduced them to the love a fur baby can really give...and receive. As many of you know, I'm a pet parent myself and my fuzzy wuzzies make an appearance here every so often so I totally get what they were feeling. The love they give freely is amazing and can turn the darkest of days right side up again. This couple wasn't sure if a full fledged commitment was really in the cards from them so they decided to get their feet wet my assisting in the training of a future helper dog. Enter the little ball of yellow fur we shall call Emma.Emma showed them the ins and outs of puppy parenting as well as the exceptional results that can be achieved when training isn't so much a job but a heart felt team effort. She was a gorgeous golden retriever that grew into so much more in such a short amount of time that when the inevitable day of graduation came... no one was truly prepared.No worries my friends, all things end well for both parties but it was their first experience with the necessary "good bye" that eventually follows in these types of programs. As much as they weren't certain they were ready for the big plunge initially, eventually they came to see they weren't ready to bid their charges farewell time and time again. It's a big undergoing not only financially to train and grow these fine four legged helpers but there is a toll on the heart that is very hard to justify. Hats off to all those able to perform this routine over and over because without people like you, we'd have a severe shortage of these furry life ablers. The journey of life is always unexpected no matter how much planning is put into every step and the Rix's allow us to peer into their own adventure with eyes wide open. From their struggles with fertility to considerations of adoption to their eventual acceptance and embracement of the hand life has dealt's emotional and truthful but well worth the tissues that may be needed. Recommended reading for teen through adult readers. It's a wonderful story for the holidays or any day and will certainly give you a new perspective on life as you know it.
frisbeesage on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A sweet, simple story about a couple who find the love they crave in puppy, The Puppy that Came for Christmas is exactly what it seems to be. Don't expect any deep revelations, unexpected twists, or even revolutionary training techniques from this book. Megan and Ian are the increasingly common, well-off, middle aged couple who can't conceive. Grief stricken they wander miserably from hospital to fertility clinic until they find an organization training service dogs desperately in need of puppy parents. They drown their sorrows in golden retriever puppies until they can't take losing the puppies each time they get old enough to continue with their training and service obligations. Finally they find the puppy that will stay with them forever.Sweet and sappy, but heartwarming nevertheless. Don't expect too much of this little book and you will find it a pleasant, quick read.
tanya2009 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I love good animal stories and this book is no exception. Megan and her husband, Ian were having trouble conceiving. What better way to take your mind off your troubles than bringing a puppy into your life. They decided to train golden retriever puppies to become helper dogs for people with disabilities. I highly recommend reading this heartwarming story for the holidays or anytime you want a feel good animal book to read.
Ariesgrl More than 1 year ago
Megan and Ian Rix have desperately been trying to have a baby. Megan feels as though a baby would finally complete their family. Throughout the numerous failed attempts, the couple has kept their struggles quiet. Along the way, they find a group called Helper Dogs. This group trains puppies to assist humans with disabilities. Megan and Ian get to experience all the joys and heartache of fostering two little puppies over the course of a year, until they finally get their forever dog. The Puppy that Came for Christmas is a beautifully written memoir. Megan’s emotions shine through her words as she struggles to conceive. She keeps her story honest by showing the good times as well as the bad, such as medication failures or experiencing jealousy over her brother’s surprise announcement. However, puppy lovers around the world can relate to all the pleasures and sorrows that comes with Emma, Freddy and eventually Traffy. With their first dog, Megan tells readers about each of Emma’s triumphs and the new world of possibilities that opens from being a doggie parent. Then Freddy brings a bit of silliness to help distract from the pain of Emma’s graduation. Readers will laugh, cry and ooh and ahh throughout this inspirational book. Notes: This review was written for My Sister's Books and Sasee Magazine. This review was posted on the Ariesgrl Book Reviews website.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The best book ever
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Please don't tell me the ending of this book bacause I'm almost done and it is a great book!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Okk this book is sad funny and cute I love this book ans so will you if you dont love this book read it til' you do!!! Emma D.
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