“Relish the day. If you’re not in awe, you’re just not paying attention.” She hadn’t even been in the crowded pound a week, but she’d already developed a nickname, “Knucklehead.” As a puppy she destroyed property and precious clothes; as an adult she injured her owner, ruined romances… and changed the world-views of those around her. Have you ever watched an animal and wondered how it thinks, how it sees the world, how it views you? And have you ever wondered what wisdom you might learn if you could see things as that animal does? This unique book is many things: an amusing and moving memoir about a memorable dog, a poetic ode to a human-animal connection, and a serious philosophical, psychological, and spiritual inquiry into the lessons a man gleaned from the simple-minded brilliance of a teacher, a lover, a liver of life to the fullest… a Knucklehead. There has never before been a book like "The Teachings of Shirelle." Take a walk with this pooch, and you might never look at life, love, or yourself the same again.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Reviewed by Lisa M. Schlegel for Readers' Favorite The Teachings of Shirelle is a memoir by Douglas Green that recounts his life as a young, single man while raising Shirelle, a husky-mix rescued from a kill shelter in California. Douglas describes the trials and joys of guardianship to a wonder-filled creature who stole his heart and gave boundless love and loyalty in return. The tale includes all the phases known to animal lovers, from the awkward and naughty adolescence, to old age, sickness, and death. Douglas Green is brutally honest about his frustrations and mistakes. I admired the candor and soul-searching necessary to admit how our companions can bring out the worse in us, such as impatience, and how they can be harmed by our actions, such as allowing our four-legged friends to indulge in the wrong food, or run around too soon after a big meal. Mostly, however, I admire the author for making keen observations and reflections which allowed him to compile The Teachings of Shirelle. Shirelle was involved in every aspect of Douglas' life, including dating, and here I must admit I'm on Shirelle's side. Personally, I would not choose a mate who is incompatible with my animal companion. In fact, animals are good judges of character, so Shirelle, instead of stifling Douglas' love life, may have saved him future heartache. And that perhaps is one of the beautiful lessons we can learn from our canine companions. Their love can seem totally selfish, yet an element of selflessness weaves and dodges its way to pure loyalty that somehow makes everything end up better than anything that may have occurred in a life without them. If more people could view the animal world in the way Douglas viewed Shirelle, what a richer and kinder world that would be.