An inspiring memoir about an unruly Labrador who taught a woman and her father to overcome their grief and find peace with each other.
When Mel Miskimen's mother dies, her tough, retired-cop father withdraws into his sadness, and his broken grief is more than Mel can handle on her own. Enter Seamus: a rowdy, hapless Labrador devoted to chaos. In a spark of inspiration, Mel ropes her father into training the wayward hound for a local contest. As the seasons change, Mel finds herself connecting with her last surviving parent more than she'd ever dreamed. The unexpected result of their endeavor might just heal them all.
Sit Stay Heal will warm the hearts and tickle the funny bones of dog lovers and anyone seeking a way to connect with those they've lost.
©2016 Mel C. Miskimen (P)2016 Recorded Books
I love books related to dogs. I have a dog - a rather hyperactive lovable quirky black Labrador - so any books about black Labs are on the top of my must-read list.
But this is more than a book about dogs and training. It's about learning and loving and grieving and healing and growing and laughing.
At many points, whether due to the author's sense of humor or the narrator's perfect delivery, I laughed out loud. Whether it was about family dynamics, a misbehaving dog, a funny memory, or simply wry whit... I laughed a LOT in this book.
While I do disagree with the complete discounting of positive reinforcement present in this book, I found myself liking the author and her father, and even the dog whose behavior I would find objectionable. I often find myself disconnected from authors whose journey is far ahead of mine (the author here is more than 25 years older than I) simply because I can't relate to their experiences. But Mel kept me right along with her, grieving the loss of her mother, worrying about her father, stumbling along and making mistakes while allowing her loved ones to do likewise.
I cannot say enough about Pam Ward as the narrator for this book. SHE NAILED IT! Years ago I read another book narrated by her and I was less than impressed with the disconnect between Pam Ward's voice and the teenage characters she was portraying. In this book... she knocked it out of the park!
If you've ever loved someone and had to let them go, missed warning signs you wish you hadn't, trained a dog, loved a dog, been a child of parents who love you, been a parent of children who love you... oh, forget it. READ THIS BOOK!
This book made me laugh and cry all throughout. While I didn't care for the sister bashing, it was probably necessary to mention some of it to get the gist of the family roles.
I feel like other people who are grieving can do something like this in order to heal together and create new bonds. Both felt needed to help the other through the muck of sorrow and what better way to do it!
Right away, I felt like I was sitting with the author as my friend, having coffee in her warm kitchen, listening to her share her stories. The reading style was perfect in that she tells it in conversational voice. I loved it!
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