Friday, May 13, 2011

Book Review: A Dog Named Slugger

All dog memoirs make me cry. It probably has something to do with the relatively short life span of the animals that nestle a deep place in our hearts.

This book is no different. Author Leigh Brill tells the story of how her service dog, Slugger, helps her overcome obstacles that Cerebral Palsy has put in her way. These amazing animals—although originally bred for specific tasks—are so versatile that they have evolved to serve other human needs. Slugger's Lab instincts may be telling him to retrieve game, but he is just as happy to retrieve Leigh's keys or to steady her balance as she walks.

Woven within the story of their lives together is valuable information about the placement and training of service dogs. Leigh's story reminds me of the wonderful people in the dog world who help both people and animals in need. Sadly, it also serves as a wake-up call about the prejudices that people with disabilities and their service animals face on a daily basis.

As inspiring as Leigh's story is, I did not find it to be extraordinarily well written. It reads a bit slow and much of the dialogue is really canned. I might recommend watching/reading Through a Dog's Eyes first if you're looking to learn about service dogs. I have only seen the documentary (and it is FABULOUS—more tears), but I hope to read (and review) the book soon.

So yes, A Dog Named Slugger is inspiring and a tear-jerker. It's got a cute lab on the cover AND all proceeds go to the St. Francis Service Dogs organization. In short, I can't tell you not to read it, but the English major in me needs to tell you it's not one of the best dogs books ever written.

No comments:

Post a Comment