Friday, March 14, 2014

Dog Heaven by Cynthia Rylant (1995)

Sometimes when a friend's dog has died, I recommend this lovely and moving book.  I also know when my beloved dogs died, I didn't read this book because I knew I would cry even harder, and was tired of crying.

This book will win no awards.  It's not a literary masterpiece.  The illustrations are not especially artistic or interesting.

And yet, this book is wonderful.  A book doesn't have to be literary, or awe inspiring, or scholarly, or even particularly unique.  A book can be comforting.  A book can be there for you right when you need it the most.  Picture books do this a lot. But novels can be the same thing for us as well.  A book can succor us, and give us strength.  A book can make us feel special.  A book can remind us of good times.  A book can be about how dogs have a special place in heaven, and make us feel so much better.

I love Dog Heaven.  Dog Heaven makes me believe in heaven, just for dogs.  I'm not even sure people belong in heaven.  But dogs do.  (and cats too, although cats probably have more fun in Hell).

Dog HeavenDog Heaven by Cynthia Rylant
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A book can succor and provide strength in difficult times.  Damn the snarks.  I'm not even sure I believe in people heaven, but after reading this book, I know there is heaven for dogs.  They deserve it.  (cats, on the other hand, probably are in Hell - because it's far more enjoyable for them in Hell).  Only the heartless - or dog-haters - won't at least feel a sentimental tug at the corner of their eyes.  I hid in my office at work and wept.  "They will be there when old friends show up."  


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