Saturday, April 13, 2013

Buddy: How a Rooster Made Me a Family Man

by Brian McGrory

Anyone who knows anything about me knows that I do not, I absolutely do not read books about animals. Am I an animal hater? Far From it. I love animals. Pretty much all animals are on my favorites list. Currently there are four cats and a dog in my home. My fur kids are aways rescues. I adore them all. I have had other dogs, other cats, a few rabbits, and the poor chameleon and ill fated mouse. I have been known to dress down folks I see mistreating animals or allowing them to be in harms way. I have badgered neighbors until they finally learned that keeping their pets indoors was much better for the cats, and kept the safe, and healthier for longer. 

My reading friends know to warn me off of books that might upset me, when there are animals involved. I accept their kind advice and pass by books about cats in libraries or dogs on journeys and so forth. Dangerous ground, that. Where there are animals, there are people who lose animals to their inevitable death. I can't endure their pain, it reminds me too much of my own. Anyone who has had animals has felt that pain. The loss of a friend who loves you unconditionally and with complete abandon is pretty hard to ignore. Impossible in fact. 

So why did I choose to read this book? Buddy, the rambunctious and sometimes obnoxious rooster seemed safe. I thought it would be okay. Also, I didn't ay attention. I saw that it was about a man, his journey to becoming a a family man and of course the family that brought him to that point in his life. I somehow missed the perfectly and completely obvious comment in the book description that Harry, a wonderful, loving, cheerful and loyal dog dies in this book. This is not a spoiler.. go ahead and read the book description. There it is for all to see. All except me. So be warned. 

Brian sounds like a good man, a kind man and one who just wants to do the right thing, and to do it while having a happy life. Of course, he doesn't know how to make his life happy any more than the rest of us, but Harry helps him to find his way. It isn't unusual for a dog to make us happy. It's fairly common really. But Harry doesn't work alone. There are various animals, various people and many little bumps along the road. But in the end Brian learns something from Buddy. And what he learns is just possibly one of the secrets of the universe. So, go ahead and read it, don't be afraid. This is a story that will make you cry. This is also a story that will make you smile, hold your breath and sigh with relief. It's well worth the cry.

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