Immersing myself in a well written believably charactered
book is the highest form of self care I can practice daily. One of my favorite
authors is Dean Koontz, who by the way is not a horror writer, about ten years
ago his writing became deeper—his characters became more spiritual and the plots delved into questions beyond
good and evil; based in faith. I particularly enjoyed One
Door Away from Heaven
and From the Corner
of His Eye
. If you’re a fan you may have noticed all of his author pix and
blurbs include his Golden Retriever Trixie. He credits this unique dog for transforming
his life and writing. Many of his books feature a dog as a pivotal character.

Books-big-little-life-tb His first non-fiction book is A Big Little Life: A Memoir of a Joyful Dog. If you’re a dog lover
this is a must read, his wit and anecdotes alone are worthy of your time but
his insights into life, truth, beauty, and wonder may give you pause for reflection
and a few ah-ha moments:

“Truth is always stranger than fiction. We craft
fiction to match our sense of how things ought to be, but truth cannot be
crafted. Truth is, and truth has a way
of astonishing us to our knees, reminding us that the universe does not exist
to fulfill our expectations”

We have been pet-less for five years now and have not
planned on having a dog in our lives again until we become liveaboards on our
boat. Since reading Trixie’s story I have been paying attention to people’s pets
and how and why they chose them or were chosen by them. I met Laurieanne’s dog
EZ a fifty pound mutt of indeterminate heritage and was smitten by his big
brown soulful eyes. Earlier this week I met Shirley’s cousin’s dog Brody a
Labradoodle (Labrador and Standard Poodle) and
loved his size, coloring, and personality—what a great dog! And then we met four month old Katie the Goldendoodle New Year's eve! I’ve researched
Doodles since then and it seems there’s no end to these hybrid breeds of dog
that are hypoallergenic and non-shedding. Who Knew!?

For my self care for 2010 I’m open to receive a special dog to help
me live a big life and remind me to live with joy, innocence, and wonder:

“The life of a seamstress is no smaller than the life of a
queen, the life of a child with Down syndrome no less filled with promise than
the life of a philosopher because the only significant measure of your life is
the positive effect you have on others, either by conscious acts of will or by
unconscious example. Every smallest act of kindness—even just words of hope
when they are needed, the remembrance of a birthday, the complement that
engenders a smile—has the potential to change the recipient’s life.

If by example of her
joy and innocence, a dog can greatly change two lives for the better, then no
life is little, and every life is big. The mystery of life is the source of its
wonder, and the wonder of life is what makes it so worth living.”