A Novel of Love Lost and Found
A Novel of Love Lost and Found
By: Meg Donohue
Releasing March 10th, 2015
The USA Today bestselling author of How to Eat a Cupcake and All the Summer Girls returns with an unforgettably poignant and funny tale of love and loss, confronting our fears, and moving on . . . with the help of a poodle, a mutt, and a Basset retriever named Seymour
As a pet bereavement counselor, Maggie Brennan uses a combination of empathy, insight, and humor to help patients cope with the anguish of losing their beloved four-legged friends. Though she has a gift for guiding others through difficult situations, Maggie has major troubles of her own that threaten the success of her counseling practice and her volunteer work with a dog rescue organization.
Everything changes when a distraught woman shows up at Maggie’s office and claims that her dog has been stolen. Searching the streets of San Francisco for the missing pooch, Maggie finds herself entangled in a mystery that forces her to finally face her biggest fear-and to open her heart to new love.
Packed with deep emotion and charming surprises, Dog Crazy is a bighearted and entertaining story that skillfully captures the bonds of love, the pain of separation, and the power of our dogs to heal us.
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Pet bereavement counselors hear a lot of happy stories. This always seems to surprise people, who assume sessions are soggy, heart-wrenching undertakings. Sure, there are tears, but there are also the stories of the dogs that made people feel less alone, the dogs that taught them about love, that made their hearts feel bigger and stronger. And dog people—the majority of my patients are dog people—have wonderful senses of humor.Some of the funniest, most uplifting stories I’ve ever heard have come from my patients. They’re an eclectic bunch, but the stories they tell have the same simple truth at their core: dogs make us better.
A lot of the counseling I do is as straightforward as honoring these stories—the happy ones and the sad ones. The stories com- memorate the life.We laugh; we cry; we get it all out there. Often we discover that there are issues at play beyond the loss of a pet.
Emotions can be sly. Years can go by before you discover the pain that lives inside of you, a spiky old barnacle clinging to your heart.
At the close of our session, I’m determined to walk Leanne all the way up the path that leads from my apartment door to the gate at the sidewalk, but with each step a now-familiar sense of dread builds within me. My heart pounds. I hide the tremble in my hands by pressing them into the pockets of my blazer.
In my chest, panic is a small dark bird threatening to spread her wings.
When I open the gate, Leanne walks through it and turns to wrap me in a hug. She’s on the sidewalk and I’m on the last stepping-stone of the path, so our hug starts out kind of loose and awkward, but then she shuffles toward me and closes the gap between us.
“Thank you for everything, Maggie,” she says near my ear. “Truly, thank you.”
I’m afraid she can feel how fast my heart is beating. I try to focus on the palm tree across the street, but suddenly the wind picks up and the tree groans, its dark, misshapen shadows morphing into wounded animals that thrash against the pavement. I close my eyes and suppress an involuntary shudder. Or maybe I don’t, because when I open my eyes I see that Leanne is pulling away, a crease denting her brow.
“Are you okay?” she asks, her hands on my shoulders.
"Of course!” My voice comes out breathless. It seems to me that the sky is darkening and I’m not sure how much longer I can stand there at the gate. I take her hands in mine and squeeze them, feeling her newly manicured fingernails press into my palms, and wish her well.
Meg Donohue is the USA Today bestselling author of How to Eat a Cupcake and All the Summer Girls. She has an MFA in creative writing from Columbia University and a BA in comparative literature from Dartmouth College. Born and raised in Philadelphia, she now lives in San Francisco with her husband, three young daughters, and dog.
Print Book Bundle of Meg's Releases including:
ALL THE SUMMER GIRLS, HOW TO EAT A CUPCAKE & DOG CRAZYa Rafflecopter giveaway