On beginning Jo Coudert’s The Dog Who Healed A Family and Other True Animal Stories That Warm the Heart and Touch the Soul,I was hoping for a collection of animal stories which would make me laugh, cry, and reflect on the uncanny and sometimes miraculous situations that surround animals. I was unfortunately disappointed, as the stories in this collection simply weren’t up to the caliber I was expecting. They were decent, and sometimes entertaining, but there was no “wow” factor, and I even found myself wondering why a few of them had even been included.
That’s not to say that the book is all bad. “The Puppy Express” is a heartwarming testament to the power an animal has to unite strangers. When Snoopy, an elderly dog, has to be left behind by her family in the middle of a move, a series of animal lovers volunteers to create a sort of dog relay to transport Snoopy the 1,500 miles between her and her family to reunite them.
“Frankie Buck” tells the unlikely tale of a deer who was rescued as a fawn. He bonds strongly with Glen Gardner, who names the deer “Frankie.” Frankie becomes a regular attraction at a nursing home, and later undergoes extensive surgery when he fractures a leg.
Unfortunately the interesting stories of this collection were overshadowed by stories that simply…weren’t. The writing style was overly sentimental, and oftentimes conclusions which could have been left up to the reader were spelled out, giving the impression that the author was almost talking down to the reader. Reminiscent of the Chicken Soul for the Soul series, this collection attempts to entertain and amaze, but the content simply isn’t there and the book falls short.