Life is what happens when you are busy making other plans. If I had to just sum up this book with one sentence, that would be it. Teresa J. Rhyne was on the right track for the life she wanted. A new job, new home, new boyfriend, new dog.. Little did she know that shortly after adopting Seamus (pronounced Shaymus) he would be fighting for his life after being diagnosed with cancer that would give him less than a year to live. The book follows the adventure that Teresa, Chris (the boyfriend), and Seamus (their incorrigible beagle) had while trying to tackle this disease, and later, their second adventure when Teresa is struck with cancer also.
One could be forgiven for expecting a book that deals with such dark and tragic subjects to be equally as dark and depressing. After all, so many books dealing with this subject are exactly that, but Teresa J Rhyne takes those darkest moments of their lives, and injects into them a sense of hope, possibility, positivity, and yes, even humour! It's hard to not crack a smile with some of the descriptions within the pages, whether it's the canine antics of the lovable rogue Seamus, or the hilarious criticisms of the health system and their fondness for nausea-inducing holiday decor.
What I like about this book is that there is no real spoiler. The title tells it all, as both owner and canine survive their diseases. At times it was probably that knowledge that made it easier to bear during the darker moments when my heart was almost in my mouth. I loved too that this book also tackled the everyday issues that don't go away simply because one is diagnosed with cancer. Mostly for me, what I found to be my favourite aspect of this book, is the author's ability to speak with total candor and I also greatly enjoyed the author's blog entries that are sprinkled throughout the pages. That inspired me to check out the blog to see if it's still up and it is. It can be found at http://thedoglived.blogspot.ca/ though Teresa does state there that she now has a new blog which I will be checking out often.
I loved this book. I believe anyone who reads it would feel the same. It's definitely a heartwarming and memorable read that I will visit again. I can't recommend it enough.
Author's website: http://teresarhyne.com/