I have my review of this lovely book to share with you today…..
Many thanks to Anna at RedDoor Publishing
(written 8th July)
The Power of Dog follows on from Andrew Marshall’s first book, My Mourning Year, which I read and reviewed a little while ago. Both are his diary entries from the time he lost his beloved Thom and the weeks, months and years that followed. Andrew, as I’m sure most people do when they lose someone so young, struggles with his grief and can’t imagine a life without Thom. As these books prove though, things do slowly get easier and although Thom is never far from Andrew’s mind, he does move on eventually. The Power of Dog is Andrew’s account of how getting a puppy helped to heal his grieving heart. I have thoroughly enjoyed catching up with Andrew again and finding out how he got on as time moved on. This book is much more positive than the first as Andrew’s puppy, Flash, makes such a big difference to his life. I know exactly how comforting and special being a dog owner is. My Bella is never far from my side and although she’s a Shih Tzu and nowhere near as energetic as Flash, she is very much my dog and always likes to know where I am.
It was lovely to follow Andrew on his journey with Flash. I found many a moment highly amusing, especially through the puppy and adolescent phases! I totally empathise with Andrew’s guilt when he has to leave Flash at home. You should see the look I get from Bella when she knows I’m going out and not taking her with me! Dogs are very much a part of the family and that’s how it should be, in my opinion. As I write this we are on a weeks holiday in Wales and Bella is with us. Yes, it might restrict some of the things we could do, but so what. Our holiday is more special for bringing her with us and we’re all having a lovely time. Of course, it helps that the weather is so glorious. Anyway, my point is that dogs enrich our lives and Andrew’s life with Flash proves this beautifully. The obvious love and respect they have for each other pours from the pages and I have found the whole story heart-warming. I like Andrew, I think he’s someone I would get on well with. Reading his books makes me feel like I know him already. They are a very intimate and honest account of the most distressing time of his life and how he manages to build a new life for himself. I think anyone suffering the grief of a loved on would relate to his story and I’m sure would find comfort in knowing there is hope for happiness. I know everyone grieves differently. There are no rules or time frames. Anyone who thinks there is has never lost anyone they truly love. Lucky them!
The latter part of The Power of Dog is devastating. I am dreading when this time comes for Bella and I know many, many people who will know how traumatising it is to have to say goodbye to a dog (or any beloved pet). My heart went out to Andrew. I remember how devastated I was when we lost my previous baby pooch, Lady, when I was 22 years old. She was only 11 years old. I was pregnant with my son, so my parents wouldn’t let me go with her when we had to have her put to sleep, as they didn’t want me getting in to a state so early on in pregnancy, but I have never forgiven myself for not being there for her.
I’m sorry for rambling on about my own pets, but I know exactly what Flash meant to Andrew and I’m sure he will be fondly remembered forever. I believe he was sent to Andrew for the very purpose of giving him a new lease of life. A dog will be the most loyal friend you will ever have, if you give them the life they deserve and Andrew certainly gave Flash a happy and fulfilled life. I have loved their story.
The Power of Dog is a heart-warming and thought provoking read. If you are a dog lover I’m sure you will relate to Andrew’s story. Also, if you have lost a loved one.
If you are thinking about sharing your life with a dog, read this and I’m sure it will help you to decide. I can’t imagine being without mine.
Many thanks to the author and publisher for my ARC. I am delighted to be a part of the blog tour 🙂
A memoir about getting a first puppy, turning forty and transforming a son and mother’s complicated relationship.
On the eve of the millennium, the life of therapist and best-selling self-help author Andrew Marshall was in a dark place. The counselling that he recommended to everybody else had not shifted the grief from the death of his much-loved partner despite trying three different therapists. His career as journalist had reached a dead end. He was struggling with low-level depression and his polite but distant relationship with his mother had left them both tip-toeing round each other.
His solution? To get Flash, a collie cross puppy perhaps not the best choice for someone who’d never owned a dog, or even lived with one, before.
In this funny and moving memoir, Marshall chronicles not only the ups and downs of training an excitable puppy but how Flash brings back his childhood fear of wolves and the unresolved issues with his parents. Slowly but surely, by looking though Flash’s eyes, Marshall starts to laugh again, fall in love with the Sussex countryside and heal old wounds with his mother. At the climax of Flash’s puppy years, he gives him enough confidence to take a real-life wolf for a walk. And in the final section of Marshall s diary, Flash still has one last lesson to teach him.
About the author…..
When my partner Thom died, I felt the only place that I could confess my feelings was my diary. Twenty years later, after sharing it with friends and work colleagues coping with a bereavement, I decided to share it with everyone. ‘My Mourning Year’ covers the year 1997/8. On the eve of the new millennium, I was feeling better, but my heart was still frozen. I knew something had to change but what? So I decided to get a puppy – even though I’d never had a dog before, not even as a child.’The Power of Dog’ is the story of how a puppy helped heal my grieving heart.
Although I’ve written eighteen self-help books, under the name of Andrew G. Marshall, I decided to publish this book as Andrew Marshall – partly so my regular readers did not get confused and thought this was another book of relationship advice and partly to acknowledge this was the private me.
Some background, I used to be a journalist (firstly in radio and more recently in newspapers and magazines). I still write the occasional newspaper feature and I’ve written several plays that have toured all over the UK and Eire. I trained as therapist thirty plus years ago with Relate and just over ten years ago, I wrote my first self-help title ‘I love you but I’m not in love with you’ which has sold 100,000 copies world wide. I now lead a team of therapists in London offering the Marshall Method (my style of couple counselling). In addition, I offer intensive therapy in Berlin
I am currently working on a third volume of memoirs.
My review of My Mourning Year…..
Check out the rest of the blog tour for other reviews, and more, with these awesome book bloggers…..
(my Twitter handle has changed to @chataboutbooks1 since this poster was designed)