Review of MAGGIE the dog who changed my life in Dogs and Pups Magazine, New Delhi, India
by Adite Banerjie
I must confess I am a sucker for doggy stories. Be they movies like K-9, the Beethoven series or bestsellers like Marley and Me, I just can’t resist them. Being a pet parent I love to share stories and anecdotes, peeves and laughs with other pet parents. So when I came across Dawn Kairns’ book on the Internet, Maggie: The Dog Who Changed My Life, I knew I had to read it.
The book is all that it promises and more. At one level it’s a sweet and heartwarming story about Dawn and her beloved black Labrador, Maggie. While reading about the bond that the two share with each other, I could not but recall moments that I had experienced with my own Irish Setter, Baloo, who passed away a few months ago. The delightful little moments when you bask in the sheer joy of seeing life through the wondrous eyes of a pup. Or the heart-stopping moments when the pup has a mishap or an accident that could have been worse than they actually were! Or those telepathic moments when your dog actually seems to read your mind well before you have articulated the thought!
At another level, the book is about the spiritual connect that humans share with their pets. It’s almost as if our dogs were a special gift that were given to us to cherish and love, who support us emotionally and unstintingly through our difficult times. And yet, we do take our loyal buddies for granted.
Dawn also explores issues related to dog healthcare that almost always go unmentioned. The problem of misdiagnosis is huge but one that rarely gets addressed. As in Maggie’s case, a wrong diagnosis or a delayed one, can make the difference between life and death. Living with the fact that perhaps you could have saved your dog if it hadn’t been for a wrong diagnosis by the vet, is something that a lot of pet owners have to struggle with.
And finally, the book also throws light on dealing with the inevitable – death of your beloved pet. The trauma of seeing the life go out of the little bundle of energy and grief at the loss of a cherished pet are never easy to deal with. Even in death, our buddies teach us just how valuable life is and how to cope with grief.
The bond that you share with your dog is one of a kind. As Dawn writes: “Maggie’s life, illness and untimely death led me to more profoundly honor and nurture my inner world...she showed me my way home: to my heart, my intuition, and to a fuller self-love.” Dawn and Maggie’s personal journey of love and friendship is indeed a life-changing experience and resonates for many of us who have shared such a bond with our pets.
Author of MAGGIE the dog who changed my life A Story of Love
DWAA 2008 Merial Human-Animal Bond Award Finalist