A novel by Anthony Burgess
When I least expected it, Dobie, a severely wounded dog came into my life. At first she was afraid of everything and even me. She barely let me touch her. If I moved too quickly, she would quail and wet the floor. I was not sure if or how she could be … see full wiki
Paul is visiting his good friend Tom when he is first introduced to Dobie (then known as Vicious). Tom ushers Paul over to a neighbor’s neglected and abused litter of Doberman/Rottweiler mixed puppies. Paul is still in mourning over the fairly recent death of his dog and the last thing he wants is a puppy. But when Paul and Tom return from a week long hiking and camping trip, Tom once again mentions the puppies. He points out a girl pup named Vicious and again tries to get Paul to take her. Paul takes one look at the skinny and scared pup and decides “no way” at about the very moment his inner guide says “take her.”
Paul follows the advice of his inner guide and takes the scared pup. Not long into the lengthy car trip home Vicious pees and defecates on the seat. Paul is certain he has made the wrong choice, and is already regretting his decision.
What starts off as a timid relationship based on Paul tip toeing around and catering to the needs and fears of a very emotionally wounded animal, soon turns into a mutual love and respect that only people who have shared that deep bond that forms between a pet and its owner can fully understand and appreciate.
Paul eventually changes Vicious’ name to Dobie after she loses some of her fears and aggressions and she begins to accept Paul’s love and care. Paul takes us through her transformation and their 13 years of life together in a short, sweet and poignant tale.
Paul is a spiritual person and believes that his chance meeting with Tom years earlier was destined so that years later Tom could introduce him to Dobie, the dog that would change his life. After reading this story, I am sure that he is correct.
I recently lost my three year old Irish Wolfhound, Fenian, and as a result I have put off reading this story for a few months. I wasn’t ready to read about another dog’s life and death. I am still not sure I was fully ready, but reading Paul’s words and having them echo some of my own thoughts and feelings about my own dog, has made me feel more content with the short time I had with my friend.
This is definitely a tear jerker, so grab your Kleenex, but I think the relationship between Dobie and Paul, and the amazing spiritual imprint Dobie left on his life, and the lives of others she met, is well worth the puffy eyes I am now suffering from. Dobie had a remarkable and long life, she left Paul in a better place, emotionally, and she is in a better place, spiritually. Paul did a tremendous job of relating both of their stories; it’s an extraordinary tribute to a man’s best friend.
Cherise Everhard, September 2009
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