I have this huge love-hate relationship with animal stories. On one hand, I love them – because I love animals. On the other hand, I hate them – because I love animals.
I love hearing about the bravery, pluck, and spirit of brave animals. But it also gives me this sort of achy feeling. Here a mute animal (at least, unlanguaged) places itself in a position that demonstrates absolute loyalty, courage, devotion, and faithfulness, and risks its life for its human. And it can never be thanked propositionally. It can be petted and hugged and given treats and have its belly scratched. But it doesn’t want recognition or fame. It just wants to continue loving its owner and being loved by its owner.
Animal Heroes tells the stories of nine brave animals (mostly dogs, but also a few cats and a rabbit) who saved their owners’ lives. From Grizzly, the husky who successfully kept a bear at bay from his wounded master for several hours until help arrived, to Husky, the German Shepherd who fought a pack of coyotes who could smell the blood of his wounded owner, these animals have got grit. And how about Tia, the three-legged black Labrador who successfully towed her master’s overturned dinghy back to shore – with him clinging, half frozen to the hull? Or Shana, the Newfie who was terrified of water, but who dove in the second she saw her owner whisked away in a flash flood?
I’m stopping now.
No cautions other than that the stories do feature perilous situations. They aren’t at all gory, just a little suspenseful.
Review © 2014 Laura Verret