A Yorkie's Tale
Book Review - A Yorkie's Tale by David Heaney
If there is one thing you should know about me, it is that I love dogs. I really love dogs - there are only a few people I've met that may love dogs as much as I do, but never more. Early on in my marriage, I suggested to my husband that we get a dog. He declined, saying it wasn't the right time (true), we really didn't need a dog (never true), and to just give it time. In a rare act of blatant defiance, I found a dog online and told my husband that I was going to meet him. I may or may not come back with a dog, it depended entirely on whether or not we connected when we met. My husband was welcome to join, but I was going regardless of his decision. He joined me. It was a long drive to Kansas to meet the owner, as we pulled up the driveway we saw the most adorable dog flop out of the car and my husband said, "he's ours." I still wasn't convinced, I needed to hold him and interact with him to make sure he was a good fit. Of course, he ended up coming home with us. We weren't prepared. We had to stop by a pet store to get a collar, leash, dog food, a bed...we had nothing! Now the dog, we named him Huxley after Aldous Huxley, is totally a daddy's boy and my husband is 100% wrapped around his little paw. I like to joke that my husband didn't even want him, that if it wasn't for me Huxley wouldn't be part of the Hasty Pack. My husband hadn't grown up with dogs, he didn't know the unwavering love of a dog. He says my decision to drive to Kansas to check out this dog was one of the best decisions I've made and he's so thankful I pushed him on it. I knew in my heart it was time and I knew my husband would be a great puppy daddy.
When the author's marketing strategist reached out to me about reviewing this book, my first reaction was to decline. I do not do well with sad dog stories. I will avoid dog movies and books at all costs. A few family members and friends tried to convince me to see A Dog's Purpose. NOPE! Not happening. I would be a blubbering mess. But in the end, somehow, I was convinced to give this book a chance. Here's the description I was given:
Niles, an aging Yorkie, has led a pampered life with his two loving owners and knows nothing of death. When his new friend Nathaniel, an inquisitive fruit rat, shares the puzzling tale of a family burying a “sleeping” cat, Niles's life begins to really change. Another neighborhood critter, an eccentric possum called Leach, explains to the two befuddled creatures that the cat wasn’t simply sleeping—it was dead.
Shaken by this revelation, Niles and Nathaniel decide they need to do something meaningful with their lives—but what? They resolve to venture outside Niles’s backyard, and with the help of Poppy, a friendly parrot, and guided by cryptic messages from a cat Niles encounters in his dreams, they begin to seek out answers.
Their travels take them from their own neighborhood through a canyon right to the edge of the ocean. Along the way, they encounter and benefit from the wisdom shared by others—the seagulls, dolphins, and a visionary gorilla—about the mysteries of life, and the grace that comes from living “well” unafraid of their own mortality.
That first line, an aging Yorkie, had me on edge throughout the book. But alas, it wasn't a sad story. It was full of morals that you'd expect in a kid's book (although I believe adults could enjoy this short tale, as well.) Niles, the Yorkie, learns about friendship, loyalty, generosity, kindness, joy, contentment, and finding our inner spirit. It was a cute story with lots of good life lessons.