Save a Spaniel wins national book award!

Congratulations to Cathy Mitchell, whose wonderful book Save a Spaniel was named  best fiction book of 2010 by the Dog Writers Association of America. An engaging tale of rescue written in the dog’s voice, this book is one that makes you stop and wonder, “Is that what my dog is really thinking?”Although fiction, the story is loosely based on the adventures of one of the author’s dogs, a rescued Boykin spaniel. “Star,” the canine narrator of the book, is a purebred Boykin spaniel with a white mark on her chest, an undesirable marking for the breed standard. Star is purchased by a couple as a pet and hunting companion for the husband. Her troubles begin when she proves to be gun-shy.After several incidents of submissive wetting, Star is banished to live outdoors. She loves running through the woods and fields, hunting mice and rabbits along with Mickey, her border collie companion. When Mickey is killed chasing cars, the owners decide they do not want dogs and take Star to the shelter. As she is heartworm positive, she is nearly euthanized but is saved by a rescue organization, Save a Spaniel. I won’t give away the rest of the story but suffice it to say that Star has several more close calls with being put down, before she finds her forever home. Besides being an entertaining and poignant story, what I loved about this book is the authenticity of the dog’s voice and point of view. It is a reminder that there are no bad dogs, just ignorant humans who cause many of the behavior problems for which the dog gets blamed. As Ms. Mitchell is active in rescue, the book contains a theme of “most rescues come with some issues” but through patience and training,  issues can be overcome. This book made me grateful for the people who do the hard work of breed rescue to save a life. As Star demonstrates, it is worth it.

Comments are closed.