Monday, September 21, 2009

A Big Little Life by Dean Koontz

Dean Koontz was already pre-disposed to liking dogs . He’d even used them as characters in his books. At last he and his wife decided they were ready to own a dog, or rather be owned by this amazing, intelligent and joyous Golden Retriever named Trixie. Though retired from service with Canine Companions for Independence (CCI) due to an injury, Trixie was certainly not retired from life. She taught Dean and his wife Gerda about love and joy, loss, life’s mysteries, and how to find once again that sense of wonder in life. She was very special. Others told the Koontzes so, though that was unnecessary because they knew from the start that this 60 pound soul was unique. She helped them to see what was really important in life. And her joyous exuberance reached to others who came in contact with her.

While Koontz is known for his fiction, this book reads every bit as richly as his other titles and yet in his carefully chosen words there is a special feel of extraordinary kinship and connection with Trixie that reflected the obviously touching way she affected him and the close relationship they shared. Koontz and his wife almost missed out on Trixie but instead were blessed with treasured years with her.

Though a bittersweet book because of her too-early passing, this book is blissfully uplifting in seeing who Trixie was and how she lived her life - joyously and with abandon. Though she is sadly gone, she is really not gone, living on in the books she “penned” and in her continued connection with CCI; and most importantly she will always remain with the Koontzes and readers for the lessons she taught about life that Koontz generously shared with us, his readers. Trixie was a very special dog. Her life was indeed a big, little life. We can all learn from Trixie.

Review by Paula P. Newbury, Plainfield Public Library.

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