Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Love At First Bark - Klam

From the streets of New York City to the swamps of post Katrina New Orleans, Love At First Bark by Julie Klam is a short but delightful book about Klam's experiences rescuing and fostering dogs.

Interspersed with anecdotes about her ever-growing pack of dogs at home, her young daughter, and her struggles to maintain a relationship with her husband in light of her busy urban life, Klam tells the stories of several dogs who she discovers in need of her care. 

She tells about finding an abandoned pit bull who shows signs of physical abuse. She and her infinitely forgiving husband take their first vacation in years, to visit a post Katrina New Orleans and view rescue efforts. They then get caught up in the search for a stray who is seen with a jar over its head (which it is later determined was not due to its efforts to get food, but by the evil-doings of juvenile delinquents). 

Ultimately, Klam shows us that giving is often far more beneficial to ourselves than to the animals receiving.

This book was quite short, but very good reading. I love reading about people's efforts to help animals in need. I am a serious animal lover and have been since I was a child. A serious animal lover:

Me: Nice doggy (as I stick my hand through an alley way fence).
My Mother: Stop! Don't! (as she envisions the "nice doggy" nicely removing the better part of my right hand)

I am the person who, at a party, will be found in the corner petting the family dog or cat, rather than mingling. Honestly, it's like a disease...  I was a freshman in college before I was able to watch the animated version of The Grinch Whole Stole Christmas because the big-green dude kept kicking and yelling at the little puppy (it took a good bottle of vodka and a couple of strong, male friends to hold me down to get through it).

In fact, I have avoided reading books in the past (The Yearling, Bambi) because I've been told that animals are hurt or killed in them.  I have always envisioned leading such a life, rescuing animals and making life better for them.  But, honestly, I would be terrible at it.  I would never give a pet away once it lived with me. I would end up living in a zoo and being known as "the crazy dog/cat lady down the street"

But I wish I could. 

And I cry every time I see those Sarah McLaughlin commercials!

Klam's writing is funny and heartwarmingly fulfilling. I look forward to reading more of her work. 

4/5- Great. Push it on your friends and family.

More opinions at:


Jeane said...

Those Sarah McL commercials make me weepy, too. They always have the most heart-melting kitty and puppy faces on there! I think I will like this book even better than You Had Me At Woof.

Care said...

I always cry for the dog in the Grinch movie. I have the Yearling to read but have successfully avoided it so far.