Anyone who’s ever owned a dog from a very young age, and cared for it in sickness and health, knows the pain of losing that beloved pet when it’s time. We humans feel that loss as we would any member of the family. Over the years, it’s not unusual to refer to those pets as our children.Watch movie online The Transporter Refueled (2015)
That’s how Francis V. Adams, author of TUCKER’S EYES, viewed his “canine son.” Never having had children of his own, Adams experienced parental joy when he and his wife Laura acquired a playmate for their first dog, Dolly. The author happily shares with readers his enjoyment of chasing Tucker, a rambunctious and frisky Havanese—a descendant of the Bichon Frise breed—as a young pup. He delights when strangers stop to admire his “son” during their walks and worries with any indication that Tucker might not be feeling well. When, around 13 years of age, Tucker suddenly stops being frisky and begins crashing into poles on his walks, Francis and his wife Laura know this is more than old age, having lost Dolly some years prior to cancer. What follows is a series of vet visits, tests, and surgery, throughout which the plucky little Tucker is brave and uncomplaining, even after losing one of his eyes to cancer. Ultimately, of course, Tucker succumbs.
TUCKER’S EYES is a tribute to Tucker, but it is dedicated to the “outstanding, compassionate veterinarians and their support staff who cared for Tucker and Dolly in their hour of need.” It is also a book designed to encourage and inspire humans faced with trauma and illness. Near the end of the book, Adams, a doctor, contrasts the depressed attitudes of patients faced with cancer to that of Tucker, who “emerged from surgery rejuvenated and unafraid, his love of life and people more intense than ever before.” Adams believes that faced with life’s stresses, we can learn much from the behavior of another species, hence the subtitle: “Lessons from a One-Eyed Havanese.”
TUCKER’S EYES is a quick read that will be of greatest interest to those who love their pets. But given how much we do love our pets, the story would be even more touching had there been more time given to Francis and Laura’s enjoyment of Tucker as he grew and less to the clinical side of his surgeries, tests, and diagnoses. Including stories of Dolly and Tucker playing together, or the mischief Tucker no doubt caused as a pup, would have enhanced the reader’s enjoyment of what is, in many respects, a memoir, even if it wasn’t intended as such. When it comes to people and their pets, personal touches and asides will make the message that much more meaningful.
TUCKER’S EYES appeals to all who have ever loved and lost a dog, reminding us, humans can learn much from our canine friends.
Reviewed by Viga Boland for IndieReader