The Christian edition of Bombaci’s award-winning memoir (Hogan’s Hope: A Deaf Hero’s Inspirational Quest for Love and Acceptance, 2017) about a deaf dog with astounding abilities.
When Hogan the Dalmatian came into Bombaci’s life, the dog was battered, malnourished, and longing for a loving home. But at least the previous owners didn’t euthanize him upon learning he was deaf, a disturbingly common practice with deaf Dalmatians. His life began a new and bright chapter when he was adopted by Bombaci, who saw his potential more than his limitations. She and her husband, Jim, began learning ASL, eventually teaching Hogan more than 70 words. They also underwent rigorous desensitization with him, counterconditioning the fearful reactions he learned during his abused youth. In addition to now having affectionate and dedicated owners, Hogan enjoyed the canine companionship of India, the family’s black Lab, and, later, Georgia, another adopted deaf Dalmatian. He also loved people of all ages, and the author includes a particularly touching account of an elderly man whose bitter heart was softened by Hogan’s “unwavering devotion and steadfast friendship.” Hogan’s fame quickly grew, and he and Bombaci were featured in numerous publications and television productions (including Oprah), spreading the vital message that pervades this book: “All God’s creations are worthy of receiving thoughtful consideration, good treatment, and genuine love. No matter the age, size, characteristics, or type, each is capable of living a wonderful, rewarding life.” Bombaci’s writing reads effortlessly, exploring themes that extend far beyond the canine world. She also ably demonstrates Hogan’s character development from a scared and scrawny pup to a handsome, highly intelligent dog full of energy and love—a life-affirming transformation. This Christian version is essentially the same as the original except garnished with Bible verses that bring a faith-filled ambience to the book. The book’s organization lacks nothing, taking readers on the step-by-step journey of Hogan’s life; its universal, empowering message gives it the potential to reach a much wider audience than just dog lovers.
An original, hope-filled story told well.