A heartfelt memoir that chronicles one man’s relationship with his mixed-breed dog.
At the age of 10, Camen had his heart broken when his parents, without rhyme or reason, took away his puppy. Camen harbored a deep bitterness about the loss and never got close to another dog. Then a miracle comes into his life in the form of a half-Sheltie, half–American Eskimo puppy. Told in an earnest and humorous voice, Camen’s memoir traces his 13-year journey with his dog, Snoopy. From the moment Camen saw the pup at the Burbank Animal Shelter, he knew there was something special about him. Not being an animal person, Camen learned how to take care of a canine. The memoir is full of anecdotes that every dog owner and animal lover will appreciate—Snoopy’s love for the plastic children’s slide in the park, his obsession with bones and his harmless wrestling matches with Melvin the cat. More emotional stories also occur, such as when Camen took Snoopy to visit his aging parents, who never did realize the trauma they caused by taking away that first puppy. But through Snoopy, Camen was able to somewhat forgive them. Some vignettes could have been skipped, including an undramatic near run-in with a junkyard cat and the time the author, a vegetarian, ate lard-fried chips. It’s clear Camen’s memoir is really about his need to work through his grief over losing Snoopy, and it sometimes reads as a bit self-indulgent. Yet Camen’s love for the Sheltie–American Eskimo mix is so strong that it radiates off the pages. The heartbreaking portion of the memoir is the way Camen tells of Snoopy’s gradual decline. At the heart of Camen and Snoopy’s story is the remarkable bond between human and dog. For Camen, Snoopy made him a more caring, loving and compassionate person.
Chronicles the entire journey of one man and his dog, illuminating the ways animals enhance our lives.