THE ANGEL ON MY SHOULDER by Jolene Mercadante
Best of 2012

THE ANGEL ON MY SHOULDER

My Life With An American Pit Bull Terrier

KIRKUS REVIEW

Mercadante, a librarian and animal lover, recounts the life lessons she and her family learned after she adopted a pit bull.

Rumer—named after novelist Rumer Godden—was a puppy “the size of a sausage.” She was an ordinary dog who nonetheless touched the lives of everyone who knew her. With her sideways glance and mascara eyes, she shattered the myths attached to this unfairly maligned, naturally loving dog breed. Whether carrying out her self-appointed task of corralling the horses, participating in daily visits to nearby family members, riding the No. 8 golf cart, playing hockey with her “uncle” or wearing crazy glasses for Halloween, Rumer demonstrated the keys to a life well lived: guilelessly give and receive and seize the moment. Mercadante follows Rumer from her carefree, funny puppy days through a rebellious adolescence, to her physical peak of adulthood and finally to her heartbreaking but courageous end. She evocatively brings to life not only the boundless, inspiring spirit of a dog who “smells like fresh-cut grass, baked pork, and a hint of unmentionables,” but also the beauty of the Southampton, Mass., landscape and the sacredness of a moment. Even more importantly, she sheds light on the importance of understanding the pit bull for its admirably loyal nature—not for its unfortunate stereotype forged by cruel, inhumane owners intent on turning these promising animals into violent attack dogs. Rumer, on the other hand, proved herself to be a joyous, loving and good-natured soul who wholeheartedly embraced life and eagerly became a grounded center for each family member. Also included here is a delightful centerfold featuring photos of Rumer and her family.

A charming portrait of unadulterated pet love.

Pub Date: Nov. 17th, 2011
ISBN: 978-1462027620
Page count: 236pp
Publisher: iUniverse
Program: Kirkus Indie
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15th, 2012




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