In this illustrated children’s book based on a true story, a three-legged golden retriever settles into a new home.
As the story opens, Tricycle, a dog who lost a leg after a car accident, begins living at an animal-sanctuary farm. He explains that being adopted “means that I am very special. I needed a new home and people that love me very much brought me home to live with them.” Tricycle gets a friendly greeting from Buckaroo, a miniature donkey, and meets other residents; the farm also shelters horses, llamas, alpacas, chickens, other dogs, and honeybees, each adopted for different reasons. Some were injured, like Tricycle; Buckaroo was bullied by other donkeys; and others had parents who couldn’t care for them “even though they love them very much.” (The term “parents” in this book includes both humans and animals.) On the farm, animals get to play, help others (for example, llamas carry hikers’ backpacks), and enjoy visits with elderly people and children, particularly those with special needs or injuries. In real life, debut author Aradi and his wife, Diane, run the Horse Creek Stable Bed and Breakfast to offset the costs of their animal sanctuary near Blue Ridge, Georgia, and the animals depicted here in illustrations and photographs are adopted rescues. Although the subject of injured, abandoned, or sick animals could be upsetting, Aradi keeps the focus on recovery, as Tricycle reassuringly explains that although his leg hurt when the accident happened, it doesn’t anymore, and he gets around just fine on three legs. When a farm animal dies, animals remind each other that he was happy and loved on the farm and that he’s just crossing the “Rainbow Bridge.” At times, the love and sweetness become a little saccharine, but it’s also a relief that the book doesn’t dwell on mistreatment, pain, or sadness. The photos are especially effective at conveying the animals’ liveliness and their visitors’ delight, and readers will likely be grateful that the rescue farm exists.
A sweet story about the circle of love and life at an animal sanctuary.