by David Rosenfelt
Hardcover, 227 pg.
St. Martin’s Press, 2015
Read: January 23 – 25, 2016
One of my resolutions this year was to read more Non-Fiction — I’m going to try for 1 a month, in addition to “whenever I see something that catches my eye.” So, I marched up to the New Release shelf at the Library and started browsing — hope sinking fast, a whole lot of diet, productivity and political books. Ugh. Just not in the mood, then I got to the 600’s and David Rosenfelt’s name jumped out at me. Had to do it, Rosenfelt talking about Tara (the inspiration for Andy Carpenter’s dog) might be cheating a little, but it was good enough.
I was expecting a little Marley & Me-ish type story about the Rosenfelts and Tara. I couldn’t have been more wrong — thankfully (this meant I sniffled far less than I would’ve otherwise). This is a collection of short (no more than 5 pages), mostly humorous, essays about their life and work with Rescue Dogs. Tara is mentioned frequently, as the work they do with Rescue Dogs was inspired by her, but she’s not the focus of this book. It’s their entire menagerie, those they’ve rescued that aren’t part of their pack, the humans they’ve worked with — and even a few they decidedly haven’t — and the lessons Rosenfelt has learned from them.
While every chapter has a joke or two, some are pretty serious — Rosenfelt talks earnestly about the way people treat dogs — particularly older dogs. The focus of The Tara Foundation is on older/senior dogs who aren’t that likely to be adopted from shelters. I know that he’s made me rethink what dogs I look at when we go to adopt next.
Fans of the Andy Carpenter series will be happy to hear that Andy’s voice is Rosenfelt’s — the book at times feels like an Andy Carpenter book without all the muss and fuss of a plot, murder, or trial. I laughed, I chuckled, I learned a thing or two, and I even got misty more than I wanted to. All in all a really strong read. If you’re a dog lover, or just someone who likes to read good things, find some time for this one.