Tag Archives: Oprah Winfrey

Doggy quote of the month for February

“What dogs?  These are my children, little people with fur who make my heart open a little wider.”

– Oprah Winfrey, actress, writer, talk show host, philanthropist

Doggy quote of the month for October

“Dogs are my favorite role models. I want to work like a dog, doing what I was born to do with joy and purpose. I want to play like a dog, with total, jolly abandon. I want to love like a dog, with unabashed devotion and complete lack of concern about what people do for a living, how much money they have, or how much they weigh. The fact that we still live with dogs, even when we don’t have to herd or hunt our dinner, gives me hope for humans and canines alike.”

– Oprah Winfrey, actress, writer, talk show host, philanthropist


The Story of Edgar Sawtelle

I’ve just finished reading The Story of Edgar Sawtelle by David Wroblewski.  This book was a New York Times bestseller in 2008 and also made Oprah Winfrey’s book club.  With these accolades behind it, and since the novel is set in a breeding kennels (fictitious) in Wisconsin, I had high hopes.

This book is over 560 pages and so it has taken me quite some time to finish it.  The story, at least for the first half, is quite good.  Edgar Sawtelle is a young boy growing up surrounded by dogs and his special canine ompanion, Almondine.  Edgar is mute – he can hear but has never been able to speak.  However, he has developed his own sign language that his parents can easily interpret and use.

The Sawtelles are dog breeders with a difference.  Dogs are whelped and then trained for a year before going to new homes.  “The Sawtelle Dogs” are a reputable breed (although we never quite find out what kind of breed or mixed breed they are).

Edgar’s life changes when his uncle, Claude, enters their lives.   When Edgar’s father dies suddenly, Edgar goes on the run with a handful of the Sawtelle dogs as companions.  During his months on the run, Edgar matures.  It is this part of the book, with Edgar’s adventures, that I enjoyed the most.

Then Edgar returns home and life at the Sawtelle homestead to finish his unfinished business.  It is these final chapters of the book that I found really disappointing and dark.

The story has been labelled a re-telling of Shakespeare’s Hamlet.  Perhaps that’s why I didn’t like it.  I had hoped for an entertaining novel and the story at first was full of promise.  In my opinion, this novel didn’t live up to its reputation and advertising.  I do notice that the most recent rating for the book on Amazon.com is only 3 stars….so perhaps I’m not alone?

Faith the dog

I’m very interested in special needs dogs.  These dogs often have physical limitations that can be assisted with massage, acupressure and laser treatments (which I can provide).

In my research on special needs dogs, I have come across the story of Faith – a biped dog who was born with her front legs so deformed that she was unable to walk on them.  (of added interest, my sister’s name is Faith)

Faith the dog

Faith the Dog’s website isn’t the most professional I’ve seen, but it certainly tells a heartwarming story of a dog that was going to be killed by its mother and was saved by a young man.  Despite recommendations that Faith be put down, her adoptive family persisted and trained her to walk on her hind legs using treats like peanut butter.  Faith is now a loyal family pet who also serves as a therapy dog.

Faith’s story has been told on the Oprah Winfrey Show.  Watch the Oprah segment here.

So now you know why Faith’s story carries the byline Hope and Love on Two Legs!

Kathleen Crisley, specialist in dog massage, rehabilitation and nutrition/food therapy, The Balanced Dog, Christchurch, New Zealand