Monday 18 January 2021

The Dog Who Saved Me

Finished January 16 
The Dog Who Saved Me by Susan Wilson

The main character here, Cooper Harrison, is a man still caught up in his recent loss and the feelings he has around that. Cooper was an officer in the K-9 unit of the Boston Police and he had a very special relationship with his partner dog Argo. But in an encounter on duty, Argo was killed, and Cooper was left with what he hopes is a temporary hearing impairment. It hit him hard and his marriage didn't survive it either. Cooper has retreated to his hometown, a small town named Harmony Farms near Boston. He has taken a job as an Animal Control Officer there, working in a small office with one other officer. He is staying in a cabin that he is looking after as part of his rental agreement. But coming back to his hometown isn't easy as there are a lot of memories there and not all of them are good ones. Cooper grew up with an alcoholic father, a man damaged by his own experiences, and lost his mother while he was still a child. His older brother Jimmy bullied him, and grew up to be a man often on the wrong side of the law. 
Now, Cooper's father Bull is a recovering alcoholic, working in the local lumberyard and using his bicycle to get around. He's love to renew his relationship with his son, but Cooper isn't looking for that at all. Jimmy is recently out of jail, and temporarily living with Bull in their childhood home, but he isn't necessarily on the straight and narrow. Cooper's cop instincts sense that and he worries about that and about whether Bull is being taken advantage of. 
But what about the dog? Ah, yes, the dog is a dog that's been injured and left in the woods scared and in pain. The dog is wary of humans, not sure whether he can trust people, and also physically impaired through his injury. When Cooper becomes aware of him, he is determined to find the dog, bring him in and help him. This isn't an easy task, and Cooper is bringing his own baggage to this task. Through his work, he's also come into contact with a woman Natalie who has also started a new life. She is running a horse rescue operation after leaving a city life behind, one with its own losses. 
Lots going on in this book, and it took me a while to get into it, but we really see into Cooper and the things that drive him, and the things that have brought him to where he is, many of them from his childhood. And we see how other in the story are also trying to start over, to be better, to move forward with their lives. A good read.

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