I do not have any personal friends who rescue dogs. But since reading Julie Klam’s “You Had me at First Bark,“ I have a better idea of what “might” go on in a typical day in the life of an urban rescuer. Julie rescues dogs in the urban landscape on the New York island of Manhattan.
When I think of dogs living in tall buildings this gives me pause. The typical apartments of regular working families start at ground level and go up to the sky. For most there are no sprawling backyards or inner gardens. And in this milieu, consider the hardship of pet owners who must take an elevator 10 floors down because their dog suddenly has the inclination to go. This could be considered a prejudiced opinion.
The protagonist Julie rescues two homeless dogs in NYC and one in New Orleans that she feels compelled to help. This book tells the story of her connection with these 3 dogs. And in spite of the hardship she faces in terms of her own family’s housing search for a space they can afford in a neighborhood they afford, she still manages to make space for a dog that does not have a home.
I am the owner of Jinji, a 7 year old Bouvier de Flandres. We have been together since she was 4 months old. I tell you this to say “I love my dog and understand the connection between an owner and their animal.” Animals can also keep you young and vital! Yet Julie Klam takes this relationship between wo/man and dog to a new level of understanding. I just wish I knew what motivated her to do this. In this regard, the book falls short in helping me to understand the origins of compulsion to help in this way.
I would have liked to know more about this part of Julie’s story. Yes she feels bad for the dogs. But there are homeless people in the world. Would she put the same effort into helping them. When we meet the 3 dogs who capture Julie’s imagination and her support, it’s a ride or die loyalty between them that anyone would love to have from all of their friend.
In the aftermath of Katrina when Julie joins a New Orleans rescue team that is searching for a homeless dog, I remember that someone has to do this and of the value Julie and other rescuers play in our communities. I am not sure that I would have chosen this book without encouragement; but I am reviewing it for BlogHer Books. It’s an especially good and quick read for dog lovers.