Shortly after my last birthday I decided it was time for me to do some personal estate planning. There was no immediacy to this decision, but I’d entered the decade of life where these thoughts come to mind.
I knew that disposing of my “stuff” would be no problem. The big question is what would happen to my best friend. I’m lucky in that I’m good friends with a couple with whom I exchange pet-sitting favors. When they need, Gizmo & I stay at their place and watch their pack, and whenever I have to leave, Gizmo goes to stay with them. He’s very comfortable in their home and they love him. I approached each of them separately and asked if they would be willing to adopt Gizmo if anything ever happened to me. I felt it was important that they both were willing, and happily they were. Problem settled…or so I thought.
It was a stroke of luck that I was invited to review “If I Should die Before My Dog —“, by Joe and Cathy Connolly. Although my friends know Gizmo, this book made me realize that they didn’t really “know” him.
The format is that of a workbook or diary of your dog’s life. As I reviewed the questions I realized that there was so much about Gizmo that no one but me really knew. Won’t it be wonderful to provide Gizmo’s next guardians with detailed information so that they can comfort him and ease his sadness and confusion when I’m no longer there for him.
This is such a difficult subject for any of us to think about, but the Connolly’s guide you through it gently, in a positive tone, and from your dog’s point of view. When completed, the reader will hear your dog telling his own story.
Every aspect of your dog’s life is considered here, and in detail that wouldn’t have occurred to me. For example, would I have thought to include a list of Gizmo’s nicknames? Probably not. How about his microchip information? I would have missed that one too. When I got to the section on how Gizmo signaled he that he needed to go out I included a note that he’s used to having a bell hanging from the doorknob that he taps when it’s time…never would have remembered to add that without the Connolly’s prompting. There’s almost 30 key aspects of your dog’s life covered here, and if you take the time to fill in each section you will be presenting your dog’s next caretakers with a fully complete guide to his unique and loveable self.
The last section of the book is called “What I’d Like to Relate”. This was probably the hardest for me to complete. It’s where you can write a letter to your dog, saying whatever you want. This was the only section that saddened me, realizing that I would not be the person to read this to Gizmo.
I’ll be leaving this completed book with my attorney, to provide to Gizmo’s new home if and when necessary.
I recommend that everyone who loves their pets and cares about what happens to them get this book and take the time to complete it in detail. Not to be morbid, but you don’t have to be “of a certain age” to make use of this. Tragic accidents can happen, and where your dog is concerned, being fully prepared is always best.
About the Authors
Joe and Cathy Connolly
Joe and Cathy Connolly have spent a lifetime owning, training and caring for dogs. Cathy grew up with a Collie breeder, dog groomer and dog handler while attending many different dog shows and eventually went on to work with other breeders as she grew older. They live in beautiful Northern Michigan with their 3 furry four legged children, one large dog, one small dog and the entire family is supervised by one bossy calico cat.
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I received this book to review through Beck Valley Books Book Tours, but anyone who knows me knows the opinions above are all my own.
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