Here’s to great dogs. Many of us would like to believe there’s a special place in doggie heaven for the really great ones. I know I want to. No question they’ve earned it, deserve it, and it seems only fair. I know there are a great many great dogs out there, working their magic, living their lives with their families and saying it all without ever saying a word. For dog lovers, our precious memories of those “non-conversations” with dearly-departed four-legged friends lend silence a deafening quality. I explained to a friend that Paw Prints is a book about great dogs, not just my dog, although Mac was truly some great dog. And as I’ve said many times, he was certainly the dog of my life, and his friendship enriched and changed not just my life, but the lives of everyone in our family. While the book is my attempt to capture Mac’s remarkably and improbably wonderful story before it fades to past, it’s also in many ways my story, too. Because Mackie and I were happily and deliriously, joined-at-the-paw. Amazing, I think, that I could learn so much from a guy that never said a word. Paw Prints in My Heart is Mac’s story. I think of it as my gift to our family and all of his friends, two and four-legged, that had the pleasure and the privilege of knowing and being loved by this magnificent old Labrador retriever. It’s my best attempt to capture and chronicle a remarkable life, the pain and sadness of his passing, but most of all, his joyful impact upon us over what truly was a most improbable life of fourteen years and a day. A reverent and grateful tribute to a gentle and pure spirit that for me will always be a living reminder of a loving friend in the very truest sense. In every way, for me this book was a labor of love and joy to write. Parts will make you laugh, and others may bring you to tears, so a tissue at times may be advised. But I have the highest hopes that you’ll read it, enjoy it, and connect in ways that only you can understand. Maybe even share it with friends that might understand and pass it along, as a comfort for a true friend they’ve lost, and for what they’ve experienced, and a way for them to remember the laughter and happy times through their tears. I hope that dog lovers everywhere read this book and see a bit of their dog in Mac. I hope that the non-dog lovers amongst us read this book and reconsider. I hope that everyone has at least one dog of their life in their life. My first novel Rush to Dawn, was, in many ways a love letter to my wife, Lynne. This book, I’d like to believe, is a love letter from Mac to all of us.
Ever read a book and it goes straight to your soul? This one did that for me. Maybe it's because I lost my Eara Bean two years ago and she was the first dog I ever had an "adult," and she was my baby dog. Maybe it's because the story is just so touching. Either way, this was one of those books for me.
Andrew has done a great job at creating a beautiful tribute to Mac (who I mistakenly typed out as Max in my email to him because I never pay attention to what I'm writing, sorry!). There is so much love and beautiful life displayed that you know how much Mac meant to those that had the pleasure of having him in their lives. It's the kind of feeling that we all hope to have one day... that we'll make that kind of impact.
This is definitely Mac's love letter to the world because he was such an amazing, and loving dog. The lessons he taught and joy he brought will not be forgotten and Andrew and ensured that.
I can't tell you the plot or development because this book isn't about that. Just pick it up and enjoy... you'll thank me later.
Andrew Hessel is a publishing executive, consultant, freelance writer, and author of four novels. He calls Paw Prints in My Heart "A love letter from Mac to all of us." Mac inspired the character of "Weller" the old black lab of the Cups Drayton series of Oregon-based crime thrillers. Andrew and his wife Lynne live in Portland.
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