Cherished, by Author (Softcover, 2010)|
(You can print this review in landscape mode, if you
want a hardcopy)
Mark Lamendola, author of over 6,000 articles.
The death of a pet is a hard thing to endure. This book provides 20
accounts of dealing with just that situation, and one account of
"losing" a pet by not adopting it in the first place.
The emphasis in this book is on the death of the pet, rather than its
life. In most cases, the climax of the story is the euthanasia. In my
opinion, it would have been better to summarize the death part because
we all know pets die and we also know that while we do not (legally)
extend the charity of a quick death to terminally ill, suffering humans,
we do extend that to pets. So for pets, the euthanasia is pretty much a
given and the human companion is usually going to be there to provide
final love and comfort.
With limited space and 21 stories, it would have been better to focus
on the unique aspects of each pet rather than to spend page space on
repeating the details of the "shaved a spot and stuck the needle in"
trauma. After all, the subtitle is "loved" AND "lost;" not just "lost."
In fact, the procedure could have been left out of each acct and just
described in an appendix (preferably by a veterinarian). Or one writer
could have provided a livid acct that would be presented as perhaps
typical or at least representative. While each pet is unique, the
euthanasia procedure isn't. We didn't need to read it a dozen plus
Fortunately, many of these accounts do describe what made a given pet
and its relationship with the human so memorable. Some accounts
reveal the failings of the humans the pets relied on; one about a horse
was particularly moving. The accounts I liked best were the ones that
showed the personalities of the pets being discussed. About a third of
the accounts did this really well.
The pets who were subjects of this book were cats, dogs, and horses;
except for one good story about pigs, no other species were included. If
they had been, I think I would have been disappointed. With the
exception of some birds (and the aforementioned pigs), I don't think
other species not mentioned in this book have anywhere near the effect
on us that cats, dogs, and horses do.
Yes, some people have kept primates as pets but that's a special
situation in which I think the entire human/pet thing is just a
delusion. Regarding cetaceans as pets, similar logic applies.
All of the contributors are writers (as the subtitle stated), and
most of those writers are poets or novelists. The writing was generally
of good quality. A few writers had grammatical errors. One, for example,
used the past tense of lay ("laid") where the past tense of lie ("lay")
should have been used.
The story part of this book runs from page 1 through page 199. With a
few exceptions, there's a blank page between each of the 21 accounts, so
the total story page count is about 180 pages. The accounts are of
Another reviewer stated "all monies will be donated to Best Friends
Animal Sanctuary." This is not true. What is stated in the back of the
book is all profits from the book will be donated to Best Friends Animal Sanctuary. The profit margin on a book today is usually quite slim. This one sells on Amazon, at the time of this
review, for $9.96. I have no idea how many books must sell before the
proceeds cover the fixed costs of printing the initial run of this book
(those costs are significant) or how many more must be printed before
each book sold generates a profit. I can tell you the number is big,
though. So it will be a long time before any proceeds are donated,
because it will be a long time before this book actually turns a profit.
For the typical pet lover, this book is worth buying. While the book
could have been better, it's a great value at this price.