When I was in elementary school, I had a huge obsession with dogs. It was one of those typical obsessions with dogs, where I wanted a dog as a pet and badgered my parents about owning one. However, my obsession with dogs got so intense that I checked out every book from the local library about dogs. I went on the American Kennel Association’s website and read the pages on dog breeds on that, too. When I was done, I taught myself all the dog breeds and some characteristics about each. My parents still didn’t change their mind and I lived through my dream of owning a dog vicariously through reading.
My interest was piqued when I saw an email about Comet’s Tale, a book about how a greyhound saved a man’s life. It’s been a while since I’ve brushed up on my dog facts, but I did remember that greyhounds were usually racing dogs and usually not much that that. Greyhounds not really suitable as service dogs so how did this greyhound, Comet, become a service dog?
Since Comet’s Taleis the a true story about how Comet saved the author’s life, rescuing his marriage and helping him heal from a spine condition, I knew I needed to read it.
The novel starts in the very beginning of the author’s journey, before the author had a dog. “It was just past 8:00 am and the road winding through the foothills north of Flagstaff was deserted. The spring air was chilly, but I rolled down the window anyway, letting the fragrant of Ponderosa pine rush through the car.” The author’s driving to a shelter that rescues and rehabilitates racing greyhounds for adoption and he’s just about to choose Comet, or rather, Comet choose him.
Soon, readers learn, that the author, Steven Wolf (called Wolf by everyone, including himself) has a spine condition that made him retire early from his law practice. Wolf has moved to Arizona by himself, leaving the rest of his family, to recuperate in the warmer weather. As Wolf’s health worsens, Comet helps him through it all. Comet attracts friendly neighbors and curious strangers into Wolf’s isolated world, helping brighten Wolf’s world. Comet even ends up helping save Wolf’s crumbling marriage.
The writing in Comet’s Tale is okay, but the novel isn’t so much about the writing as it is about telling Comet’s story and how she drastically changed her owner’s life. Readers see the strength that she gives to Wolf and how amazing she is, for a lack of a better word. Comet has been abused when she was a racing dog, but she has a great temperament, with no remorse. Comet understands Wolf even when he doesn’t.
Though humans usually learn from other humans, in Comet’s case, humans can learn from dogs, too. Readers see Comet’s resilience and vitality for life. Comet could’ve been an aggressive dog due to her past, but she isn’t. Comet doesn’t have obligation to help her owner, but she does, from helping him pull the grocery cart, saving his life from heart attack and more.
Comet is definitely a dog, but at times, readers wonder if she was something more because of her perception and observation skills. Wolf says, “The thought that Comet had lived several past lives was never far from the surface.”I can’t help but agree.
Comet’s Tale is a heartwarming story about how a greyhound saved a man’s life over and over and the sheer distance a dog will take to help it’s owner.
Comet’s Tale comes out on October 9th, 2012.
Review copy provided by the publisher