Reviewed by Rosie Malezer for Readers' Favorite
Howie’s Journal: A Service Dog’s Playful Journey is an insightful and inspiring story, narrated by a service dog and written by G.G. Conte. After careful training, Howie patiently waits to be chosen by a special human who loves him and is in need of his services. After being introduced to Michelle, both are inseparable, with Howie becoming an extremely important part of her life, whether on her college campus, at home with her family, or on holidays. After Michelle’s graduation, Howie adjusts to each stage in Michelle’s life, inclusive of her relationships, her new job working with children and, eventually, her marriage. From the very beginning to the very end, step into the world of what it takes to become a Service Dog.
Written in the most remarkable style, Howie’s Journal: A Service Dog’s Playful Journey takes you inside the mind of a dog which has been trained for one very unique purpose – to help those with special needs. G.G. Conte has taken the reader on a remarkable journey from the viewpoint of the dog, as it waits for just the right person to come along. The journal is extremely engaging, pulling you into a world you never thought possible. Service dogs are trained to be there at all times, and their intent is solely for the well-being and best interests of the dog’s human. Patting the dog, giving it treats and rewards and talking to the dog (when you are not the dog’s charge) are definitely not encouraged, as it is seen as a distraction for the animal which is doing its utmost to see that no harm comes to his human. Whether attending a class, going on an amusement ride, shopping for new clothes or retrieving something when the human is unable to do so (for any reason), this is the service animal’s only focus, and it will go to great lengths to see its job through.
One of the most wonderful (and tear-jerking) moments in this tale is when Howie watches over Michelle, even after he has crossed over the Rainbow Bridge, making sure that she is okay in her life. I wholeheartedly recommend Howie’s Journal: A Service Dog’s Playful Journey to all readers over the age of 12, who are interested in seeing how a service dog helps those who need them the most.