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Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers' Favorite
A special bond exists between a pet and its owner/caregiver. It’s difficult to explain to someone who doesn’t (and never has) owned a pet. But, from one dog lover/owner to another, I can vouch for its existence. So can Don Hughes, as evident in his memoir about a special dog that came into his life: The Mutt for Me: A Beautiful Transformation from Project Dog to Man’s Best Friend. Don volunteers at a local shelter and helps abandoned and abused dogs find their fur-ever home where they will be loved and cared for as they deserve. When one emotionally shattered dog came into the shelter and captured his heart, Don couldn’t resist. There was a challenge to help this mutt. Only, the journey that followed Don adopting Barbie, a frightened and unresponsive rescue became as much a journey toward healing for Don as it was for Barbie.
Tears aside, Don Hughes’ The Mutt for Me: A Beautiful Transformation from Project Dog to Man’s Best Friend is a beautifully written memoir of a fur-ever bond that will touch the hearts of all who read it. The story follows Don’s path to healing alongside a mutt everyone else had given up on. The endearing tale speaks strongly of the bond between humans and their special fur-ever companions. It’s a memoir, not just Don’s story; it’s Barbie’s (the mutt) story, too. One of the greatest lessons Don learned on his journey with Barbie was to believe in himself and her so he could help her believe in herself. In the process, he discovered his way to healing and believing in himself. “I kept coming back to the idea that she [Barbie] needed someone to believe in her enough to try. And that perhaps I did too.” It is a powerful tribute to a special mutt and the one who didn’t give up on her.