Lessons from Tara: Life Advice from the World's Most Brilliant Dog
By: David Rosenfelt
Illustrated By: Young Jin Lim
Publisher: St. Martinís Press
Publication Date: July 2015
Reviewed By: Kristi Benedict
Review Date: August 2, 2015
There are many people who center their lives on animals and then there are some whose lives become completely consumed by them. David Rosenfelt and his wife Debbie are two such people who have chosen to open their home to thousands of animals over many years. After falling in love with a golden retriever named Tara and giving her all the attention she deserved, their passion to help dogs began. After Tara passed away David and Debbie decided to start the Tara Foundation that would help find homes for dogs that would otherwise be forgotten. Senior dogs were the main focus as of course they are the most unlikely to be adopted from shelters, for most people go in looking for a puppy.
So, the Tara Foundation was born and the dogs started to slowly take over the household with all of their barking, quirky personalities, slobbering tongues, and unconditional love. Even though both David and Debbie love the life they have chosen there is also no end to the challenges they face while taking care of these animals. With the majority of their dogs being older there is an endless number of veterinary visits, medications, and care that needs to be done for each animal to ensure their quality of life is the absolute best. David Rosenfelt does not hold back at all when talking about all of the messy situations he has run into, such as trying to pile one too many dogs into the car, cleaning up the endless supply of poop in the backyard with special trash bags, and the trips to the vet that happen at all hours of the day and night. In the midst of all of this he finds an endless supply of inspiration for his books as each one usually includes a canine character that steals the show, for that is usually who he gets the most emails about. All kidding aside, the best thing this couple has learned from caring for these dogs is that every day is special and life should be lived to the fullest.
When I first started reading this book I thought this would just simply be a heartwarming read full of fun stories told within each chapter. Some of the chapters definitely fit that bill but I found that most of them had me absolutely laughing out loud as the author David Rosenfelt shares all experiences including the rough and messy ones. For me these are the stories I enjoy the most because it paints a picture of reality instead of looking through everything with rose colored glasses. In fact, especially in dealing with animals, the actual true story is probably better than anything you could possibly imagine and I found myself laughing hysterically at so many points in this book that my face started to hurt a little from smiling so much. This turned out to be a fun read for me and I hope to read more of David Rosenfeltís books.
Quill says: An absolutely hilarious book that will have you laughing and smiling until the very end.