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Monday, January 27, 2014

Unlikely Loves, by Jennifer S. Holland. Workman Publishing, Thomas Allen & Son. 2013. $17.50 all ages

"But that's not how Puggy rolls. Instead, she gives her love freely, holding no grudge against the scent of newborn that was once mingled with smells of waste and filth. In fact, perhaps her old life is why she is such a generous being. She's known hardship and doesn't want any other animal to suffer."

Perhaps that is why, when Tabitha showed up at the Hillside Wildlife Sanctuary in Norfolk, England, Puggy went resolutely into mother mode. She fell immediately in love with the wee piglet, protecting and coddling her.

You don't really need to  know the whole story to know that in this companion book to Unlikely Friendships (Workman, 2011) you will find stories to read, to love, to share with others. I mean, just look at the cover and tell me you don't want to know how a leopard and a dog come to be such great pals.

There are 43 stories here and each of them takes the same pattern for presentation. They are dated and the location is noted. The entries are accompanied by lovely, warm and clear photos of the matched pair, as well as information boxes describing their scientific place in the world. They tell stories of surprise, patience and enduring love.

In one story, the author tells her audience that triplet kid goats are unusual and often result in one of them not making it. Piper, a pit bull, took exception to that assumption and did something about it:

"Piper went straight to the goat and starting licking him. "She licked and licked it all over, and after a while, the goat started to come around. It's as if it suddenly came to life." Piper and GP (Goat Puppy) were like mother and son after the dog revived the little goat that night. Piper would clean little GP's milk-coated chin and lovingly wrap herself around him as he napped. GP would take dog walks with Piper, Julie, and Nate - a goat on a leash."

You know the impact animal stories have on each one of us.. What's better than to start your day (or end it) with a story of  unlikely love? It will warm your heart from now until the end of February...I Love to Read month!

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