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“Lily and the Octopus” by Steven Rowley

3.7 out of 4 stars.

I love you Lily and I hate you Octopus!

Ted is a man who has trouble finding love. He has had one long-term relationship and he just couldn’t commit and give his whole heart. This left him a bit cynical and quick to be on the saltier side. His dry humor is sprinkled within the book which is always nice for me as a reader. About 12 years ago, Ted decided it was time to get a dog. For the first time in his life, he felt an instant connection and fell in love with a dachshund that he later named Lily. Day in and day out, the two shared lovely times together while gossiping, eating, and playing. It was the perfect relationship to make Ted open his heart again. Unfortunately, one day Ted found a mass, “octopus”, on top of Lily’s head and the rest is an adventure of how to get rid of it so Ted can hold on to Lily.

I read this book right around Sadie turning 2 years of age on July 1st. One would think that would be perfect timing to be coincidentally reading a book about dogs during her birthday week but for me it was heartbreaking. About 8 years ago, I had lost my first childhood dog when he was 10 years old from a similar like tumor that Lily had. It was devastating because he was a part of the family and my first love as well. When I began the book and saw that Lily was 12 I knew it was going to be a definite tear jerker. All dog owners know that unlike humans, the age span of a dog breed is pretty inevitable so dog birthdays are never easy. Although Sadie only turned 2 years old, I am seeing how quickly time is going by in my own life. As humans, we are supposed to be the ones in command and take ownership of our pets. However, everyone that has a dog in their life understand that it ends up being the other way around. They become our right hand man and our confidant.

I am sure most can figure how this book will end but just because it has a predictable closing that does not mean that the message is the same as all the others. Steven Rowley does an excellent job of not making it just a cry fest but rather a spiritual and enlightening moment of how to look at one’s life.

A must read for the summer. I read it in one sitting and I feel uplifted now when looking at Sadie tackling her second (human) year of life!


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