When Harry Met Minnie Book Cover. Rocco is the background, attempting to use the book as a chin rest. It's not working very well.

This is another memoir about death, the rehoming of an elderly dog, and life thereafter. The story is written by a professional news reporter who asked around if anyone needed to rehome an older bull terrier. She wanted one for her dog, Minnie.

In unexpected encounter at a farmer’s market introduces her to Carol, a flamboyant designer who is dying of cancer. She has an 11-year-old bull terrier who, despite his age, she knows will outlive her. The story is about the struggle of pet ownership when you know you’re close to death.

I was a dog groomer for many years and am no stranger to elderly people and their pets. I watched the same mini saga play out with an elderly gentleman and his pug, and then my next-door neighbor and her two older cats.

Because I’m so very familiar with this story and what happens, it didn’t hit me quite the way “Saving Sadie” did. I enjoyed peaking into their lives, “meeting” Minnie and Harry, and learning about this brave woman.

Yet at the same time, I think about the elderly gentleman who asked me to petsit for him on his hospital stays, or frantically trying to find homes for the senior cats living next door that my neighbor dearly loved. Were their stories any less worthy of being in a book?

Martha, the author of the book, is a reporter at heart, and sometimes I also felt she went too far. I felt like I was intruding on something very intimate when Martha describes poor Carol’s death. While the story was inevitably about Carol’s mortality, I felt like the book was a little too intimate for a stranger like me to read.

Still, the book is a memorial in a way for Harry and Carol, and it’s not lost on me how much this woman was cared for. We only catch a glimpse of Carol and Harry, but it’s easy to see they were powerfully loved and wanted.

It’s a good read, especially if you are naturally curious about the lives of others, but probably not a book I would have picked up on my own if it wasn’t for my reading challenge.

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By Andrea

Andrea is a dedicated dog mom of three chihuahuas. She has over a decade of experience as a dog groomer, chihuahua owner, and more recently as a dog trainer. She loves all things canine, particularly chihuahuas.

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