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***My Therapist's Dog

Lessons in Unconditional Love

by Diana Wells

Reviewed December 17, 2006.
Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill, 2004.  183 pages.

Diana Wells was overcome with grief.  Her sister and her son had died within a few weeks of each other.  She began seeing Beth, a therapist.  “Not very long after I began seeing Beth, my nephew, my father, my mother, and both my stepparents died, one after another.”  Since Diana’s insurance didn’t cover her visits, Beth offered them for free, and as a sort of repayment, Diana took care of Beth’s dog, Luggs, when Beth went on trips.

Diana says, “At that time I never could have dreamed that her dog would do so much to link me with life again.  Because it seemed that grief would never stop.”

The book that follows includes musings about dogs, about unconditional love, about therapy and about grief.  Later, unbelievably, Beth herself contracts cancer.  Diana has the strength to deal with it, with the help of Luggs.

This book is funny, compassionate, heart-wrenching but heart-warming, and thought provoking.

Copyright © 2006 Sondra Eklund.  All rights reserved.

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