Dogs make me smile, and not just my own dogs, all dogs have this effect. When I am out running errands, or returning home from work, and I see a dog taking a walk with his or her person I have to smile. So I can understand why so many residents at Nursing homes are excited when they see me walking down the hallway with my collie, Ryder. I recently read two books that show just how deeply dogs can create positive change in peoples' lives.
The first book, Rescuing Finley, was written by Dan Walsh. This book was very heartwarming, but you have to get past the first few chapters, which help set up the story. The main characters are a young woman in a correctional facility, a veteran with PTSD, and a special dog called Finley. This book did have me in tears a few times, but they were happy tears. While it is a work of fiction, service dogs really can help soldiers suffering from PTSD, and they have made profound changes in the lives of inmates participating in training programs. I highly recommend this book, and plan on reading it again sometime in the future.
The second book, Finding Riley, was also written by the same author, Dan Walsh. In this book, the main character is a dog named Riley. He is the best friend of a little boy, and becomes lost during a family vacation. As a dog lover, you can't help by worry about the fate of this little dog, but Dan Walsh does not disappoint the reader.
I really enjoyed both of these stories, and I can't wait to read his next book in this series. While they weren't short stories, I flew through them in a matter of hours. If you give them a try, please come back and let me know what you think!