I recently read Nadine M. Rosin’s remarkably moving book, The Healing Art of Pet Parenthood. I recommend anyone who has loved and enjoyed and connected to a pet, particularly a dog, take the time to read this book.
It starts off gently, slowly, giving us a chance to absorb the back story. Ms. Rosin’s history before she got her special fur baby is explored, maybe a bit too detailed if you want to get right to the meat of the story of Buttons. But knowing Rosin’s personal struggles, and understanding where she comes from makes the later reading all the more poignant and meaningful. The bond between humans and their dogs is so beautifully and breathtakingly depicted here!
Nadine’s adorable artist sketch of Buttons begin each chapter. This touch demonstrates the affection and esteem the author continues to feel for her small canine companion. It is hard to fully explain the book unless you or someone very close to you has had that kind of relationship with a dog. Although the author is single, those of us, (and I count myself among the number,) who have married, had children or more than one dog, feel that Rosin speaks to the hearts of us all when she shares the day to day story of a woman and her soul-mate-pup.
Rosin so freely shares her experiences, her choices, and how she came to choose and espouse the tenets of holistic pet care. She also repeatedly asserts that it is okay to love your pets unconditionally, and to embrace them (literally and figuratively) as a vital part of your health and happiness. So many people feel foolish for feeling devotion to their pets. We feel that it isn’t right to have that much feeling for something four-footed, without human communication skills. Yet Ms. Rosin is here to tell you that it is not only right, but normal to feel that attachment. Our pets round out our lives, encourage the best of human traits, and allow us to be well-balanced, well-rounded people.
The research that Nadine put into discovering the best holistic care for her cockapoo/terrier, is not only inspiring, but very useful for those of us on that same path. My own two dogs were rescue dogs, coming to us at different times, both about 18 months old when we got them. Not knowing what their pasts had been, I have been so connected to Rosin’s ideas and example! Just as Western medicine is not always the answer for people, alternate modalities can work wonders for our animals.
The story told within the pages here is an emotional one. Rosin does an excellent job of “tugging at our heartstrings” and making us feel what she has felt in her struggle to keep her doggie healthy and strong. The reader will get wrapped up in the story, absorbed in the tail. One of the things I enjoyed in the reading was all the endearing nicknames she gave Buttons. I too have lots of nicknames for my two dachshunds, and it amused me no end to see the silly-yet-precious things that Buttons was called.
Rosin gives us permission to love our pets with no hold barred. To care for them sensibly, (as far as food and medical care are concerned…) affectionately and to realize that in caring for these four-footed critters, we also are taking care of ourselves. As Gilda Radner once said, “I think dogs are the most amazing creatures; they give unconditional love. For me they are the role model for being alive.”