Hope and Love in Julie Klam's Love at First Bark
By Karen Ballum on October 19, 2011
BlogHer Original Post
Julie Klam's Love at First Bark: How Saving a Dog Can Sometimes Help You Save Yourself is yes, about rescuing dogs -- but it's really about more than that. It's a book about hope and love. It's about hoping that we can change a life and the love we find when we try -- even when that life is attached to a four legs.
Fans of Klam's You Had Me at Woof: How Dogs Taught Me the Secrets of Happiness will find much to like in this new memoir. In You Had Me at Woof, Klam shared how she learned some of the secrets to happiness from the dogs in her life, and she continues that theme by telling us about three dogs she's helped rescue and what she's learned from each one.
First there's Morris, the pit-bull-turned-marriage-therapist, who is left abandoned on a New York City street. Your heart will break just a little when Klam discovers that he has cigarette burns on him. Morris enters her life during a time when she and her husband were feeling a bit disconnected. The two of them are able to join forces to try to find safe shelter for Morris before the end of the day and -- in doing so -- are reminded why they like each other.
Then there's sweet little Clemmie, who is, as Klam calls her, a "lemon dog." She's one of the loveable dogs that may not be able to find a forever home due to some medical issues. Klam has hope, though, that with a bit of love, some tests and a lot of work that she can find a home for Clemmie.
And finally, there's Jarhead. During a trip to post-Katrina New Orleans, Klam and her husband connect with a local rescue group and learn that volunteers are gathering to try to rescue a stray dog who has had a glass jar stuck on its head for several days. During the rescue attempt, Klam learns something important about herself.
The three stories are very different kinds of rescues, but there's a universal lesson in them. We can't save everyone -- dogs or humans -- by ourselves. With each effort, though, we get one step closer to making the world a better place -- and sometimes, if we're lucky, we save ourselves along the way.