What the Dog Ate
by Jackie Bouchard
What a way to find out your husband is cheating on you! Our poor heroine Maggie Baxter discovers this when she takes her sick Chocolate Lab, Kona, to the vet. She is handed a plastic bag with a pair of tiny lavender thong panties that were removed from Kona’s stomach. They are not hers.
This sends Maggie’s whole life into turmoil; not only is her marriage ending, but she goes into career crisis as well. Her well laid plans for her future are crushed. She is overworked and decides to get done at her high stress accounting job. After a suitable period of mourning the loss of her marriage, she jumps into the dating pool, as well as searching for a new career.
At her side through all of this is Kona, as well as a diverse cast of family and friends to offer support. As sad as all of this may sound, the author’s dry sense of humor puts a lighthearted spin on it all, making it a very enjoyable read. What I love the most about this book is that it is so true to life. Maggie could be a friend we all know and love. Her mother, brother, and friends will remind you of someone in your life. I haven’t been through a divorce personally, but my sister recently has, and a lot of what Maggie goes through reminds me of what my sister had to deal with.
Maggie’s foray into the dating world involves speed dating, meeting younger men, and experiencing an unwanted attraction to a male friend. There are uncomfortable meetings with her ex and his new girlfriend. Her quest for a new career involves second guessing every decision she makes, just as many of us would do. Since Kona is the one helping her the most through it all, eventually she decides she needs to be more like her dog, and to approach life with his careless abandon. She doesn’t always succeed at that, but it’s a fun ride!
This is a book for dog lovers, as Maggie’s relationship with Kona parallels our own. When Maggie is at her most down and lonely, she remembers that when “….Kona realized she was home and came running; his high school cheerleader energy chased away the gloom.” “She was especially glad to have Kona there with her when it was time to crawl into bed each night. She was glad now that they’d been bad owners and let him sleep in their bed.” Kona helps her through her ups and downs, consoling her when she gets it together, only to lose it again. He also provides some funny moments, such as when he charges at one of Maggie’s dates (who inadvertently says the word “dinner”), and with muddy paws, jumps right into his groin!
Maggie is just like you or me. Her thoughts when meeting the ex’s new girlfriend at a museum event are the same thoughts we might have: “If she wanted to dress like a slut she could have at least been an art-themed slut. A topless Venus de Milo or something. And I know just the person to rip her arms off.” I am sure many of us can relate to such thoughts about the “other woman”!
I thoroughly enjoyed this book, and highly recommend it. If you also enjoy books about family, friends, and relationships, about life as it truly is, you will enjoy it too!
About the author, in her own words: “Jackie was born in Southern California and lived there until she and a friend got the crazy idea to move to Bermuda. It turned out to not be such a crazy idea after all since she met her husband there. After Bermuda, Jackie and her husband moved to Canada, then to the east coast of the US, and ultimately back to San Diego, where they now live with their rescue pup, Rita.
Jackie used to be trapped in the hamster wheel of corporate America, but she was bitten by the writing bug and ultimately managed to escape. Jackie loves: reading, writing, and, yes, even ‘rithmetic (seriously, algebra rocks), professional cycling, margaritas, dogs in general, her crazy rescue pup specifically, and her hubby. (Not in that order.) Jackie dislikes: rude people and writing about herself in the third person. What The Dog Ate is her first novel. Her second novel, Rescue Me, Maybe is due out in September, 2013.”
About the new book: “If you lost both your husband and your dog to cancer within weeks of each other, but you were sadder about the dog, would you tell anyone?…. With no job prospects in her hometown of San Diego, Jane is roped into helping out temporarily at her uncle’s southwestern small-town B&B. En route to her new role as innkeeper and breakfast chef, she finds a stray at a rest stop. With her heart in pieces from the loss of her dog, she’s determined not to let this mutt worm its way into her affections. She’s also determined to have next-to-no interaction with the B&B’s irritating guests, and the even more annoying handyman who lives next door. Can Jane keep her sanity—and her secret that she’s not really a grieving widow—while trying to achieve her dream of getting back to the place she thinks is home?”
Jackie also writes a blog: Pooch Smooches, where you can read more humorous stories about her life with her rescue dog Rita. She also has a Facebook page you can visit, and you can learn more about her through her author website. Her book is available on Amazon.com in kindle or paperback version. Her new novel is due out in the middle of September, and I will be reviewing that one also! I know it’s going to be good!