So I’ve heard that Dean Koontz typically writes like Stephen King – deeply twisted, enthralling plots. I wouldn’t know since I’ve never read any of Koontz’s typical novels. What I did read, however, made me a fan 10 times over! This “Memoir of a Joyful Dog” is written about his beautiful, intelligent, and playful golden retriever named Trixie. He and his wife, Gerda, finally broke down and allowed a dog into their regimented lives when Trixie needed a home after being retired from her work as a service dog.
A Big Little Life is Dean Koontz’s first nonfiction book. It is a series of stories about his dog. Each story also offers insight into Koontz’s life and family. Each story shows a different side of Trixie – as an angel, a stoic patient, a playful puppy, an obedient service dog, and a devoted pet. I fell in love with Trixie while reading this memoir. The pictures of Trixie heading each chapter elicit a smile and warmth while reading.
One thing that will stay with me the most is the influence that Canine Companions for Independence (CCI) has had on Dean and Gerda Koontz. From the memoir it appears that these two like to stay to themselves and enjoy time with a small circle of close friends. They rarely do any sort of media interviews or promotions for Dean Koontz’s books. And yet CCI has drawn the heartstrings of this pair. They spend time at the facility, donated a new housing center for them, and even took a retired dog into their orderly and routine-driven home. I would love to learn more about CCI and see how to get involved in that organization now that I’ve read about Trixie. I hope that others who read this book will also feel drawn to the work of CCI and get involved too.
CBS Interview with Dean Koontz – talking about Trixie
Allison Irwin, PCTELA Executive Director