By His Side: Tales of Love and Loyalty Between a Man and His Dogs

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By His Side: Tales of Love and Loyalty Between a Man and His Dogs

Lunghezza: 587 pagine9 ore

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BK’s dog, Batman, discovers cancer has returned in his mother, Georgia. As her health declines, Georgia shares an oral history of their master, BK’s, incredible life journey with dogs as he leaves college and enters the working world He finds love and marriage, raises four children, then loses it all in the Great Recession of 2008.
Georgia teaches Batman about the virtuous behavior required to be an “oath keeper” for their master. By recounting tales of dogs that have come before him, she illustrates to Batman stories of perseverance, courage, faith, trust, and loyalty through tales of the dogs, and offers advice on how to carry on the tradition. She reveals the miracle of Rainbow Bridge, and the promise the place holds. BK meets his spirit animal at the age of five years-old, and learns that he is destined to have a canine “oath keeper” walk by his side throughout his life.
The story opens in New Orleans in the late 1970s, where he receives his first dog as a gift, a Basset Hound he names Max. Not sure whether the young pup is a welcome addition or a burden, Max earns BK’s respect after the pup intercedes to prevent a mugging. After graduation from college, BK moves to western Colorado, where he pursues a career in real estate. You’ll meet Dixie, a black and white Springer Spaniel pup who joins BK on his journey, and becomes his first “oath keeper.”
The story moves to late 1970s Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, where BK hits his stride in his career, survives his first hurricane, and buys a Golden Retriever, which he names Jackson. You’ll read about their improbable deer hunting trip to Michigan, and BK’s life as a bachelor on the fledgling resort island, Stories of BK’s forays into love, travel, and a close brush with a Federal Drug probe are detailed in snapshots of lifestyle and island culture, long gone now since the resort boomed. Pre-development Daufuskie Island is remembered. Max’s exploits are detailed as BK has more and more trouble keeping his incorrigable hound on the right side of the law.
When BK returns to New Orleans for graduate school in 1984, Dixie assumes the full range of her duties as oath keeper. She sees BK through his marriage and the births of two new children, and raises Mocha, a Chocolate Lab puppy as the next “oath keeper.” Along the way they rescue a second, unusual Chocolate Lab named Coco. Mocha becomes a mother after having a litter of her own.
BK and his family relocate to Colorado in 1992. The family has another child. They deal with the presence of a ghost in BK’s ranch homestead. For the next eighteen years, BK builds a menagerie of furry friends on his mini-ranch, adding a horse, llamas, miniature donkeys, and a kennel full of Siberian Husky sled dogs. The book relates the thrills and frustrations of the new hobby, including a life or death experience where the sled dogs guide his daughter and him through a blinding snowstorm at night. The team's lead dog, Rocky, becomes the oath keeper upon Mocha’s death.
As the millennium passes, BK and his family add a pair of Springer Spaniel pups, Savannah and Georgia. The pups have a most entertaining episode in a boarding kennel. Georgia goes on to bear a litter of her own, which produces the book’s main character, Batman.
Batman tells the remainder of the story as it reveals BK’s special relationship with his dog, chronicled in BK’s nostalgic return to Michigan for a high school reunion, Batman’s near deadly spill from the truck, and his harrowing escape from a boarding kennel, followed by nine days of wandering in the wilderness. Georgia has a second litter of puppies, bringing Deacon to the family in the most improbable way.
By 2007 the family faces financial crisis as the economic downturn hits BK’s business. Tensions rise and BK’s marriage faces its biggest challenge yet. BK loses his own mother very suddenly while Batman cares for his mother during her own battle.

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