Todd McCray, hero of A Dog Named Christmas, is now twenty-four years old and working at a local animal shelter, where he meets and quickly becomes best friends with Laura, a young volunteer. Laura, like Todd, has disabilities of her own, but her struggles are more physical than developmental. Their friendship is sealed when Todd—with the help of his trusted companion, the tenacious Labrador retriever named Christmas—trains a beautiful dog named Gracie to help Laura with the day-to-day life tasks that are difficult for her.
Life seems good for Todd, but all is not well in his hometown. Struggling families unable to make ends meet are abandoning more and more dogs, and the shelter is swelling to capacity. The local government is struggling to meet its obligations too, and in early December, on the cusp of another holiday season, Todd’s boss delivers the bad news. Due to funding problems, the shelter will close its doors before the end of the year. But what will happen to all the animals?
As the Christmas holiday approaches, Todd has limited time to find homes for all the dogs. Not to mention that he needs to secure a new job and figure out what to do when his friendship with Laura takes an unexpected romantic turn. All this seems overwhelming unless you’ve got a loving family, dedicated friends, and a couple of very special dogs behind you. In which case, nothing is impossible.–Description from Amazon.com
When I first picked up this book, I guess I expected another fluffy, sappy Christmas story as seems to be the norm for holiday tales. After reading the first couple of chapters, I felt myself being drawn in closer and closer to the story of these small town residents struggling to keep the important pieces of their town together. I found that I could easily relate to the characters and the crisis the town was facing. I too, am from a small town where the local shelter has faced hard times due to the economy and could sympathize with the character’s plight.
I love that this book deals with real issues that are being faced in small towns all across America, while still providing an entertaining, feel good Christmas read. While reading this book I was reminded not only how important our four-legged friends are in the greater scheme of our lives, but also how just one small group of people can pull together to make a real difference in their community.
The sweet love story that blossoms along with the rest of this story adds an element of tenderness that makes you want to keep reading. I could imagine things happening just as they unfolded in the story and thought the author did an excellent job of making the reader feel close to the characters.
This is a great Story. I highly recommend you pick up a copy and give it a read. You may want a cup of cocoa and a warm soft blanket as an accompaniment to this heartwarming tale.
I was provided a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review by WaterBrook Multnomah Publishers.