BOOK NOTES AND PAW VOTES
A Book Review Column by The Colorado Canines and Jodene
A Dog’s Tale
by Dan Dye and Mark Beckloff
Amazing Gracie is a genuine dog’s tale written by the founders of Three Dog Bakery. Do not be mislead by the success story within the pages of this book as it is truly a book of love and salvation told in Dan Dye’s voice, the rescuer and daddy of Grace Dane.
The story unfolds with Dye lamenting and mourning the loss of his childhood dog, Blue. Though friends try to comfort him, he feels that the only friends who really understand his loss are his housemate and friend, Mark Beckloff and a co-worker, Anne, who has recently lost her own dog. Credit Anne with Dan’s introduction to Gracie as she decides to take the plunge and find a new dog of her own to love. Anne arrives at work one day with a Great Dane pup, Merlin. Dan’s heart is touched and broken at the same time while watching them together. A few days later, Anne phones Dan (from across the office) and tells him that Merlin’s sister needs saving and they must come to her rescue. At first Dan is shocked to find out that Merlin even has a sister, let alone an deaf albino with impaired vision. When they arrive at the breeder’s home, Dan is struck by the size of the adult Danes. He is even more shocked by the living conditions at this home and the callous attitude of the breeder who is determined to euthanize Grace because of her problems. This is not to be as Dan and Gracie fall in love with each other at first sight. The scared, dejected puppy huddled in a corner actually walks across the room and nuzzles Dan’s nose. He is instantly sold on the idea of this beautiful awkward girl!
Thus begins the love affair between Dan and Gracie and the laugh-out-loud account of raising a deaf and nearly blind pup who grows to mammoth proportions. Included in this tale are Gracies’ first meeting with Mark’s house dogs, Dottie and Molly, her burgeoning romance with the Boston Terrier who lives next door, and her efforts to become anorexic. It is her refusal to eat anything store-bought that inspires Dan to become a cook for the first time in his life. Urged by his friend, Anne, to bake cookies (because they are one of the easiest foods to cook), he begins to bake to save Gracie’s life.
There is a period of trial and error, but once the recipes are perfected, the cookies are an instant hit. Gracie, Dottie and Molly become chief taste-testers and mascots for Three Dog Bakery. Dan is joined in the venture by Mark and the partnership grows to 32 stores and a booming mail order enterprise. As a result, Gracie is transformed from a throw away dog to a national celebrity, and Dad is transformed from a lost and miserable man to a fulfilled and successful entrepreneur. Man saves dog and dog saves man.
There are countless moments of humor in this book and poignant and touching moments as well, especially when Gracie begins to grow old. Dog lovers will identify with the intense range of emotions communicated by Gracie’s story. Another very important message in the tome is the satisfaction and redemption attained by rescuing a dog with less than AKC standards. After reading this triumphant story, we hope that every reader will consider adopting a rescue dog.
The Colorado Canines give Amazing Gracie six paws up!
Jodene gives Amazing Gracie five stars out of five!
Join us next month for another review of a book written especially for dogs and dog-lovers!