Dear Ann M. Martin,
Before I read your book A Dog's Life
I never thought about all the bad things that happened to people and animals everywhere. After I read the book, it seemed like I was hearing about this, reading about this, and seeing it everywhere more and more commonly.
Your book made me want to make a difference. It inspired me, made me feel sad, happy, angry, almost every emotion you can name. The book seemed more like fiction than an autobiography because I was so unaware of this topic. The book opened my eyes to a real problem.
When Squirrel was finally helped at the end of the book, I wanted to be like Susan and make a difference by helping an animal, especially one in need. As soon as I got the chance I did what I could, which for me meant making a decision to adopt a dog for my birthday.
I spent my birthday money at our local animal shelter rather than buying something I didn't need. I adopted a dog in need of dental surgery, housetraining, medicine for kennel cough, and most importantly, love. We gave him all of these things, and he's changed a lot in a year. It took a lot of patience sometimes from my family too, especially with his housetraining. We don't know anything about the two years he spent before he lived with us.
Since I could picture what was happening in the book in my mind and it left me with such an impression, it is hard to think about the bad things that happened to Squirrel possibly happening to my dog, Maurie, too, such as being neglected or treated badly. Maurie does show signs of this though, so I wonder.
I was inspired to make a difference by this book, because of this dog, his actions, and the way he was treated that couldn't help but make you both sad and happy and warm your heart because she just wanted to be loved.