Who Rescued Who?
By Barbara Harkness and Valerie Siegel
ISBN # 978-0-9884495-0-3
Reviewed By John Ward
This is a book of tales about street dogs rescued by people in the Lake Chapala area… or perhaps, a book of tales told by animals who rescued humans in the Lake Chapala area.
Each story begins with a brief introduction which describes how the pet and owner found each other and then continues with a description of that pet’s life before and after his/her new relationship, from the pet’s point of view, written in the first person, as it would be delivered by the animal.
The stories are funny, warm, loving and sometimes quite poignant. This book is ideal for short, quick reads. The stories inspire and restore one’s faith in the better aspects of the human character. In a world where there are more than enough instances of cruelty and base human activity to shake a person’s faith in humanity, it is essential to point out and nurture the existence of that spark of decency that exists in all of us. Who Rescued Who? nurtures that characteristic with its true stories and personification of the dogs’ experiences.
Street dogs abound in Mexico. Some are cared for casually, but some suffer abuse and cruelty. In some of the back stories told by the rescued dogs the reader will get some idea of what sort of life the pet had before meeting with his permanent owner. Anyone living in the Lake Chapala area will see street dogs gather at the door of butcher shops that give them their scrap meat and bones at a specific time of day. Unfortunately, one can also witness people throwing stones or sticks at a street dog who is in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Although Who Rescued Who? is a collection of stories written by different pet owners (and pets) the writing and editing has created a reasonable degree of consistency and ease of reading. The stories vary in length and are all in a clearly readable font. Most are accompanied by black and white photographs and some show the pet owner or “rescuee.” My copy is softbound with a picture of a sweet dog-eye on the front and has 147 pages of personal stories. If you like animals, if you care about pets, if you would like to restore your faith in humanity, this book is an essential read.