Customer Reviews: The Puppy That Came for Christmas: How a Dog Brought One Family the Gift of Joy
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on March 15, 2013
In this exceptional story, Megan Rix takes readers on her journey of becoming a puppy parent for a Helper Dogs organization. I was simply amazed to read about the things these service dogs are trained to do for the disabled! Dogs can do laundry? Really?! And that's just one of the amazing things these dogs can do. While I was reading this book, I had taken a break to do some shopping and actually saw a helper dog in the department store. My mind was immediately on this story. I now have such an appreciation for these dogs and the talents of their trainers and puppy parents.

I don't know how the puppy parents do it though. Through Megan Rix's eyes I saw how attached she became to her trainer puppies. Who wouldn't be? My heart broke for her after the couple months were up and the puppy she had spoiled with love had to move on to the next phase of their training. Megan went through the process twice - raising two successful puppies in training which is a feat because service dogs must be nearly perfect. This was especially impressive because she had never owned a dog before. As much as she wanted to keep these dogs as her own, I know it was rewarding for her to hear about the difference they were making in the life of a person with a disability. Service dogs are often the reason these people wake up in the morning. It's very sweet.

Another side of this story was the struggle Megan and her husband, Ian, had with trying to have a baby. It warmed my heart that a dog could become so special in her life that it helped ease her pain with infertility issues. I adored reading about how much these animals were loved. You will too!
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on November 22, 2011
Meg and Ian are going through some changes in their lives. They are struggling to have a child and not sure how to create a family. They start small with a dog. They become puppy parents to some future Helper Dogs. Meg finds a home with the Helper Dogs organization. These pups are trained to assist people with a variety physical disabilities. Each set of puppy parents nurture and train their dog so they can continue on to becoming a full fledged helper dog. Meg and Ian take the lovable Emma into their hearts and home. We get to see the trials and tribulations of training and puppy life. The hardest part is letting Emma continue on her training after six months. It also hurts that Meg is no closer to becoming pregnant. With more puppies to be trained Meg and Ian continue on this journey of exploration. With new and old friends, cuddly puppies, and plenty of love everyone finds their way. The book was an easy read and fun story. It could be a little sporadic from time to time. The telling of past and future events got muddled into the present. It is a great book for dog lovers.
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on January 11, 2015
Megan and Ian Rix have desperately been trying to have a baby. Megan feels as though a baby would finally complete their family. Throughout the numerous failed attempts, the couple has kept their struggles quiet. Along the way, they find a group called Helper Dogs. This group trains puppies to assist humans with disabilities. Megan and Ian get to experience all the joys and heartache of fostering two little puppies over the course of a year, until they finally get their forever dog.

The Puppy that Came for Christmas is a beautifully written memoir. Megan’s emotions shine through her words as she struggles to conceive. She keeps her story honest by showing the good times as well as the bad, such as medication failures or experiencing jealousy over her brother’s surprise announcement. However, puppy lovers around the world can relate to all the pleasures and sorrows that comes with Emma, Freddy and eventually Traffy. With their first dog, Megan tells readers about each of Emma’s triumphs and the new world of possibilities that opens from being a doggie parent. Then Freddy brings a bit of silliness to help distract from the pain of Emma’s graduation. Readers will laugh, cry and ooh and ahh throughout this inspirational book.

This review was written for My Sister's Books and Sasee Magazine.
This review was posted on the Ariesgrl Book Reviews website.
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on January 6, 2014
What a wonderful book on so many levels. This book teach human emotions, skills to live our life well; taking us from loss, grieve and learning to live again while reading about a man, a woman and a puppy. It also opens our eyes to giving back to others while working through the emotion of being childless.

Most of all it teaches us that being human is always a learning experience. And that when we believe that the worse cannot be happening, it turns into something special.
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on March 5, 2015
Megan Rix's "The Puppy That Came for Christmas: How a Dog Brought One Family the Gift of Joy" is the true story of what she went through across the course of 1 year in an attempt to get pregnant & the joy that 3 very special dogs brought into her life. With an emotion that's not hard to get caught up in with the very personal events of her own life Rix tells a story that is heartwarming, funny & sad at the same time as she & her husband go through an emotional roller coaster ride. Each step of the road & each decision is made with a care that makes you want all the best for the author & also shows the love that puppies can bring to our everyday lives. Overall a cute & easy read that is a must for dog lovers of any age.
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on January 25, 2013
This was a great story about how dogs can help us in so many ways to enrich our lives and make us happier. I don't know why it was called the puppy that came for Christmas though. Although the story had talk of Christmas in it the story was not centered fully around the Christmas season. It was a great story of dogs. I was just thinking there would be more talk about Christmas.
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on December 21, 2014
I saw this book on the Christmas book stack at Barnes and Nobles. I felt bad because I usually only buy books with cats on the cover and I felt I should give my dog friends some love. The book did not disappoint. You were there every step of the way with Meg and her husband, Ian, and the dogs they love and train. A great book that shows how significant the bond between human and animals is and how animals can heal us if let them into our hearts.
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VINE VOICEon December 28, 2011
Finding love and having a family was something that Megan Rix had all but given up on, but when she met Ian suddenly one night during her early forties that all changed. When complications arose from the struggles of trying to have children shortly after their quick marriage they found they could never replace their want of a child, but could certainly fill the void by helping others. As Megan and Ian embark on a effort to help train service dogs though they quickly learn that what they'd really love is a dog of their own and then, along comes Traffy.

For one reason or another I find myself reading memoir after memoir after memoir when in reality it's about my least favorite thing to review. The idea of critiquing someone's life experiences is not only absurd to me, but very judgmental. So when I began reading The Puppy That Came for Christmas I was weary because of the issues it dealt with, specifically infertility. Having suffered from it myself I can hardly imagine reading someone's review of my own personal feelings on the subject, so I applaud Megan for having the courage to come forward with her story because it was incredible! Not only did I love her story, but her writing was amazing and perfect for a quick glance into the lives of this not-so-ordinary couple.

Obviously the readers who will be immediately drawn to The Puppy That Came for Christmas will be dog lovers as well as those who may have experiences with infertility, but that doesn't mean others won't enjoy it. In quite a few books the issues of infertility can sometimes overcome the entire story line. Not to trivialize those experiences, but it's nice to have a story with a good balance. In The Puppy That Came for Christmas Megan Rix is concise in her writing but also has a depth to it that allow you to share her experiences in such a way that you are able to feel her heartbreak with not only infertility, but in having to give up her trained dogs as well. When Traffy comes along you can't help but be attached to this wonderful couple and hope they will be able to enjoy a long life with their newly found puppy.

The Puppy That Came for Christmas by Megan Rix is a delightful read and one I'd easily recommend for the holidays. Dog lovers will appreciate the stories of the dogs that come into Megan & Ian's home with their rambunctious ways, the training that occurs and the heartbreak that follows their moving on. Other readers will also love Megan's journey to find her happiness with not only Ian but their lovely new puppy Traffy. This was such an enjoyable read for me! As someone who has struggled with my own fertility issues I found it comforting but didn't find myself feeling like I was dwelling on the subject for the length of the book. Megan Rix knows how to write a compelling memoir, one that will tug at your heartstrings and have you turning the pages to the very end.

Originally reviewed and copyrighted at my site, Chick Lit Reviews and News.
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on December 26, 2011
The Puppy Who Came for Christmas: How a Dog Brought One Family the Gift of Joy by Megan Rix is a heart-warming true story of how several different dogs gave happiness to a young couple but one in particular dog brought joy to them. Megan and Ian decided to train helper dogs. They had different helper dogs Emma, Eddie(Emma's brother), and Freddy. I found out a lot about helper dogs by reading this book. The breed of dog that is usually used is the Labrador because they like food and are easily trained. Helper dogs are amazing. They can do things that you couldn't imagine dogs could do. If you are a dog owner though you know how smart dogs can be. Helper dogs can do such things as get the clothes out of the washer and put them into a basket. They can push the button for someone trying to cross the street. They can pull the blanket back for someone trying to get out of bed. The disadvantage of having a helper dog is that in three to six months (depending on how fast they learn) you have to give them up so they can get more advanced training by someone else. So you will have to read the book to find out if Megan and Ian get a "forever dog" (one that they can keep for the rest of the dog's life).

Megan and Ian also are trying to have a child. They went through all different procedures to try to get a baby. Will they become parents or not? Read the book and find out. People who have trouble with infertility will be able to relate to this couple.

This is a great book for people who love dogs. It is about some behaviors that dogs possess. The book is very humorous in places. It may remind you of some of the antics of your dog if you own one.

This unbiased review was based on an electronic copy of the book provided by the publisher for the purpose of creating this review.
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on December 2, 2011
This book touches on loss in several forms; physical, psychological & emotional. While also touching on love in different forms; human to human & human to animal.

Meg & Ian decide thy want to have a child soon after marrying, but they have more trouble than expected. While working their way down the tortuous road of schedules, temperatures, blood tests and Doctor visits they find a mutual love for dogs. They become involved with a group called Helper Dogs, a group that trains puppies to help people with disabilities and they decide to become puppy parents. Through Helper Dogs they are given a puppy to raise and train for 6 months when it will move on to another home and its second phase of training. They come to find that although the work is rewarding it is also very heartbreaking when you must give up the puppy you have raised for 6 months. During the course of their second 6 month stint as puppy parents they realize that it is too hard to give up another puppy and that the next puppy they take in will be their forever puppy. During this time they are faced with the almost impossibility of becoming natural parents and the hardships that would be faced trying to adopt or become foster parents to a child in need. Through this year they find that a baby can come in human or animal form and the love that is received from either is always good.

When I was chosen to read and review this book I felt I wold probably be a good match. I have also been through the ups and downs of trying to conceive a child and came out on the other end with only animal children. I could clearly identify with Meg and Ian and the heartbreak and hope that is lived with day to day when having trouble conceiving a child. You soon find that if you are not successful you must stop the madness and find something else to focus on. This is for your emotional and mental well being.

I found the book to be uplifting. The story of love, loss, laughter and eventual healing threaded throughout the story caused me to want to keep reading. I recommend it to those on the pregnancy journey, those working in the helper animal community or the ordinary animal lover.
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