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A Widow, a Chihuahua, and Harry Truman: A Story of Love, Loss, and Love Again Hardcover – May 30, 2000


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 201 pages
  • Publisher: Harper San Francisco; Stated First Edition edition (May 30, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0062516728
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062516725
  • Product Dimensions: 6.9 x 4.6 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,924,613 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Five months after her husband died of lung cancer, Crain bought a Chihuahua to break the stranglehold of devastating grief, despair and depression that gripped her. Her vivacious new puppy gave unconditional love, kept her occupied and helped her heal. While canine therapy may not be for everyone, this charming story offers many insights into the grieving process, as Crain describes how she resigned herself to loss, worked through anger and guilt, and rediscovered a sense of purpose. She named her dog Truman, after the president she admired for his down-to-earth character, his integrity, his indefatigable energy, his lifelong love for wife Bess and his fortitude in the face of adversity. Some of these same traits imbue her feisty, loyal Chihuahua and his winsome ways. Dog owners will identify with Crain's account of raising a pup that gnaws furniture legs, runs into neighbors' houses and drops out of obedience school. A cat lover, the author faced another tragedy when one of her three cats died in a car accident. Crain, who writes for L.A. Weekly, is also coauthor of Angel Wisdom and Angel Courage; her dog story has its share of psychic messages and mystical coincidences, plus a transcendent union with her husband's soul on his deathbed. Disarming candor and sprightly humor should endear her quirky book to anyone coping with the loss of a loved oneAor with the acquisition of a demanding pet. Agent, Loretta Barrett. (May)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Review

Another delightful example of how pets can contribute to and sometimes change the lives of people. This is important stuff. -- --Mary Tyler Moore, actress and author

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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KUDOS !!For the Laughter!
Katherine Rosengren
I really enjoyed the book and was deeply touched by the author's experience and appreciate her ability to honestly recount her painful experience.
Laura Duet
In fact, it is simply a great read.
Dave Freeman

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 29, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Is there anything good that can possibly come from the experience of grief? While most grief books often focus decidely on the grim, this author finds humor to be a healer of her heart. If you are grieving, you too will find something to smile about as you read her story of recovery from the loss of her husband through taking on a new pet and embracing the wisdom of her most-admired president, Harry Truman. This book transcends its categorization, however, as a grief recovery book. Anyone would enjoy it!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 1, 2000
Format: Hardcover
This wonderful treasure of a book will have you laughing out loud one minute and reaching for the kleenex the next. It doesn't matter if you have lost someone dear to you or not, whether you own a dog or even if you know nothing about Harry Truman, this book's universal theme of finding your way back after a loss of any kind, will stay with you long after the last page. I can't recommend it highly enough.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 3, 2001
Format: Hardcover
I found this book while searching for manuals on how to raise my new chihuahua "baby." He came into my life not because I had lost someone to cancer like the author, but as a last-chance effort to get over a broken heart. In the end the cause of the loss didn't matter; I could totally relate to the author, her grief and the healing power of 6 pounds of atomic puppy.
My thanks to the author for a book that was an integral part of my recovery and for validating all the feelings I thought were mine alone.
This book is not for the literary snob, or high-brow reader; however, it's pure delight for anyone who thinks they'll never love again after a loss.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Carole L. Heiligers on June 17, 2001
Format: Hardcover
I really related to this story as I too, lost my husband two years ago with cancer. Also my chihuahuas and cats and birds have been my salvation. I really understand where this lady is coming from. She did an excellant job of relating the real feelings one experiences with a death of a loved one. My hat is off to Mary Beth as a really great writer and may she find the happiness she deserves. I too, believe there is a connection with dog and God.Carole
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Laura Duet on August 27, 2000
Format: Hardcover
I am always attracted to reading books about how "ordinary" people deal with loss and grieving, but I am also a big fan of Harry Truman, so when I saw the title of this book I bought it sight unseen which was fortunate. I really enjoyed the book and was deeply touched by the author's experience and appreciate her ability to honestly recount her painful experience. She is definitely a warm-hearted person I could see hanging out with, hence spending today with her book was quite rewarding.
An added plus is her wonderful sense of humor. When I read about Truman (the dog) in Chapter 5 and their games of "Kiss and Cuddle," etc., I truly laughed until I cried. The death of the beloved cat Angel made me weep as my dear cat Harriet died this summer. I really appreciated the author's expression that animals are to be respected for the love and support that they bring to our lives. All in all, this was a great book and I am glad I got to spend a Sunday with it! I only wish there were more pictures of Truman, especially in his party hat!!!!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 9, 2000
Format: Hardcover
This little book provided more help than any grief counseling session I have attended. I quickly identified with the author, and could not put the book down until I had come to the end, and then I wanted to start over. Having recently lost a husband unexpectedly, and soon after, my beloved cat, I, too, recently adopted two shelter kittens, and they have helped me tremendously. Not only do I feel needed in this big empty house, but they provide laughter and enjoyment as well.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By SusieQ on July 3, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Aside from being more-than-a-little horrified that she went away for the weekend knowing her cat was ouside with its lower jaw ripped off....this was a wonderful book.

It's a lovely story of how animals help heal our hearts.

But, I still have trouble resolving the woman who wrote this book as the same woman who left her maimed cat alone for the weekend. Temporary insanity is the only explanation. She really should have left that part out.
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