Saturday, July 23, 2011
Book #18: A Three Dog Life by Abigail Thomas
Abigail Thomas wrote her memoir "A Three Dog Life" focusing on her life after her husband suffered a traumatic brain injury. The title is a play on the phrase "A three dog night" used by Australian Aborigines to describe the coldest of nights since they slept with dogs to keep warm. Her three dogs help to keep her going and normalize her life after it is turned upside down following her husband's accident.
Although the book is written because of a tragedy, I don't think it is dark or depressing. In fact I find it inspirational that this woman, who has had her normal life ripped away, keeps going and starts a new "normal" life. In this new life, her husband lives in a care facility, sometimes speaks in riddles and has lost his short term memory. Still, she loves him just as she always had.
The timeline of Ms. Thomas' life is not set out chronologically in the book. Some people may find this to be disjointed, but I was not bothered by the fact that it jumps back and forth. I found it to be reflective of how her husband's life must have been after the accident; no real consciousness of the passing of time, just now.
As a dog lover, I think this book subtly states how much some of us rely on our pets for normalcy. In order to be able to keep going, the simple act of napping with a dog can be refreshing.