During an interview when I was on tour with WOW, Women On Writing, I was asked what book influenced me most as a child. Well, my mind went blank, a senior moment perhaps.( Dear Heavens, am I really using that phrase?). I don't remember books from my childhood, but I do remember a childrens' book from my adult life that I love to this day!
"I'll Always Love You" by Hans Wilhelm. This charming, sweet book was published in 1988, by Dragonfly books, and can be purchased on Amazon online.
The story is a simple one. Elfie, a dachshund, and her young boy progress happily through life together. As a young pup, Elfie is full of pep and pranks; but as her master grows taller and taller, Elfie grows fatter and slower. One morning Elfie does not wake up. The family grieves and buries her, and the boy refuses a new puppy. He is not yet ready for another pet; but when he is, he will tell that one, as he told Elsie every night, "I'll always love you." (Amazon review).
The naive watercolor illustrations add to the feel of this dear book. It is one of the best books I have read on dealing with the loss of a pet and the lesson learned is one, that as adults, is a good one to remember. Tell those you love that you love them every day.
Written for ages four to eight, it is a book that every adult, who has ever loved and lost a pet, will treasure.
I tell my dogs every day I love them. I tell that to my friends and family too. It amazes me that a book written for a small child can have so much impact on my life as an adult!
A perfect little holiday gift to show those you love, that you love them!
I have to add my own two cents worth here. When your pet leaves you, remember there are dogs that are grieveing for a forever home. Don't wait before you find another true love. We can't replace those dogs we love, but we can love a dog that is lost and needs love. There is no better feeling than to open our hearts to animals in need.
Widow Lesson Learned: Sometimes a childens' book can point an adult in the right direction on how to deal with life. 'I'll always love you,' Foxy, Bray, Annabelle, Chloe, Rascal, Bray, and mother, and all my dear friends.