S is for Slugger. Occasionally I like to do a book review on my blog. Today's review is of the book “A Dog Named Slugger” by Leigh Brill. It is a first person account of Leigh’s partnership with the big yellow Labrador Retriever that was her service dog. As Slugger provided balance for her on walks, he also brought balance to her emotionally and mentally. He was her calming and comforting companion as she graduated from college and obtained her master’s degree. Because of Slugger she was able to have a career and lead a more normal life.
The book offers a lot of insights into what it is like for a handicapped person to grow up with their disability. In the book, Leigh opens up her heart to the reader and gives you an idea of what a person with cerebral palsy goes through. She does it in a way that doesn't elicit pity but pleads for understanding. Her service dog Slugger gave her the confidence to come out of the shell she had been hiding in. He not only improved her day to day life, but he also instilled her with the confidence she needed to stand up for herself.
If you are an animal lover you will learn to love Slugger just by reading this book. I was amazed to learn what a service dog could do for someone like Leigh. Besides steadying her when she walked and helping her up and down stairs, he could also turn light switches on and off, drag laundry baskets, retrieve items and perform so many helping tasks.
I really enjoyed the book and found that it was like three books in one. First, it is almost an autobiography of Leigh. She does a great job of letting you into her life. Second, it is simply a great dog story. In a way it reminded me of the book "Marley and Me", but in a more serious vein. Third, it is a great introduction into the world of service dogs.
I was born in 1956 in Madison, Tennessee, while my parents were attending Madison College. I grew up along the Front Range in Colorado, attending schools in Longmont, Brighton, Boulder and Loveland, Colorado. Two years after graduating from Campion Academy, I married my sweetheart, Regina. We lived in Loveland, Colorado for six years before moving to Mena in western Arkansas.
I love the people of Mena and the friendly easy going way of life here. I have owned and operated my own business since moving to Mena. I enjoy the natural beauty of western Arkansas and being out of doors.
My newspaper column in The Mena Star, An Arkie’s Faith, premiered on January 7, 2016. In March 2017, I published my first book, titled An Arkie's Faith, using articles from the column.