I read this book on the recommendation of a friend. It's short. I finished it in one sitting and cried like a baby throughout. What a holiday tear jerker! First I cried in worry about the tragedy that I saw coming through the subtle clues that the author was leaving. Then, I cried in sadness about what actually did happen. Finally, I cried in happiness for the surprise ending delivered. Tears of happiness are best, but often appreciated only after tears of sadness. Tears of worry are useless. I know that, but sometimes still can't help myself.
This short little story is a perfect Christmas story. It reminds us that everyone is special and comes with a unique gift that is theirs alone to give. It reminds us that everything happens for a reason even when we don't understand it at the time. It reminds us that the love of family and friends is the most powerful force in the world and really does have the power to change the world. And finally, it reminds us that dogs can indeed be our best friends and have the power to save our lives. But I knew that. I have Bella, the do-over dog to remind me every day.
This 2008 novel by Greg Kincaid, was written almost ten years prior for his wife, Michale Ann, and his five children, who ranged in age from 9 to 13. Kincaid said his family hated the original story, particularly because of the unhappy ending. Kincaid rewrote the story over the next year, with a new ending that his family liked better. He named a character in the story after each of his children.
The story is about a developmentally challenged young man with a penchant for caring for animals in need sets out to convince his family - and their whole rural community - to participate in a local shelter's inaugural "Adopt a Dog for Christmas Program."
It was made into a made for TV movie in 2009 and appeared as the 237th Hallmark Hall of Fame presentation.