I've always felt a connection with dogs and cats throughout my life but I never owned a pet until I adopted my tabby cat, Henry, 11 years ago and he became my whole world from that moment on. When I first laid eyes on Henry as he wandered across my boss's desk at Pensacola Junior College I had no idea that I needed him more than he needed me and I found out very quickly that he was the best therapist I'd ever known.
See, at the time of his adoption I had been living in Pensacola for nearly a year and I was not happy with my surroundings because I never thought I would be separated from my New Hampshire soon-to-be ex-husband after only two years of marriage. Obviously, I was going through a series of emotions because of the impending divorce and the only friend who stuck by me through it all was Henry. Since I didn't have a roommate, Henry heard me voice my concerns on a daily basis and he was always patient and attentive during every one-sided conversation - bless his little heart!
And because I've experienced a bond like no other, I can fully identify with the bond that is shared between cats and humans but also between dogs and humans and I can think of no other touching memoir that J.R. Ackerley's My Dog Tulip. This 1956 memoir is based on the old bachelor’s real-life 15-year relationship with his German shepherd, Tulip (named Queenie in the book). The book begins with a witty quote from the author — “Unable to love each other, the English turn naturally to dogs” — and manages to maintain this clever wit all the way through.
Luckily, My Dog Tulip has been adapted into a delightful film which came out in September 2010 and I cannot wait to get my hands on it because I love to see a great memoir in action, don't you?