At the age of 78, J.T. Brown of Paradise has become an author. She writes me that her story--suitable for middle grades and up--is based on real life experiences but told from a dog's perspective. "My desire," Brown says, is "that young and old will be made aware of the heartache when one is abandoned whether as a puppy or a child."
"Torno" ($15.99 in paperback from Xlibris; also available in Amazon Kindle e-book for $7.69 and Barnes and Noble Nook book format for $7.99; available from www.tornobyjtbrown.com) is short for "tornado," a fast little pooch but not the handsomest of canines.
"Could someone out there like me?" he wonders. "Lookin' at the other mutts, I saw they were pretty good lookin'. I looked down at my reflection in my water bowl and took inventory. My feet looked too big. My legs were long and skinny. My white hair was more scraggly than ever. I had a black spot on my tongue, plus one ear stood up and the other hung down. I couldn't see much of my tail, but there was no doubt it was funny lookin'. Who would want a mutt like me for their very own?"
Torno is impounded and on the verge of being put down. No one seems to want an ugly dog and he wonders about his life's purpose. He pours his heart out to his "superior being" and is convinced he is watched over, cared for.
Then Tom arrives and Torno has a new master. An airline pilot, Tom takes the dog home to his family, but Torno soon realizes all is not well. Tom's marriage is crumbling and the children face an uncertain future. Torno tries to bring happiness to the household--he has a great personality--but soon Tom's wife leaves and it feels like love has left, too.
Eventually Tom moves on with his life, and one day, returning from a trip, finds a new neighbor has moved in. Tom decides to introduce himself, and Torno tags along: "The door opened and a lady stood there beside the most beautiful German shepherd I'd ever seen.... I was in love."
The conclusion is poignant, mingling love and loss. So it is with life.