By Teresa J. Rhyne
When Destiny called (a real person from the pet adoption center)—Teresa answered. So began her memoir involving Seamus, a beagle rescue—not what she had planned after recovering from her second divorce and the recent loss of her senior beagles.
Teresa’s wit shines through this memoir as she tackles several difficult topics and tries to fit them into her compartmentalized alphabet life of A (alcohol), B (books), C (caffeine), and D (dogs). Although B could have also stood for boyfriend, although she claimed all she really wanted was a casual sexual relationship.
This #1 New York Times bestseller memoir is a love story on multiple levels.
- Teresa and Seamus the beagle – an easy love affair for anyone who owns dogs.
- Chris, the boyfriend, who learns to tolerate a dog when he wasn’t a dog person – but Seamus wins him over.
- Teresa and Chris – whose relationship grows more serious despite their twelve-year age difference (she is older) and Chris’s upbringing.
- Chris’s parents who at first disapprove of Teresa
Dogs and cancer. If you have owned a dog, there’s a good chance you have had a dog suffer from cancer.
The groomer found a tiny bump, the size of a mosquito bite under Seamus’s tail—not something that one expects to lead to a predicted one-year death sentence, for a two-year old active dog. Mast cell tumors are like skin cancer. Although treatable, Seamus had an aggressive form, requiring multiple surgeries and chemotherapy.
Teresa’s light-hearted approach will make you laugh and cry at her paranoia, Seamus’s separation anxiety, and her many attempts at trying to live with a dog that has cancer—which allows her to spoil him and wind her life around his needs. I saw myself in many of her thoughts and actions when I owned a dog suffering from cancer.
Just when you think the story has a happy ending with Seamus’s cancer in remission, Teresa finds a lump in her breast—triple-negative breast cancer, which is very aggressive with a high recurrence rate. Throughout surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation, Teresa builds up the mantra that since Seamus lived, so will she.
The Dog Lived (and So Will I) is a must read for dog lovers, breast cancer survivors, and anyone wanting a good story of what dog lovers will go through for their pets. Teresa’s humor will infect you with statements such as Seamus wearing a t-shirt stating “Beagles for Boobies.”