Book Review: A Dog Named Slugger by Leigh Brill
Leigh Brill recounts in her memoir her life before, during, and after her first service dog, Slugger, a golden retriever with a heart just as golden. Leigh had no idea her cerebral palsy could even possibly qualify her for a service dog until a similarly disabled fellow graduate student gave her some information. Her touching memoir tracks her journey, as well as the life of Slugger.
This was my first book borrowed from the kindle lending library, and it was such a great experience! I know people were skeptical that maybe only low-quality books would be available, but this one is absolutely stunning. I sort of wish I had bought it, just to support Leigh’s service dog efforts.
It’s difficult for me to describe what a pleasure this book was to read. It covers three areas that are a passion of mine–animals as beings worthy of rights, the experience of any type of disability and the extra difficulties that come with that, and the need for universal rights. Top this off with the fact that this is a memoir, a beautifully written one, and I was left nearly speechless. Leigh’s descriptions of learning to communicate with Slugger, Slugger’s unconditional love healing her heart, and the discrimination she faced in public areas with a service dog, they all left me feeling so connected to her. It’s impossible not to be touched by a story of how an animal changes a person’s life. But how an animal changes a disabled person’s life, a person with a disability that is less obvious than others, a person who other people have laughed at and neglected to help. It’s just yet another example of how powerful the human/animal connection can be when we let it.
Of course, this gorgeous experience wouldn’t be possible without talented writing on the part of Leigh. She manages clear, chronological story-telling without missing the opportunity to reflect on how various experiences affected and changed her. She strikes an eloquent balance between reflecting on her relationship with Slugger and talking about her experiences as a disabled person.
Overall, this is a beautiful memoir that eloquently discusses the companionship of animals, as well as the experiences of a woman with cerebral palsy. I highly recommend it to all, but especially to those with an interest in memoirs and disability studies.
5 out of 5 stars
Source: Kindle Lending Library