In this unforgettable novel, perfect for fans of An Unexpected Grace and A Dog’s Way Home, a single mom and her chronically ill child receive a valuable lesson from an unlikely source—a very special dog who unexpectedly enters their lives and shows them that one person’s lost cause can be another’s greatest gift . . .
Dr. Kate Blunt will do anything for her son, Jasper. Well, almost anything. Since Jasper has the incurable lung disease cystic fibrosis, Kate’s always told him he couldn’t get a dog. It’s a tough call, but she’s a single mom taking care of a kid who fights for every breath he takes. The daily medical routine that keeps Jasper alive is complicated enough. Worse still, Kate’s personal resolve runs contrary to her work as the veterinarian in charge of a Cape Cod animal shelter, where she is on a mission to find forever homes for dogs in desperate need.
The scarred, mistreated wreck of a dog that turns up doesn’t stand a chance. Named Whistler, he’s too old, too ugly. But the dog forms an instantaneous bond with Jasper. Whistler never makes a sound, yet he speaks to Jasper in a myriad of mysterious ways. The clock’s ticking, the dog’s future hangs in the balance, and Jasper would do anything to find him a home; but Whistler has chosen them—for a reason.
The Wonder of Lost Causes is the story of Kate Blunt, a veterinarian at a small animal shelter and a single mom, her son Jasper, and a special dog named Whistler who changes their lives. Jasper has cystic fibrosis and Whistler is an abused stray dog who shows up at the shelter where Kate works. Jasper and Whistler develop a remarkable connection. The catch? Kate opposes adopting a dog because she wants their home to be allergen free for the sake of Jasper's lungs.
I wanted to read this novel from the moment I read the description and saw the cover photo. I am a lifelong dog person, and could not resist this story.
The book is told in alternating chapters by Kate and Jasper. Kate is a real type-A personality, so highly stressed that she has started taking Adderall secretly to feel better. She is protective of Jasper to an extreme extent. Jasper just wants to be a kid, to go camping, to play soccer, to have a dog. I have to admit that I liked Jasper from his first appearance and was really pulling for him to have a dog of his own.
What was especially remarkable about this novel was the connection between Jasper and Whistler. Jasper believes he actually can hear what Whistler is thinking, and Whistler seems to have picked out Jasper as his special person. Whistler is what many dog people would call his soulmate dog.
Dog people will love this book. For instance, this description by Jasper about a trip to the beach:
"As soon as all the dogs got off leash they went crazy, running around like their butts were on fire. They didn't stretch or warm up or pace themselves or worry who sees their white legs. They just do it, all or nothing, because they want to have fun. They're all about fun. I mean, when was the last time you saw a dog do grumpy or whiny or embarrassed? If we ate the exact same meal, day in, day out, we'd go nuts, we'd go on a hunger strike. Not dogs. They jump up and down, tail set to crazy time, snarfing down their kibble like it's prime rib. And and, and even when they sleep, they give it everything, out for the count, able to flop down anywhere. I mean, when was the last time you saw a dog chugging on a bottle of NyQuil?" (p. 321).
Although The Wonder of Lost Causes is over 400 pages, it was a very quick read, told engagingly with lots of conversation and great descriptions. It is a heartwarming book and the final chapter is sure to require a Kleenex or two. Recommended for dog lovers.
Author BioDr. Nick Trout works full-time as a staff surgeon at the prestigious Angell Animal Medical Center in Boston. He is the author of five previous books, including the New York Times bestseller Tell Me Where It Hurts, and his writing has been translated into sixteen different languages. He lives in Massachusetts with his wife, Kathy; their daughter, Emily; their adopted labradoodle, Thai; and Emily’s service dog, a black Labrador named Bella.
Find out more about him at his website.