Today I am bringing to you a gorgeous tale about a dog and his struggle to keep his family together. I also have an exclusive piece from Carlie about how adopting a rescue dog helped her write this book.
Something doesn’t smell right about Cosmo’s boy, Max. What is that scent? Sadness, anxiety, worry? With Max’s parent arguing more and more, he’s worried that they might get divorced. Cosmo can sense this, and he is a dog who takes his responsibility to look after his humans’ hearts very seriously.
Since watching Grease, Cosmo has fancied himself as having the soul of a dancer, even though his old and creaky joints don’t necessarily agree. When the opportunity to enter a doggy dancing competition and win a role in a movie arises, Cosmo knows that this is his chance to realise his dream and to show Max’s parents that the pair mustn’t be separated. Luckily, Max agrees and the training begins. But will it be enough to save Cosmo’s family?
The opening of this book had me snickering to myself as Cosmo loudly bemoans the indignity of being made to dress as a turtle for Halloween. He is, after all, a dignified and intelligent golden retriever!
The use of Cosmo’s voice to tell this story is just perfect. We get to share his delight at the many sounds and delicious smells around him, marvel at the humans’ stupidity and share a lot of doggy wisdom. Cosmo is a shrewd observer of humans and offered me many insights into their behaviour.
The story also deals very sensitively with the breakdown of the relationship between Max’s parents and their eventual divorce. It explores some of the emotions and worries felt by Max in a normalising and reassuring way.
‘I, Cosmo’ is a story with heart – a love story between a dog and his boy, with human problems observed from a canine perspective and is definitely not just for dog-lovers.
Now let’s hear from Carlie about how adopting a puppy helped her write about dogs:
Halfway through writing ‘I, Cosmo’, I realized that I needed to adopt a dog. And yes, I do mean need. I was spending most of my time in the mind of Cosmo, an elderly golden retriever who wants nothing more than to love and be loved by his family, and something deep in my soul was screaming, This! You must have this in your real life.
At twenty-eight, I was an adult now. I could handle it. (Of course I bought some house plants at IKEA first, just to see if I could keep those alive; I watered them faithfully. They remain on my windowsill, flourishing to this day.) So I thought I was prepared for the eight-pound bundle of puppy love, dropped literally into my lap. I named her Dany – short for Daenerys of Game of Thrones fame – and after wrapping her in a towel from the Atlanta Humane Society, carried her home.
Despite the fact that I’d lived with dogs my entire life, Dany was a shock to the system. Turns out, she was no regular dog – I had somehow adopted a rare breed called an American Dingo, known for their intelligence, loyalty, and shyness. She challenged me; she kept me busy all hours of the day and night; but above all, she taught me just how fiercely I could love and be loved by a dog. I would do anything for Dany, and I know that she feels the same way about me.
When I returned to ‘I, Cosmo’, I felt like I was seeing it through new eyes. I was writing with more love, more understanding. And I have my shelter pup to thank for that.
Thank you, Carlie, for sharing the story of you and Dany. I hope that she’s as fiercely loyal to you as Cosmo was to Max.
*Many thanks to Nosy Crow for inviting me to be part of this blog tour*