Lily and the Octopus, by Steven Rowley
Published: June 2016
Rating: 5+ Stars
Confession time. I cry easily. I'll just admit that now. But when I read Lily and the Octopus?
Endless tears. I locked myself up in my library at home to finish it. I'm talking going through several tissues. The type of crying that leaves you a little tired when you're done. Luckily my husband was busy during all of this, I didn't want to explain. HA
I've owned dogs all of my life, several of them have been dachshunds. I picked up this story mostly because of my adoration of the breed. I've also lost two dogs to cancer. If you're a pet owner you understand the grief that comes with learning that your pet is sick, the decision that rests on your heart and on your shoulders, and the feeling of impending doom that sits with you, as well as that final awful grief that sweeps in once that beloved animal is gone.
Mr. Rowley also understands this, and it is devastatingly described in this story. Every single aspect of owning and loving a dog. The frustration, the joy, the companionship, the hard times. The little random things that they do that wiggle into your heart and become precious. Those moments of sheer panic when something is wrong and you don't know what to do to help them. Knowing that you belong to them as surely as they belong to you. Bonding with others through your mutual love of four legged companions. The confusion of meeting someone who doesn't like them.
I started this story knowing I'd probably cry. I had no idea just how many emotions I'd go through. I feel like I experienced everything with Ted and Lily. I was there when he first met her and fell in love. I was there with them for each of the things they experienced together. I was with him and shared his grief.
I realize I might sound like a real weirdo. Especially if you've never owned a pet. It's probably similar to parenthood, you can't fully understand it until you experience it.
I wholeheartedly recommend this book. I'd suggest not reading it in public.