Not only does author Dan V. Jackson bring us a heartwarming tale of the six canines who shared life and love with Nathan, but he presents most of the story in Arizona.

In one sequence he has his characters head up to the Mogollon Rim, going right through Payson. Other locals include Goodyear, Tempe, and other places around Arizona.

The story begins in 1978 and continues to 2020, so we have plenty of time to get to know the six dogs in Nathan’s life. Some are small, one is huge, but all of them love Nathan.

Lucky for Nathan that they do because over the forty-odd years covered in the story, he badly needs rescuing on several occasions. At each stage of his life, a particular dog loves and supports him.

He loves his dogs right back, as most of us do. Dogs are endearing critters, even if we rarely need them to save us from some dire situation. Dogs do not have to be Lassie or Rin Tin Tin for us to love them. And, fortunately, we need not be anything very special for dogs to love us.

That special bond between our dogs and us is explored (and maybe exploited) with six separate dogs. And, with the life span between us and our dogs out of sync, they often depart before we do.

Theology has no particular theory about our pets in the afterlife. When a child asked a theologian if there were dogs in Heaven he replied, “How could it be Heaven without them?” I think that settles any doubt on that subject.

I have a dog, I have had many dogs over my lifetime. I liked and loved them all. The book speaks to that series of memories and the sweetness of remembering them. And the sorrow at losing them.

I won’t speak to the story more than I have. Author Dan Jackson does a very fine job of spinning his tale. If you have a dog you love, if you have a dog that loves you, or if you ever have, you will enjoy the emotional journey as much as I did.

I have the cleanest tear ducts in town now.

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