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Nothing makes author Peg Gould smile like seeing Duke, her iron hulk of a dog, bound into the enclosed fields of the dog park near home with true hound-dog swagger, tail held high and wagging wildly. His velvety black hair and droopy jowls often are noticed and appreciated by onlookers as though they were sighting Elvis himself. HOUND DOG BLUES follows much of her reflection about life and death after she learns Duke has a terminal disease. Over the next weeks and months, in trying to serve Duke’s needs for exercise, rest, stimulation, and purpose, but also for effective anxiety and pain management, the author is reminded of the early death of her mother from heart disease decades before. Ultimately she is persuaded that our pets, with their shorter life spans, are way-showers with much to teach about love, acceptance and graceful loss. This is especially so if you are willing to uncover the depth of an animal’s anchoring role in your life—and mourn the passing of a true companion.

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