The editor-in-chief of Guideposts magazine shares the heartwarming story of Millie, his beloved golden retriever, and how she taught him to be a more compassionate person, deepened his faith, and inspired him on his long-term path of recovery from addiction.
From the moment his new golden retriever puppy jumped into his arms, Edward Grinnan and his wife, Julee, were in love with her. Edward didn’t know it yet, but Millie would change his life.
In this moving memoir, Edward Grinnan writes about his life with Millie—from their first joyous meeting, through her struggle with cancer, and eventual, heartbreaking death. Edward shares how her sensitivity, unconditional love, and innate goodness helped him discover those qualities in himself and put his complicated past in perspective.
Edward also shares the lessons he’s learned from other dogs he’s loved—like Pete, a poodle his father bought him in the wake of his brother’s death; Rudy, who introduced him to his wife; Sally Browne, a mischievous cocker spaniel who befriended the homeless in his neighborhood; and Marty, a hundred-pound Labrador whose behavioral issues challenged his and Julee’s marriage—as well as lessons he’s learned from the celebrated dog stories in Guideposts magazine.
Poignant and insightful, Always By My Side is an inspiring book that explores the unbreakable bond between man and dog, how faith shapes our love for our dogs and how our dogs shape our faith.
Guideposts editor Grinnan (The Promise of Hope) is a specialist in heartwarming tales, and he knows his dog tails too. The titular pooch, a golden retriever, is the most comprehensively portrayed of Grinnan's lifetime pack of canines. Grinnan has a gift for storytelling and characterization: his pets have distinctive personalities, and his love for them is evident. He weaves in a lot of narrative, including some stories borrowed from his magazine, and adds episodes from his life that don't involve dogs but touch on his family of origin and his early struggle with alcohol. All is deftly written to hang together nicely and is likely to inspire the audience he already commands through Guideposts. The book is best for those who really like dogs; cat people may not be quite as tutored by Millie et al. Grinnan's pets are well loved and make for a disarming, appealing light subject.