Brooks’ Books
Book Reviews for Pet Lovers

Today’s Book:
Rescue Me, Maybe
by Jackie Bouchard
genre: Women’s fiction

I’ve been a fan of Jackie Bouchard’s writing ever since her first book, What the Dog Ate. Her new release, Rescue Me, Maybe delivers the same skillful plotting, believable characters, and sense of humor. And of course, dogs too!

Rescue Me, Maybe is about people, relationships, and what happens when life gets messy and confusing…and the role dogs can play in our lives. You know the saying: Did you rescue the dog or did the dog rescue you? Well that’s what this book is about too. It’s about Jane, a woman who is not sure she really needs–or wants–rescuing. And the dog who needs her as much as she needs the dog. I always believe that the bond between human and dog is mutually beneficially. Rescue Me, Maybe illustrates this poignantly.

Jackie’s talent and wit are on display in the sincere and funny lists the narrator creates each night before falling asleep. From “Ways I was a terrible wife, or rather…ways my mother in law would say I was a terrible wife.” to insults perpetrated against her (including being given a vacuum cleaner for a gift), to good points about her new rescue dog.

The dog in the story, Maybe, is so sweet you just want to reach through and give him a hug. I’m really glad she wrote about canine cancer, because it’s an important issue and sadly, one I can relate to personally.

Rescue Me, Maybe is a sweet, thoughtful book, I highly recommend.

I recently had the opportunity to interview Jackie and find out a little more about what went into creating the book.

  Q: You deal with some heavy topics in Rescue Me, Maybe. How did you balance that so the book wouldn’t become depressing?

natural for me to deal with serious topics through humor. I’m not the
best person in the world for dealing with sad/scary/depressing things,
so trying to make jokes to get through the hard stuff is how I roll.
Most of my family is like that, so it’s what I was brought up on! This
sounds terrible, but when my mom was in the hospital after having heart
surgery, my brother was sending us all the most hysterical emails. It’s
just our messed up way! To paraphrase what Jane says in the book: I
can’t help it – when things get serious, I start making jokes. But that
can be a fine line too, because you don’t want to make too light of
things. It definitely was something I worked at keeping in balance – the
humor along with the sad parts.

 Also, I knew I wanted the book to have an ultimately happy and hopeful
feel to it, even though it deals with topics like death and cancer. I
know so many people whose dogs have had cancer, and it’s so devastating
when you get the news, but they’re doing amazing things now. I do think
there is still hope when you get news like that, and I wanted to share
that message.

Q: Was Maybe based on your own dog? Did you have a dog who dealt with cancer?

Yes, Maybe is based on my own dog, Abby – and that’s her on the cover. Maybe’s personality is every bit Abby, who was a big life-loving nut! The other dog in the book, Barnum (who has passed away from cancer when the story starts), is based on our first dog, Bailey. Both Bailey and Abby had cancer, but their situations were quite different. We found out when Bailey was 12 that she had a tumor on her heart. We were devastated. We could have tried radiation, but she hated going to the vet so much, there was just no way we would consider putting her through all those appointments. We did try one procedure that they suggested to us, saying it could give us an extra 2 months to 1 year with her. We got 2 months to the day. She was very loved and we still miss her so much!

On the other hand (paw?), Abby got bone cancer at a very young age – only 15 months old. Also, being a mutt, we just weren’t expecting that at all. We thought she was just limping from an overuse injury. Unlike Bailey, Abby loved going to the vet. She loved pretty much everyone she ever met, so she was happy to go anywhere and meet new people. So we did chemo with her and she did very well on it, with not much in the way of side effects. We also used a lot of holistic supplements, so I always say we took a “halflistic” approach with her (since it wasn’t wholly holistic).

When someone gets a cancer diagnosis for their pup, there are often different options available – surgery, chemo, radiation, holistic treatments, etc. It can be so hard to know what to do – especially because your gut instinct is to try to do everything you can do (and whatever you can afford) to try and make it better. But I think you have to consider what your dog can handle and what’s realistic. There are no wrong answers because whatever your decision, it’s made out of your love for your dog.

Hopefully some day they’ll find a cure for this horrible disease because I know so many pups – and people – who have been affected by it.

Q: Your two books feature a marriage in trouble. Will your next book feature a happy marriage?!

Oh gosh, I have to start by saying how much it distresses my wonderful hubby that my first book featured a husband who cheats, and my second book features a woman who loved her dog more than her husband! I love the hubs very much – he’s my best friend – so I’m sorry that he’s so distressed! And, yes, my next book does have a happily married couple! But… again… the first sentence (which I’m not ready to share) is something funny the husband does, and that also distresses my poor hubby! Another book I’m working on is about a woman who’s been divorced for a long time.

Unfortunately, fiction is all about the conflict. Happy marriages make for a wonderful life, but they can make for a very boring book! I would say the hubs and I are very happily married, but, dang, our life would make the most boring book ever! That’s why I had to drop Abby’s story into another fictional woman’s life! 

Find the book on Amazon

* I was provided with a copy of this book in return for my honest review. And, in full disclosure, I helped the author come up with the title of the book. Unfortunately, I can’t take credit for anything else about the book, although I’d like to, it’s that good!

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