Net Galley reviewer Laurie H. had this to say about JEM:
Jem: Lessons in Living by John Donald Middleton, was a beautiful story of how a special Pug becomes not just a “pet”, but a dear friend and family member. Jem unwittingly filled a hole in the heart of the author and became for him a therapy dog and a true friend. The story of Jem is heartwarming and at the same time heart rending. A great book that will make you laugh and cry. If you believe that a dog can be more than just a “pet” then this book is for you! If you believe a dog is just a dog read this and be awakened!
But even more satisfying was a personal message I received from Laurie:
I just finished your book Jem: Lessons in Living. I can honestly say I truly understand how you felt about Jem and how your heart will remain forever changed by having had the opportunity to know him. My love affair with the Pug sorted in 2010 with my first Pug Oliver, affectionately known as Bubba, for his rough football-like play with my cats.
Like Jem, Oliver/Bubba came from a breeder, but that relationship spurred Laurie to become a dyed-in-the-wool rescuer. She went on to adopt four more pugs—Sherman Tank, Rosie, Lollipop, and Rascal—plus a pug/peke mix named Willow and finally an Australian/pointer mix named Moses.
Just like me, Laurie found that rescuing animals in need is the most satisfying way to acquire a pet.
She finished her message by saying:
My heart belongs to pugs and I cried and cried at your story. It was tragic and beautiful!
Thanks, Laurie, for your kind words and the touching story of your own rescue experience!
Friends, if you have a rescue story you’d like to share, I’d love to hear from you. Just leave a comment here on my blog.