Stories matter. Many stories matter. Stories have been used to dispossess and to malign, but stories can also be used to empower and to humanize. Stories can break the dignity of a people, but stories can also repair that broken dignity. – Adichie Chimamanda, Nigerian Writer
Bold, charming, and inspirational, this is a memoir on a loss that we so often neglect and that leaves a void in many lives – the loss of a family member – and for the protagonist, it’s a dog called Roo. In To the Moon and Back to Me: What I Learned from Four Running Feet, Christine Hassing explores the lessons of nature, the power of connection — even with a dog — and how our awareness of the life bubbling around us can lead us back to ourselves. She shares her story of loss, family and compassion, one that culminates with self-acceptance. Edged with insight and witticism, To the Moon and Back to Me will appeal to canine lovers and anyone looking for an inspiring read.
The narrative is filled with powerful insights, lessons and reflections on life, on purpose, and on the metaphor of the road. Addressing the reader at the start of the story, the author unveils her gift for insight when she states: “I met a gentleman who shared what would become the foundation to my belief about life. No moment is coincidence. No person crosses our path unplanned.” Christine Hassing communicates in a very compelling voice and shows a unique gift at exploring human emotions and navigating the deeper layers of the human heart.
An insightful effort that brings clarity to a baffling event in the protagonist’s life, To the Moon and Back to Me: What I Learned from Four Running Feet is deeply emotional and poignant, and written in a way that allows readers to see a reflection of their own experience through the eyes and clear voice of the narrator. The lyricism in style, coupled with the conscious use of symbolism, drives a message of hope and compels readers to look at life and human connections from a fresh perspective. – Reviewed by Romuald Dzemo for Reader’s Favorite
“To have a service dog like Able should be the medication any soldier is prescribed who has gone out and had trauma of some kind.”
In Hope Has a Cold Nose, Christine Hassing relays true stories of military veterans and others who rose from the ashes of PTSD and MST with the help of their service dogs. Devoting every chapter to a different human-canine pair, Hassing shares the story of each person with PTSD and their service dog with pathos and creativity.
These powerful stories, part testimonial, part author’s interpretation using rhythm and rhyme, bring important insights about how service dogs help people with PTSD and MST in countless ways. From sensing a nightmare and waking a veteran before terror takes hold, to placing a comforting paw on someone’s shoulder to ward off a panic attack, these dogs play a key role in helping those who’ve lived through trauma reintegrate into society.
Lovingly written, Hope Has a Cold Nose is a unique and compelling collection of survivors’ stories for dog lovers of all kinds, for those who’ve experienced PTSD and their loved ones, and for those interested in how service dogs can help people heal from the deepest emotional wounds.