Always by My Side: Life Lessons from Millie and All the Dogs I've Loved

In Always by My Side, Edward Grinnan--editor-in-chief of Guideposts, a magazine filled with affirming, life-changing stories of faith--details the years he has shared with a host of dogs that have enriched his complicated life. Grinnan, a recovering addict, believes God sent dogs to guide his way "from the darkness that once threatened to swallow" him.

The narrative, which is heartfelt and candid, centers on Millie--a much-loved and highly sensitive golden retriever--who is riddled with foibles, yet demonstrates courage, even through illness. Along the way of telling her story, Grinnan recounts his relationships with other unforgettable dogs, often in times of adversity: Sparky, an "unruly, errant beagle"--Grinnan's sister's dog--offered him companionship during an infirm childhood in Detroit; Pierre was a smart poodle that comforted him after his older brother, a 12-year-old with Down syndrome, mysteriously drowned in a Michigan lake; Sally Browne--an egotistical yet sweet cocker spaniel--demonstrated pure compassion, especially for the homeless; Marty, an enormous, "crazed" Labrador, crashed a Central Park wedding; and Rudy, "a big burly cocker spaniel," shared in Grinnan's quest for sobriety and served as a "divinely dispatched matchmaker" in his union with wife Julee.

"Sometimes God shouts, sometimes he whispers, and sometimes he sends a woof," Grinnan (The Promise of Hope) states, as his great affection and gratitude for dogs, especially Millie, teaches him personal and universal lessons about love, life and letting go. --Kathleen Gerard, blogger at Reading Between the Lines

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