A Happy Truth by Daisy A. Hickman

Daisy asked me to read an author’s review copy of her lasted book, A Happy Truth: Last Dogs Aren’t Always Last, and I’m delighted I did – even though I told her in advance that I’m not a dog person. Just last week our next door neighbors lost their dog who had been their family member for the last eleven years. They are truly grieving over their beautiful Annabelle, but have decided not to replace her. Maybe when they read Daisy’s book they will change their minds.

About A Happy Truth: Last Dogs Aren’t Always Last (in Daisy’s words):

Do beloved pets hold the key to unlocking the human spirit? Have you ever lost a dog, a cat, but vowed never to get another one? Too sad. Too complicated–is it the right time, the right dog, the right season? But as Daisy Hickman’s inspiring memoir reveals, the real story is MUCH bigger than a simple yes or no. Getting from one beloved pet to the next can be an awkward and emotional transition, however. Never “just a dog,” “just a cat,” after final partings, expected or otherwise, most of us feel reluctant to begin anew. Yet, uncertainty creates a stalemate, and time, a precious commodity, slips by, so despite lingering doubts and trepidation, the author forges on until an inspired path emerges…until she discovers that last dogs aren’t always last.

Each time we say “yes” to a dog, a cat, we are giving of ourselves in ways that help us become less selfish, less serious, less worried. They need care and love, and that motivates us, but they also nurture and comfort us in ways that allow us to grow and expand our sense of self. It’s an inspiring two-way street … love, loyalty, trust. It’s all there. In fact, the pets we love often seem to keep us going through the maze of life. Guiding us, inspiring us, and teaching us to stop worrying so much–especially about the next pet. When we watch a sleeping animal, we know our worries are mostly in vain. We know the story is really about love. And that’s a very happy truth.

My review:

That I’ve not had the experience of being a dog or cat owner did not stop me from totally enjoying Daisy A. Hickman’s latest book, A Happy Truth: Last Dogs Aren’t Always Last. I am a huge fan of Hickman’s other books, so this is no different.

Daisy writes in an almost conversational style, questioning the reader along the way about their opinions of the truths she’s imparting. That style definitely drew me in. Hickman also brings in quotes from authors and poets past and present who wrote their experiences of being dog and cat owners, offering me an education about books and poems I had never heard of before.

But while meandering about whether to get another “last” dog – the main theme of the book, Hickman also gives solid advice about the care and feeding and treatment of our family pets. Though A Happy Truth didn’t convince me to bring a dog or cat into my home, I think several people I know who live with beloved dog and cat family members will love this book.


A Happy Truth follows: Ancients of the Earth: Poems of Time (2017), The Silence of Morning: A Memoir of Time Undone (2015), Always Returning – The Wisdom of Place (2014). Hickman, originally from Pierre, South Dakota, holds a master’s degree in sociology from Iowa State University, and earned a bachelor’s in legal studies at Stephens College in Columbia, Missouri. In 2010, she founded SunnyRoomStudio: a creative sunny space for kindred spirits featuring book updates and Hickman’s author blog.

A Happy Truth is available here.

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