A boy and a dog, a dog and a boy. Do you have a pet that has changed your family? Although we, as parents, all face challenges with our kids, some are more profound. What gets your through? Read the stories the From Left to Write bloggers are sharing today, inspired by book Cowboy & Wills: A Remarkable Little Boy and the Puppy that Changed His Life by Monica Holloway.
Special thanks to Jen Bush from Anybody Want A Peanut? (a journal of life, love and early intervention) for sourcing this book and for leading us off here on From Left to Write with her post about Cowboy, Wills and a mother’s courage.
- Nicki from Suddenly Single Journey thinks about pet parenting
- Elaine from Connor and Helen Grow Up! counts milestones
- Neena from Hooey! Critic is an animal lover
- Emily from West of the Loop discusses allergies and social situations
- Jennifer from Ramblings of a Semi-Conscious Mastermind Mommy is at a loss for words
- Meghan Harvey from Meg’s Idle Chatter writes about all the pets she’s loved before
- April from It’s All About Balance related to the feeling of “how did we get here?”
- Jen Bush from Anybody Want A Peanut? has a mother’s courage
- Alma K from Marketing Mommy is finding the right classroom for her child
- Michelle from Honest & Truly! has a piece of the puzzle
- Lisa from Grandma’s Briefs muses about a dog by any other name
- Sharon from Channeling Ricky remembers her 4th grade teacher
- Melissa from Life with Sophia has transformed from teacher (of kids with autism) to mother
- Elena Sonnino from C.Mom asks: do you believe?
- Brenda Bartella Peterson from brendabartellapeterson.com reflects on owning a pet
- Amy from Occupation: Mommy feels for a friend whose daughter has autism
- Emily from Mama Sick says that sometimes the right pet is waiting to find you
- Cristie Ritz King from The Traveling Circus tells a dog love story or three
- Robin from mylifeasitis thinks about the power of limitless love
- Lisa from Hannemaniacs treasures her family dog
- melanie from tales from the crib writes about so much more than “just” an education
- Mommy Max from the French Mommy born in California just keeps swimming
- Linsey from Me Too You has a Christmas puppy who is growing up with her family
- Kristine from Mommy Needs Therapy or a Bottle of Wine discusses the “marked” child
- Helen P. from I want a book deal is scared about autism
- Michele Spring Fajeau from Read Out Loud describes her mama motto “Be kind”
About the book:
In this exceptionally touching memoir, critically acclaimed author Monica Holloway shares the extraordinary, deeply moving story of Cowboy, the golden retriever puppy who changed her son’s life.
The day Monica learns that her lovable, brilliant threeyear- old son, Wills, has autism spectrum disorder, she takes him to buy an aquarium. It’s the first in a string of impulsive trips to the pet store to buy animals as a distraction from the uncontrollable, crushing reality of Wills’s diagnosis. But while Wills diligently tends to the growing menagerie, what he really wants is a puppy. And one Christmas, when Wills is six, Cowboy Carol Lawrence joins their family.
Like all dynamic duos, Cowboy and Wills complement each other perfectly. Wills is cautious, fastidious, and irresistibly tenderhearted. Cowboy, a rambunctious golden retriever, is overeager, affectionate, and impulsive. And from the moment Cowboy enters their lives, Monica sees her son step a little farther into the world.
Soon, the boy who could barely say hello to his classmates in kindergarten is sharing stories of his new “sister” Cowboy during morning circle. Children crowd around them at the park, and instead of running away, Wills, holding Cowboy’s leash in his sweaty fist, proudly answers all of their questions. With Cowboy, he finds the courage to invite kids over for playdates, overcomes his debilitating fear of water to swim along beside her in the family pool, and, after years of gentle coaxing, Wills finally sleeps in his own bed with Cowboy’s paws draped across his small chest. Through it all, Cowboy is there, dragging him toward other children, giving him the confidence to try new things and the courage to face his worst fears. And when Cowboy turns out to need her new family as much as they need her, they discover just how much she has taught them—about devotion, about loyalty, and about never giving up.
Sometimes it’s what you don’t know to hope for that saves you. For Monica, her husband, Michael, and their son, Wills, salvation came in the form of a puppy with pale blonde fur, chocolate brown eyes, a fondness for chewing the crotch out of underpants, and a limitless capacity for love.
Fan Cowboy & Wills on Facebook.
Purchase your copy of Cowboy & Wills by Monica Holloway.