Finding your place in life can be a difficult task, especially when you aren’t completely sure where you belong. For a young man named Todd McCray, this task is even more challenging as he faces a crisis after learning that the animal shelter where has he worked is forced to close and he must look for employment elsewhere. Somehow this is a growing up process not only for Todd, but for his family too. All of this happens during the Christmas season.
Todd just happens to have some disabilities that the author doesn’t come out mention what they are, but we do know that he can drive and live independently. I would say Todd is very high functioning. His parents, George and MaryAnn, are typical parents of special needs children, both protective and struggling to loosen the parental apron strings, to allow their child to grow, become more capable. I can identify as I have a special needs son myself.
Faced with a couple of job opportunities, working at a dairy farm or training assistant dogs, Todd opts for training dogs. It’s the gift he has been born with. He’s patient, learns from others, and the dogs respond to him and like him. And another subject comes up that surprises his parents: Todd falls in love. Todd teaches his parents that letting go is okay, that unless one is allow to try on their own they will never succeed. Even the family dog, Christmas senses this, as he keeps on going, even in his old age. The dog was a gift from Todd to his parents, and I’d say George and MaryAnn gave their son a selfless gift: that of independence, the freedom to choose which path to take, and as Todd put it, to find out “where I belong.”
I received this free copy from Waterbrook Press in exchange for reviewing it.
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