Author Laura Greaves admits to crying when she writes her true stories about dogs overcoming huge odds to survive.
“I’ve also had some teary interviews,’’ Laura acknowledges when talking about her most recent book, Miracle Mutts.
Her own reaction lies at the heart of the special relationship people have with their pets, and why they can go to extraordinary lengths to save their animals.
Ms Greaves opens her latest book with a tale from her childhood that will resonate with many people — how she became so attached to her first dog, a West Highland white terrier, and the personal impact of losing her fluffy friend just a year later.
The author devotes a chapter to each of 15 remarkable canines who have survived some pretty galling experiences, when many people had given them up for dead.
There is Maggie, the blind dog who was shot and left for dead in Beirut and was adopted by a UK woman; Jake, the pit bull puppy who survived severe burns in a house fire and was adopted by firefighters; and a three-legged husky called Daredevil, who survived a 15 m fall.
But I think my favourite is Guy the beagle, who was found abandoned in a Kentucky forest, destined for doggie death-row, but ended up being fostered out and then adopted by an emerging American actress, Meghan Markle. He has since been seen sitting in a chauffeur-driven limousine with the Queen.
The author's enthusiasm, interest and knowledge about canines is grounded in her own personal experiences, and her affection for the animals shines through in the stories.
She has lived with dogs all her life and has three now: Coco the kelpie cross and two Nova Scotia duck tolling retrievers, Delilah and Tex.
Ms Greaves has written numerous books about dogs including Incredible Dog Journeys, Dogs with Jobs and Amazing Dogs with Amazing Jobs.
Miracle Mutts by Laura Greaves is published by Bantam Books, RRP $32.99.
For a chance to win a copy of Miracle Mutts, send your name, address, a daytime telephone number and the name of one of the dogs in the book to: Country News Miracle Mutts Competition, PO Box 8000, Shepparton, 3632, by Wednesday, November 27.