MATT COKER | @MATTHEWSCOKER
“Slobber & Sanity: A Man Hounded by His Dog” by Jimmy M. Smith is a deceivingly heavy book.
I say “deceivingly” because it’s a light book – a collection of short, chuckle-inducing dog tales that wind up teaching some of God’s biggest lessons.
I read this over a weekend and I will admit that at first, I wasn’t sure where this book was going. On the surface, it seemed like it was just someone telling short anecdotes about a dog named “Rose” and some other pets his family once had. Don’t get me wrong, they are funny and entertaining stories (especially if you’ve ever owned a dog yourself), but I wasn’t picking up on the purpose behind the anecdotes.
Then, about halfway through the book, it started becoming very clear to me that these stories were almost parables – lessons on life, friendship, addiction, and so much more, in disguise.
This “mostly true” retelling of this dog’s impact on his owners is light-hearted, but also very inspirational, teaching us to look for lessons in our daily life and opportunities to grow our faith, our families, and our friendships. All the while, this book also teaches us to not be so quick to grow up ourselves but to remember that laughter is a gift from God that shouldn’t be squandered.
The most surprisingly deep lessons this book taught is one that The Back Row focuses on, which is addiction. The lesson we come away with is that “some addictions have to be broken through pain.” This lesson is taught by the dog’s obsessive desire to play with a porcupine, and it might just be one of the best object lessons I’ve read on the subject.
While it is not expressly a Christian book, the author is a Christian and the lessons learned are certainly Biblically sound.
Overall, it was a fun read that I would recommend to anyone who is looking for some light-hearted, pet-friendly fun.
This book is available for purchase at Amazon.com.
Kindle Edition: $2.99
Matt Coker is the Ministry Director of The Back Row. He is married to a beautiful woman he met when they were both in youth group and they have one mischievous son together. Matt collects Funko Pop figures, loves time travel movies, and enjoys exotic jerky meats. You can contact Matt via the contact page or on Twitter at @MatthewSCoker.