Reviewed by A.R.K. Watson

If there was any doubt that God teaches us through our pets, this book would remove that doubt. This dog-lover’s journal provides the easy reading of “Chicken Soup for the Dog Lover’s soul”, but with a reflective tone and emotional depth.

Author’s Worldview: Catholic
Year Published: 2017
Themes: Dogs, Pets, Love, Death, Acceptance, Trust, Bad Habits, Prayer, Euthanasia, Eucharist, Death & Dignity, Christmas, Spiritual Growth 
Audience: General
Genre: Memoir

Me, Ruby & God is a collection of essays written about the lessons that one special Siberian Husky teaches her ambitious, sometimes wayward and stubborn musher. Each chapter ends with a beautifully written poetic prayer that I have found myself going back to just as often as I would a prayer card. There is something for everyone here: “A Prayer for Surrender to God;” “A Prayer for Healing;” and even “A Prayer to Shut Up and Listen.”

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If there is one thing I miss from the Evangelical Protestant literature of my youth, it’s the plethora of books that are part memoir, part essay; books that share a witness to God so straightforward and beautifully written they could never be preachy. It is my opinion that Me, Ruby & God may see more young people converted than any well-researched C.C.E textbook. Its simple cover and premise may not seem very powerful, but it is that very simplicity that makes this book so effective. 

And then, of course, this book is a great addition to any dog-lover’s library. It is amusing to hear how one woman badgers a pack of rambunctious, furry creatures into a disciplined sled dog team. Something about the wholehearted way that happy dogs relish each moment feeds the soul and warms the heart.  I can’t have dogs in my apartment, so it was refreshing to step into Crowley’s world of wide-open snowy wilderness and joyful animals.  

Though Crowley speaks openly about Catholic concepts like the True Presence in the Eucharist, she writes in such a way that any Protestant would be comfortable with. Except for the Eucharist, Crowley’s themes are entirely about concepts that Catholics and Protestants share. This book would also be of interest to secular readers seeking to understand a religious outlook without having to wade through clumsy attempts to convert them or overload them with philosophy.  Crowley’s simple description of the revelations she has had through her dogs is powerful enough to move any heart. It’s an easy read, and I hope it inspires a whole new movement in Catholic literature.