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I Have Heard You Calling in the Night by…

I Have Heard You Calling in the Night

by Thomas Healy

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On occasion I will see a book in my library, pick it up, and read it right then. So it was with this book. The blurb on the back leads one to think that it will be about Healy's relationship with his dog, Martin. In actuality it is a memoir of his life primarily from the time he acquires the dog, but ends several years after Martin's death. It was interesting and a quick read, but does not make me want to read more of his work. ( )
  whymaggiemay | Jan 31, 2011 |
This is a short and slight book, a memoir written by a little-known author who claims to have been saved from alcoholism by his Dobermann dog and his Catholic faith.

That's it, really! It's a sobering antidote to the sickly sweet sentimentality that readers of Marley and Me by John Grogan may be familiar with, but overall, I did wonder why the author had bothered. It was hard to feel sympathy for a workshy and aggressive alcoholic who appeared to be his own worst enemy. Martin the Dobermann was well cared for though in the ten years that he was owned by Healy, and anyone who's owned a dog will understand his commitment and his attempt to describe the emotional rewards of a relationship with a wee dog who is affectionate and intelligent and devoted to you (funny how there isn't a spate of cat ownership books, eh?).

Healy describes his life, growing up in the Gorbals area of Glasgow, leaving school at fifteen, and his various romantic and family relationships as he gets older. Nothing much significant happens, and his story is a familiar (almost cliched) Glaswegian tale of a self-proclaimed 'hardman' getting in touch with his emotions and his relationship with God. The title is from a hymn named Here I Am, Lord that we used to sing at school. This book is only for the homesick and/or extremely sentimental. ( )
  deargreenplace | Nov 18, 2007 |
Absorbing tale of redemption, addiction, and love. The author makes no apologies for his alcoholism and behavior. The love he expresses for his dog is incredibly touching. ( )
  montano | Jul 12, 2007 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0151012598, Hardcover)

It seems now like a different me, the years I spent with Martin, a Doberman dog, and before he came, another me; and it is a new me now, once again, writing this. I would have been dead long ago had I continued to live the way I had before he came.

I think someone would have murdered me, given how I drank and the dives that I drank in and that I was an aggressive, angry man. I had no money and no friends. I didn’t care, I couldn’t have.
Thomas Healy was a drunk, a fighter, sometimes a writer, often unemployed, no stranger to the police. His life was going nowhere but downhill. Then one day he bought a pup—a Doberman. He called him Martin. Gradually man and dog became unshakable allies, the closest of comrades, the best of friends. They took long walks together, they vacationed together, they even went to church together.
Martin, in more ways than one, saved Thomas Healy’s life.
Written with unadulterated candor and profound love, this soulful memoir gets at the heart of the intense bond between people and dogs.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:21:54 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

"Thomas Healy was a drunk, a fighter, sometimes a writer, often unemployed, no stranger to the Glasgow police or to the courts. He came from the Gorbals, that byword for hard men and the school of hard knocks, and his life was going nowhere other than downhill. Then one day he bought a pup - a Dobermann. He called him Martin. Gradually man and dog became unshakeable allies, the closest of comrades, the best of friends. Martin, in more ways than one, saved Thomas Healy's life."--BOOK JACKET.… (more)

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