Sweet dog, good God.

Paul Mastin

4 Stars

April 22, 2012

What's not to like about a sweet blind dog? I dare you not to fall in love with Mia, Laurie Sacher's dog. In Blind Hope: An Unwanted Dog and the Woman She Rescued, Laurie and her friend Kim Meeder tell Laurie's story and how taking in a neglected little dog changed Laurie's life. Meeder is no stranger to animals changing people's lives. She and her husband Troy founded Crystal Peaks Youth Ranch, where they take in horses in need of rehab and where young people come for some rehabbing of their own. (I reviewed Troy's book, Average Joe, last year.)

Laurie had been running from God most of her life, and had come to have little self-esteem and felt distant from God. As she grew more attached to Mia, she began having insights into God's character, and began to understand the ways God relates to us. Mia, quite unhealthy when Laurie adopted her, had continual health problems, including losing her sight. She and Mia worked out a system where, by voice and touch, Mia could get around with her, including at the beach and running on trails. Kim summed up the relationship: "What faith, to follow a master you cannot see."

Their story is told simply, but with each chapter Laurie learns a little bit more about God by watching and interacting with her new mentor, Mia. How encouraging that we serve a God who loves us in spite of the offensive mess we've made of our lives, who comes back to pursue us when we wander away from him, and who helps us to see in spite of our blindness.

The ideas are sweet, without being sappy. I enjoyed the simple truths they conveyed by the illustration of dog and master. I will say the narrative tended to be a bit on the chick-lit side. The arrangement of the book had Laurie telling Kim about Mia as they had coffee together, rode horses together, skied together, etc. Some of the descriptions of the two women's interactions made me feel like I was reading a book written just for ladies, but the message of the book has a much broader appeal than that.

All in all, Blind Hope is an enjoyable, quick read, with some nuggets of truth and inspiration that will give you some new ways to think about your relationship with God. Enjoy!

Thanks to Waterbrook Multnomah for the complimentary review copy.