The attached press release for the book didn't inspire much hope, with lines like these:
While most people associate dogs as family pets and even helpers for those who are physically disabled, not many people think of these gentle beasts as great therapy for a disease as complex as autism. I’m happy to share with you the remarkable true story of a dog who brought a boy out of the shadows of autism and helped him conquer this debilitating condition (my emphasis).The people writing to me had obviously never read any of my blog (shocking, I know) or they might have known that I'm not going to be too enamoured by that type of depiction of autism. But perhaps the publishers were responsible for giving the book a certain spin, trying to cash in on the growing market for autism recovery tales, in which autism must be presented as nothing less than demonic possession and natural maturation as a miracle. Perhaps the book itself was a much more open, honest and thoughtful depiction of the development of an autistic child and his family's efforts to support him. I was interested too to read about Henry since we had recently bought a dog.
But more than anything, my inherent thriftiness didn't allow for the turning down of a free book. So I asked them to send it, telling myself I'd keep an open mind and hoping to be pleasantly surprised.
I'd say anyone who has read more than 3 posts here might guess what happened.