Sunday, June 21, 2015


Colin Campbell's grandfather filled his grandson's idyllic childhood summers in Nova Scotia with chores, play, and a deep appreciation for the joys of a day spent doing the things you love best. So much so that you don't grow old that day "Its a free day." As an adult with a typical crowded urban life, and a marriage where the bottom fell out, Colin had lost sight of the possibilities of such simple pleasures. Deep into therapy he paints a frank portrait of an emotionally closed off man. Just as you feel there must be some skeleton he is not revealing, a workmate persuades him to look for a rescue dog as a distraction and for something new to care for.

As soon as Campbell describes Kong, later renamed George, you feel the potential joy of a wonderful match. As the cohabiting partner of another felicitous canine rescue match, I can only echo the unlooked-for pleasures doggy love. Some personalities are just meant to be together. The sad testimony of George's fears and likely ill treatment are evident in his timorous behaviour. The adventures at the dog park and the obedience class are amusingly observed, but the description of the long drive from Toronto to Los Angeles with George and Todd the dog's unfriendly friend had me in tears of helpless laughter. 

George's coming to life in his true vocation as a beach dog - complete with surfer dude tendencies - seals Free Days With Geroge as a "tale" worthy of promotion to dog lovers and observers of human life. I would peg this as a great Father's Day gift for dads and grandfather's alike and even if you aren't a big reader, the wonderful photos are enough to elicit a chorus of awwwws. Reading this will bring you the gift of developing your own definition of a free day.

- Rosslyn Bentley

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