I knew going into reading Paw Prints by Morgan J. Muir and illustrated by Sava Andreea that it was going to be a rather rough read. Any book about the death of a beloved pet is going to be hard to get through. And I very nearly didn’t pick this up, thinking that it would be far too much for me to be able to read without having a very emotional reaction. I know I just got a puppy recently, but the dog I grew up with passed away about three years ago and it was a really rough time for me. In fact, I had an incredibly hard time with it for nearly a year and a half afterward. It was the first dog, for me anyway, that was really hard to let go of. And he was similarly colored to the dog in this graphic novel. So a part of me was almost certain that this book would be too difficult for me to get through. And, honestly, it was pretty rough, though not as rough as I had initially imagined it would be.
Paw Prints is a little bit darker than I would have expected it to be, discussing the idea of paw prints being left on your heart when you lose your four legged family member and going into the truth that you can’t really keep the paw prints or the teeth marks or the fur that they leave behind. It really does deal heavily with grief rather than with the happy memories of the pet you no longer can hold. And while it was rough, I think the lack of those happy memories, to an extent, made it less difficult to deal with. You see, you can remember the grief, but the grief is primarily brought about by the happiness that you miss. And so, that helped a little.
The illustrations were pretty fantastic, though heart-wrenching at times. I would definitely say that this is a great book in terms of how therapeutic it must have been for the author and perhaps the illustrator, but it’s not something I can really see myself reading again. I feel as though it would just take me back to a dark time that I don’t want to be in. And if I am in that dark time, reading this book is not something I would picture helping me, though perhaps it might help others.
I was provided a free copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.