Book review: 'Max The Miracle Dog' by Kerry Irving

How a chance encounter with a neighbor's springer spaniel helps a car accident victim manage chronic pain and depression.
By Sally Rosenthal

Cover of the book, "Max The Miracle Dog: The Heart-Warming Tale of a Life-Saving Friendship"Max The Miracle Dog: The Heart-Warming Tale of a Life-Saving Friendship by Kerry Irving. Harper Element, 2020, hardcover, 288 pages, $17.99. 

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An ambitious sales executive and a keen cyclist, Kerry Irving lived life in the fast lane until a car accident left him with severe chronic pain and depression so deep that he contemplated suicide. A man used to power and speed, Irving spent his days watching television until his wife encouraged him to walk to the corner shop. Despite pain and panic, the author set out and on the way he met Max, a neighbor’s springer spaniel who would change his life. 

Greeting Max on his walks became the high point of Irving’s day. When Max’s busy owner suggested Irving take the scruffy and lonely spaniel for walks, a routine began that led the author to more stamina and lighter moods, and Max to joyous freedom in their English village. 

As their bond grew, the two explored miles of England’s Lake District, while Irving trained as a locksmith and eventually set up his own business. Posting photos of Max in the countryside on the business’ Facebook page not only earned Irving customers, but it gave Max a local and, in time, a national following. 

When Max’s owner moved and gave Max to the author, their bond grew even closer. Max became an example of fortitude and happiness for his many fans, and Irving became a spokesperson for the recognition and treatment of depression. Anyone in need of a book to bring light to dark winter days couldn’t do better than Max The Miracle Dog.

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