Paw Prints in My Heart
Life Lessons Learned from the Dog of my Life
By: Andrew Hessel
Published: May 13th 2014
By: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
Here’s to great dogs. Many of us would like to believe there’s a special place in doggie heaven for the really great ones. I know I want to. No question they’ve earned it, deserve it, and it seems only fair. I know there are a great many great dogs out there, working their magic, living their lives with their families and saying it all without ever saying a word. For dog lovers, our precious memories of those “non-conversations” with dearly-departed four-legged friends lend silence a deafening quality. I explained to a friend that Paw Prints is a book about great dogs, not just my dog, although Mac was truly some great dog. And as I’ve said many times, he was certainly the dog of my life, and his friendship enriched and changed not just my life, but the lives of everyone in our family. While the book is my attempt to capture Mac’s remarkably and improbably wonderful story before it fades to past, it’s also in many ways my story, too. Because Mackie and I were happily and deliriously, joined-at-the-paw. Amazing, I think, that I could learn so much from a guy that never said a word. Paw Prints in My Heart is Mac’s story. I think of it as my gift to our family and all of his friends, two and four-legged, that had the pleasure and the privilege of knowing and being loved by this magnificent old Labrador retriever. It’s my best attempt to capture and chronicle a remarkable life, the pain and sadness of his passing, but most of all, his joyful impact upon us over what truly was a most improbable life of fourteen years and a day. A reverent and grateful tribute to a gentle and pure spirit that for me will always be a living reminder of a loving friend in the very truest sense. In every way, for me this book was a labor of love and joy to write. Parts will make you laugh, and others may bring you to tears, so a tissue at times may be advised. But I have the highest hopes that you’ll read it, enjoy it, and connect in ways that only you can understand. Maybe even share it with friends that might understand and pass it along, as a comfort for a true friend they’ve lost, and for what they’ve experienced, and a way for them to remember the laughter and happy times through their tears. I hope that dog lovers everywhere read this book and see a bit of their dog in Mac. I hope that the non-dog lovers amongst us read this book and reconsider. I hope that everyone has at least one dog of their life in their life. My first novel Rush to Dawn, was, in many ways a love letter to my wife, Lynne. This book, I’d like to believe, is a love letter from Mac to all of us.
This book is a great testament to how much a pet, especially a dog, can touch your heart and really become a part of your soul. This is a definite must read that had me thinking about how I will feel when my “baby’s” move to doggie heaven.
This book is for the animal lover, pet owner and the person who is on the fence about getting a forever friend. Andrew Hessel put his life on hold to write this soulful book because the lost of his best friend was a story from the heart that was worth telling (and reading!). I am so happy that someone finally wrote a book that delves into the true relationship of being part of a family that has true unconditional love.
About Andrew Hessel
It’s never too late to heed the call.
How I arrived at this conclusion is in itself a story.
After college I spent nearly three decades in the corporate world, working for big media on the publishing side. All powerful, successful companies, headquartered in places like New York, Burbank, and points in between. My thing was marketing, advertising, sales management and general management. In fairness, there were some very good years.
But nothing lasts forever, and in the end, after one too many sales, mergers, and acquisitions, I walked away … having had about all the corporate fun I could stand, you might say.
Few thought the newspaper business, struggling and under siege, would ever recover. Many branded it a dying industry and called it a dinosaur.
Still others said it was already dead.
There was no shortage of opinions, but three things were painfully clear and inarguably true:
Newspapers would never again have the near exclusive relationship they’d too often taken for granted with their readers. At least not on the scale they’d enjoyed for so long.
No longer an indispensible news source and with fewer and fewer readers by the day, newpapers were simply no longer all that relevant. Even the best and the brightest running the biggest and most successful newspapers had no real idea how to remain prominent players in a new age that had passed them by.
Today, we want our news and entertainment instantly, not tomorrow morning.
No escaping the fact that the glory days had up and gone, and were gone for good. For me, it just wasn’t fun anymore.
Experiencing a shifting business paradigm first-hand is both scaryand exhilirating, but it’s also a rare chance for personal reinvention.
But what next? What do I want?
I wanted most to rediscover the passion the corporate world so easily crushes. And to embrace something deep inside I’d been ignoring for most of life.
Writing is in the blood and deeply-rooted in our family. We’re a family of writers. Our father taught us, we taught our kids, and so it continues.
My dad wrote a couple of books, my sister has written professionally for years, and although, until the last few years, most of my own writing was business oriented, I’ve always written.
Dad’s innovative treatment of world history – now there’s a bigsubject – was published by one of the most esteemed houses in the industry, Simon & Schuster. His dream, rightfully, was for it to be recognized as the unique reference tool he had created it to be, and to find a home in the library of every school in America. It made perfect sense, his publisher agreed, but the promised promotion never materialized.
For my dad, what should have been, never was.
Back then I couldn’t fully understand how disappointed he must have been. How hard he’d worked, how big he’d dreamed. How deeply it must have hurt.
Authors with books that go unpromoted by their publishers are hardly members of an exclusive club.
Boy, do I get it.
My dad had no other path, he couldn’t do much about it in those days.
Thankfully, that isn’t the case today. What you’re reading is testament to a world full of amazing new tools, and bold, new possibilities.
The shock is discovering that following the path leads to yet another jugular paradigm shift. It couldn’t be more personal.
Or more of a roller coaster. I’m talking about coming to terms with what it means, deciding what to do, figuring out how to go about it, and then getting started.
Then, having done all that, came the final realization that is the very biggest of all:
Winning, and success, are very different beasts from when it all began.
I want people to read my thrillers, and the emphasis is readers over dollars.
I hope the pages turn and you enjoy good reads.
And at the end will consider it time well spent.
Along the way, and starting right here, I’m also hoping for a new kind of communication between readers and writers, and writers and writers.
Please accept my thanks for checking us out and for reading.
And to all the kindred spirits who, for whatever reasons are driven to follow similar dreams, I hope that your visit here offers you a little shelter from the storm and encouragement to keep going.