What Can a Dog Teach You about Life and Love?
New Memoir: How One Woman and Her Dog Fought and Survived Cancer Together
The Dog Lived (and So Will I) is the true story of Teresa Rhyne and her totally incorrigible, totally lovable beagle, Seamus. Teresa was a successful attorney finally enjoying life with a new (younger) boyfriend, after surviving her second divorce, when her newly adopted dog Seamus was diagnosed with a malignant tumor and given less than a year to live.
While Teresa coped by swearing, wailing, raging, drinking wine, blaming, self-pity, dog-pity, and drinking more wine, Seamus ate everything in sight. He also charmed the vets out of thousands of bones, demanded regular cuddles, howled when he was left alone, had uncontrollable bursts of energy, and generally came to rule his household—all while undergoing chemotherapy.
Seamus beat his grim diagnosis with moxie and good humor. But the story doesn’t end there. Just one year later, at the age of 45, Teresa was diagnosed with triple-negative breast cancer.
Her doctors said there was a thirty percent chance her cancer would metastasize and kill her. It occurred to her that Seamus’s devil-may-care approach to cancer wasn’t such a bad idea. She also felt oddly confident she’d survive—because the dog did.
The Dog Lived (and So Will I) tells the moving and often hilarious story of how Seamus led the way and made cancer a less frightening, more manageable experience for Teresa.
It is also the story of how a woman, a younger man, and a hard-luck beagle grew into an unconventional, committed, and loving family.
About The Author: Teresa Rhyne is an animal advocate and breast cancer survivor. On January 12, 2009, she underwent a lumpectomy for triple-negative breast cancer, followed by four rounds of chemotherapy and 36 rounds of radiation. She has been “NED” (no evidence of disease) ever since.
She has lived in Southern California (it’s like its own state) for her entire life, and shares a house with her boyfriend Chris and their irrepressible, diabolically cute beagle, Seamus (the Famous).
And About That Beagle: Seamus had a rough start in life. Animal Control found him roaming the mean streets of Moreno Valley (that’s right, he’s a street beagle) and brought him to the County Animal Shelter where, despite his microchip and obvious prior care, his prior guardians never came to claim him.
Just in time, the magnificent crew at the Mary S. Roberts Pet Adoption Center rescued him and promptly brought him into Teresa’s life where he has quickly made up for any past hardships. His (assigned) birth date is March 17, 2003 and his full name is Seamus Luxury Leisure Danger Trouble Hunger Cuteness Rhyne-Kern (the Famous).
His favorite meal is chicken, bacon, bleu cheese, cheeseburger on a triple bun, with roast beef, pastrami and pork chops on the side, and Girl Scout cookies for dessert. Also, toast.
Praise for The Dog Lived (and So Will I)
“This delightfully wisecracking memoir will renew the spirits of cancer survivors as well as dog lovers.”– Library Journal
“This encouraging tale of finding love and hope in unexpected places is full of small yet valuable life lessons that any animal-lover would appreciate.”– Publishers Weekly
“This breezy, heartfelt, and funny memoir walks the reader through all of the emotional and medical stages of cancer, both canine and human, making an awful situation infinitely readable and hopeful. Give this one to anyone going through cancer treatment—the title alone tells it all.” - Booklist
Q. What inspires your writing?
A. Seamus, my incorrigible beagle, inspires a lot of my writing. Coffee also helps.
Q. What is your favorite thing about being an author?
A. Right now, with the book newly out, my favorite thing is knowing I reached a lifetime goal. It's a tremendous feeling of accomplishment that I wrote something a (wonderful!) publisher felt was worthy of publishing and that readers seem to be enjoying.
Q. What is the toughest part of being an author?
A. Because my book is a memoir, it's a sort of double exposure. It's not just my writing out there on display, it's my life! That's taking a little getting used to.
Q. If you could not be author, what would you do/be?
A. Well, I think I'd have to stick with practicing law, since I've been doing that to reasonable success for 25 years now.
Q. What is your favorite book of all time?
A. Very difficult to narrow that down to one book, but I'll go with the one that popped into my head first: The World According to Garp by John Irving. I read it on a plane to England on my very first international trip when I was in college and the flight just whizzed by. I forgot all about the excitement of the trip because I was so absorbed in John Irving's stunning ability to tell a story. That book is wrapped up in that time for me--college years, the thrill of a first international trip, and the luck of stumbling on to a masterful, entertaining book at just the right time.
Q. Which character from ANY book are you most like?
A. I am an awful lot like one of the main characters in "The Dog Lived (and So Will I)."
Q. What has been the greatest thing that has come from writing this book?
A. The ability to be doing promotional events with Chris and Seamus while also helping to raise funds for dog rescue, canine cancer and breast cancer organizations.
Q. What is your favorite season?
A. Summer. Definitely, always summer. (I live in Southern California, so arguably we don't even have fall or winter, but I still dislike them.)
Q. Tell me something inspiring that happened while on a book tour or while promoting your book.
A. I've loved that so many people are sharing their cell phone photos of their dogs with me! Happens every time I'm doing a signing and it's wonderful (always partial to the beagles, but I love seeing all of the dogs). And I've been very touched by those who have shared with me their own cancer battles or those of their loved ones. If my book can help bring a smile and some hope to someone fighting cancer (or whose dog is fighting cancer), I'll know I've done something meaningful.
Q. Are you working on something new?
A. I am, though it may not yet be fully formed enough to discuss.
Q. Anything you want to say to followers of this blog or those that are just stopping by?
A. Thanks for stopping by. I hope you enjoy the book and please feel free to visit me and Seamus over at www.teresarhyne.com Happy Reading!