September 2020 Book of the Month
“Rescuing an Angel… Heel, Mr. Sims, Heal”
by Peggy Lovelock with Melva Michaelian
Reviewed by Anita Finley
I was very anxious to review this book when I saw its cover with an adorable Shih Tzu looking straight at me. His eyes are all knowing and that is what makes this book so compelling a story. He looks just like my last one, Charlie, and now I have Jack, another precious Shih Tzu. Peggy Lovelock, the author, is a professional dog trainer and trains dogs for competitions. The way she got Simba, now called Mr. Sims, was she was hired to train this “bad dog” from someone who had a bad attitude about what dogs should do and not do. After working with Simba, the owner found fault with his behavior and the final straw was either Peggy was going to take him, or he was going to the pound. Peggy saw the good in him and took him. That was the beginning of a long love affair.
Chapter after chapter, Peggy writes about what her training consisted of with various dogs, always including her own Mr. Sims. Some of the stories broke my heart and others earned Peggy and her dogs’ awards for her intuition and success in competition. I never knew just how hard it is to train dogs for competitions.
What was so special was that at the beginning of each chapter, there are quotes which were apropos to what that chapter talked about. A good example is Chapter 46: “Still round the corner there may wait, A new road, or a secret gate.” —J.R.R. Tolkien. This chapter was all about a strange, unexpected occurrence and it evolved to making Peggy and Mr. Sims do a great job at winning some important titles.
The title of this book, “Heel, Mr. Sims, Heal” has real meaning. “Heel” comes from the term used in dog competition and “heal” was because of both Peggy’s and Mr. Sim’s illnesses where they helped each other. Peggy had to have a serious operation and all the time she was recuperating, Peggy’s devoted husband, Frank, managed the home fires, kept Mr. Sims winning special awards that he had been prepared for by Peggy, then of course, visitin
g her in the hospital, with Mr. Sims running ahead to her room. Even the nursing staff fell in love with Mr. Sims.
Most dog owners seem to have a special gene that fills their heart and soul with compassion for their companion. This book is filled with stories about multiple incidences of kindness, yet discipline, amazing feats that dogs must learn and perform when in the ring. It was illuminating for me to learn what it takes for both the trainer and dog to compete. This book will bring joy and tears, but it is a must book for dog owners!
About the author:
Peggy Lovelock has been a professional trainer with over twenty years’ experience with dogs of all ages, breeds, and with varied challenges. She has many highly prized certifications and her specialty is one-on-one training instead of group training classes. People travel with their dogs from near and far to have Peggy train their dog. Melva Michaelian, an English teacher and published author was extremely impressed with Peggy’s abilities and suggested she write a book about her training. Peggy and her husband, Frank live in Springfield, MA
To purchase a copy of Peggy’s book, please go to: Amazon.com