The Dog Healers by Mark Winik
The Dog Healers is a novel focused on the spiritual and magical powers that Carlos DeMarco applies to soothe and heal dogs. In the beginning, Mark Winik shares this story from a first person perspective, but the main character, Marco, is really not the main focus at all. Winik starts off the novel with a story of a young girl, Isabella, running away from home due to her uncle attacking her and her puppy. A few chapters in, the reader will begin to see what happened to the missing girl. Unfortunately, the story line is a bit disjointed. The story seemed to be about Marco wanting to learn more about dog healing, but it jumped to a story about Isabella, as a grown woman, and a horse, Tango, she was working with. Though she was quite successful, this experience led her to only want to work with dogs, which was her true passion. It is somewhat difficult to stay connected to any characters, other than Isabella, because Winik doesn’t keep them in the story for long. As readers move through the novel, they continually encounter new characters while many others are almost disappear. There ends up being twists and turns with an somewhat interesting ending, and readers learn a bit more of Isabella’s childhood and her journey towards dog healing, but not enough to make it a page turner.
Overall, Mark Winik has a good message throughout The Dog Healers around the spiritual and transpersonal connection to animals, and showing honor and respect to others. However, there is little point to Marco and his desire to hunt down Carlos. Approximately, ninety-percent of the story is about Isabella. Carlos becomes involved with her, but still his presence in the novel is quite minimal. Unless readers are interested in therapeutic massage for animals, it is likely they will lose interest early on in The Dog Healers. There is nothing to keep them interested in what happened to Isabella when she went missing. As mentioned earlier, this is a very slow moving story with a number of unimportant details. It is descriptive, but not overly interesting. It certainly carries the message of treating animals with love and honor, which is a wonderful message to share with the world, but to keep readers interested it needs some work.
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