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The Puppy That Came for Christmas: How a Dog Brought One Family the Gift of Joy

3.89 of 5 stars 3.89  ·  rating details  ·  389 ratings  ·  74 reviews
Marley, Oogy, Huck-and now, Traffy, the "forever dog" that changed one couple's life.

All Megan Rix ever wanted was a baby. Yet, month after month, Megan's dreams were dashed. Would her life ever feel complete?

Megan and her husband, Ian, found a surprising answer when they began training golden retriever pups to become service dogs for people with disabilities. But opening
ebook, 256 pages
Published October 1st 2011 by Plume Books (first published January 1st 2010)
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Nancy Brady
A woman and her husband want a baby desperately, but unfortunately so far it hasn't happened. Her biological clock is ticking louder with each day. Then Megan and Ian decide to foster puppies.

Into this story comes a eight-week-old puppy, Emma, who is to be a Helper Dog. Six months of training with Megan and Ian, and back she goes for more training. Heartbreak ensues as Emma is missed terribly, but along comes Freddy, the next puppy Megan and Ian train to become a helper dog. Again, six months of
Having finally met the man of her dreams writer Megan Rix is ready to start a family. Unfortunately Megan is the wrong side of 40 and nature is doing everything possible to thwart Megan’s plans. To take their mind off things Megan and husband Ian look into the possibility of fostering puppies for the working dog charity “Helper Dogs”.

Just before Christmas the phone call arrives telling Megan and Ian that they will be getting their fist puppy, Emma. Over the next 6 months we hear all about Emma’

All Megan Rix ever wanted was a baby. Yet, month after month, Megan’s dreams were dashed. Would her life ever feel complete?

Megan and her husband, Ian, found a surprising answer when they began training golden retriever pups to become service dogs for people with disabilities. But opening their homes and hearts up to Emma, and then Freddy-only to have each move on after six months-eventually took its own toll. Megan and Ian didn’t know if they could continue. They needed to decide where they liv
Eve Muratore
This book was really heartwarming and cute. It made me want to smile all the time. Great book to read before Christmas time!
I'll admit that I purchased this book because of the cute puppy on the cover-- I wanted a "mindless Christmas read" and since we've just added a Golden Retriever puppy into our family, this book looked perfect! It wasn't until I started reading it that I realized it was a true story and a very interesting one at that!

I learned a lot about Helper Dogs and all the good they can do. I have a son with special needs so any cause that is out there to help out those with differences and disabilities a
Megan and Ian are desperate to start a family but are having difficulty conceiving. Megan is undergoing investigations and fertility treatment and her hopes are crushed each month. In an effort to help take her mind of it she embarks in helping with a charity that matches Helping Dogs to individuals that require assistance in their daily life. Megan's role is to be a puppy parent to the new puppies that will hopefully achieve their goal. She keeps the puppies for 6 months teaching them the basic ...more
Megan and Ian Rix have desperately been trying to have a baby. Megan feels as though a baby would finally complete their family. Throughout the numerous failed attempts, the couple has kept their struggles quiet. Along the way, they find a group called Helper Dogs. This group trains puppies to assist humans with disabilities. Megan and Ian get to experience all the joys and heartache of fostering two little puppies over the course of a year, until they finally get their forever dog.

The Puppy tha
Paul Pessolano
“The Puppy that came for Christmas” by Megan Rix, published by Plume.

Category – Dogs/Memoir

Megan Rix is in her forties and knows her biological clock is ticking, and she desperately wants a baby. She has tried just about everything and she is still not pregnant.

Her husband, Ian, and Megan decide to be foster parents for dogs that are being groomed for “Helper Dogs”, the equivalent to our “Service Dogs”. They keep the dogs for about 6 months and then are returned to the agency for further trainin
Jan 18, 2012 Gmr rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: older teens through adults
What starts as a heartfelt desire to share their lives with a family turns into a furry affair that would benefit not only themselves but others in need. Megan and Ian were two that wished to be more but fate doesn't always take into account what we want when it weaves its tapestry and as their hopes of adding a little one to their home dwindled with time, so did their aspirations. However, all of that changed one sunny day on the opposite side of the world when a puppy named Goro opened their e ...more
Finding love and having a family was something that Megan Rix had all but given up on, but when she met Ian suddenly one night during her early forties that all changed. When complications arose from the struggles of trying to have children shortly after their quick marriage they found they could never replace their want of a child, but could certainly fill the void by helping others. As Megan and Ian embark on a effort to help train service dogs though they quickly learn that what they’d really ...more
In this exceptional story, Megan Rix takes readers on her journey of becoming a puppy parent for a Helper Dogs organization. I was simply amazed to read about the things these service dogs are trained to do for the disabled! Dogs can do laundry? Really?! And that's just one of the amazing things these dogs can do. While I was reading this book I had taken a break to do some shopping and actually saw a helper dog in the department store. My mind was immediately on this story. I now have such an a ...more
Sharon Huether
I liked this book.I won this book through Goodreads. While Meg& Ian were living in Japan they rented a dog from a business that did dog renting. When that got back home to England they wanted a dog of their own, not sure of the breed,they investigated Helper Dogs an organization that places dogs with handicapped people. Their first pup was Emma a beautiful cream lab. They would care for the pup untill she passed all her training classes. It as so difficult to let her go to the next plase of ...more
Seriously, how could I not pick up a book with this title?! And you should see the cover. So eff'ing adorable. Thankfully, the title doesn't fully describe the (true) story of this book, just more of the timeline. An older couple UK wants to have a baby but can't, so they decide to adopt and train "helper" dogs. Of course, since they have never had a dog before, they get super attached, which I have to say now is the most annoying thing about this story. It's like surrogacy, they really want wom ...more
Meg and Ian are going through some changes in their lives. They are struggling to have a child and not sure how to create a family. They start small with a dog. They become puppy parents to some future Helper Dogs. Meg finds a home with the Helper Dogs organization. These pups are trained to assist people with a variety physical disabilities. Each set of puppy parents nurture and train their dog so they can continue on to becoming a full fledged helper dog. Meg and Ian take the lovable Emma into ...more
Megan and Ian Rix wanted a baby so much. Time was running out, Megan was already forty three. She had only met Ian two years before. They had always felt that their family was incomplete. Ian had had an awful childhood being in foster homes on and off because of his parents fighting. It was such a bad experience that he blocked everything about it in his memory. That fact would become important later in the book. Both of them wanted to have a baby to give it a much better childhood than Ian’s an ...more
All Megan Rix ever wanted was a baby. Yet, month after month, her dreams were dashed. Would her life ever feel complete?
Megan and her husband, Ian, found a surprising answer when they began training golden retriever pups to become service dogs for people with disabilities. Their lives were transformed as they joyfully threw themselves into being puppy parents. They would teach the dogs to do everything from fetching clothing to anticipating seizures in children. But opening their homes and hear
Thought I'd have some Christmas Cute! And this certainly qualified. However, despite the book description, it's more about the two Helper Dogs Megan and her husband trained, and what they have to be taught to do. So as well as being cute, it leaves me with admiration for the people who act as foster parents for these puppies during their training. Even though I'm more a cat person, I'm not sure I could let a puppy I'd trained from eight-weeks go after a few months.
3.5 stars

I'm a sucker for dogs on covers and seriously who could resist this adorable puppy! The Puppy that Came For Christmas is a sweet, feel-good read even though the heartbreak of infertility is pivotal to Megan and Ian's story.

I'm grateful that Clomid then IVF gave me two beautiful boys but I understand the anguish that infertility brings. When infertility forces Megan and Ian to consider all possibilities for having a baby they find joy being puppy parents for Helper Dogs, an organisation
This started off as a lovely story. Clearly the author enjoyed raising Emma. She explains the whole process involved in fostering a puppy and training it to be a helper dog. I enjoyed reading about her experiences with Emma. I was amazed at the work helper dogs are trained to do. As I have fostered kittens in the past I could closely relate to the difficulty Megan felt giving Emma back. My heart was tearing to pieces. This much of the story would have been enough for me but then she went on to d ...more
Paul Lunger
Megan Rix's "The Puppy That Came for Christmas: How a Dog Brought One Family the Gift of Joy" is the true story of what she went through across the course of 1 year in an attempt to get pregnant & the joy that 3 very special dogs brought into her life. With an emotion that's not hard to get caught up in with the very personal events of her own life Rix tells a story that is heartwarming, funny & sad at the same time as she & her husband go through an emotional roller coaster ride. Ea ...more
Great book, tough read. I loved how the author described how she and her husband raised puppies for a Service Dog group in Europe, called Helper Dogs, and hated hearing about their struggles having children of their own. Not to sound callous, but I've had 3 children of my own and are unable to raise them myself.


However, by the end of the book, the author and her husband are unable to have children either. Rather then being negative about it, though, they look at it in a posit
If you like dogs/puppies, you likely will enjoy this book. It highlights the work of helper dogs and their trainers. The story did not end the way I expected.
Kelly Kenny
cute story

It was a cute story, a nice Christmas read. I enjoyed reading about all that dogs can do for people in need!
Darlene Maternowski
Cute story....nice to read around the holidays
This was a really cute story of a couple's search for the perfect family, and the trials and heartache it took for them to find their happiness. While it was a nice and sort of "feel good" type story, there was nothing particular that grabbed me and make me hold on to the story so that I couldn't wait to pick it up again. I love dogs, and hearing the stories of the cute fuzzy puppies warmed my heart, but as far as a captivating story goes, the book didn't quite have it for me. Would definitely r ...more
Megan and her husband decide to help train puppies as service animals, this is set in England, so I believe they are called Helper Dogs. Each puppy is placed with a foster family for 6 months and then must move on for further training, this can be heartbreaking in light of becoming attached to the puppies, however, the day the one puppy leaves, another one immediately comes into the home.
Trials and tribulations as Meg and her husband keep trying to have a child of their own.
Kathy Robbins
A really feel good book. This couple started out as volunteers to raise puppies for up to 6 months to be service dogs. Could not do that in a million years. To form a bond with a dog and then have to them up? No stinkin' way! God bless those that are willing to do this. You are very special people.
I received this book from the Goodreads giveaway.

It's a very charming story of a childless couple wo, while desperately trying to conceive become foster parents to puppies who are headed to be helper dogs. The couple fosters 2 dogs for 6 months each which is both rewarding and painful as the dogs leave them for their destiny work as helper dogs. They decide to buy a dog and have a dog that stays with them forever, so to speak.

It's a very pleasant and heartwarming
I won this book through Librarything.I love good animal stories and this book is no exception. Megan and her husband, Ian were having trouble conceiving. What better way to take your mind off your troubles than bringing a puppy into your life. They decided to train golden retriever puppies to become helper dogs for people with disabilities. I highly recommend reading this heartwarming story for the holidays or anytime you want a feel good animal book to read.
In the beginning this book seemed to be jumping all over the place but I persevered and eventually all of the threads came together. I was delighted to learn about the charity, Helper Dogs, and the amazing things that their dogs can do to help people with disabilities, in addition to providing love and companionship. This was a heartwarming story.
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