A Yorkie's Tale: Lessons from a Life Well-Lived by David L. Heaney
"David Heaney has written a fascinating stealth book. From the gorgeous illustrations and the appealing Yorkie of the title, you might assume you were about to read a beguiling children's story. And you would be right (assuming the child has strong, direct parents who are willing to explore reality with their child). As you get deeper into the book you begin to sense that Heaney has snuck up on you and seduced you into an encounter with the demanding life events our culture is structured to paper over. The writing is straightforward, the animal conversations that children love and that disarms adults. Read it to your five-year-old, your aging friend, yourself, and you'll be drawn into a gentle but brave encounter with the conundrum of mortality. Discovering the reality of life that we're here for a season can be terrifying or incentive to embrace every day. With help from this Yorkie and his friend David Heaney, you may gain a new lease on living."
In this charming spiritual adventure, author and former pastor David L. Heaney uses the adventurous journey of a dog, a rat, and a parrot to impart important truths about the nature of life and the inevitability of death.
Niles, an aging Yorkie, has led a pampered life with his two loving owners and knows nothing of death. When his new friend Nathaniel, an inquisitive fruit rat, shares the puzzling tale of a family burying a sleeping cat, Niles's life begins to really change. Another neighborhood critter, an eccentric possum called Leach, explains to the two befuddled creatures that the cat wasn t simply sleeping it was dead.
Shaken by this revelation, Niles and Nathaniel decide they need to do something meaningful with their lives but what? They resolve to venture outside Niles s backyard, and with the help of Poppy, a friendly parrot, and guided by cryptic messages from a cat Niles encounters in his dreams, they begin to seek out answers.
Their travels take them from their own neighborhood through a canyon right to the edge of the ocean. Along the way, they encounter and benefit from the wisdom shared by others the seagulls, dolphins, and a visionary gorilla about the mysteries of life, and the grace that comes from living well unafraid of their own mortality.
David has spent his professional life as an Episcopal Priest, Psychotherapist, and consultant working with governments around the world with the development of their social assistance programs. He holds a M.Div. from the Divinity School at Yale University, a MA in Marriage and Family Therapy from the University of San Diego, and a BA from SUNY, College at Purchase. David lives with his wife, Lynda and their three dogs in Durham.