Heartrending? Yes. Worth it? Yes.
Enzo, our narrator, is a dog. He's loyal and smart and flawed. He offers you a story of his owner Denny, of Denny's tragedy and triumph(s), but mostly perseverance in the face of desolation. He offers, in hopes that you'll be inspired by it. And all the while, Enzo reminds you that this is still a dog tale, with his dodgy crows, dancing zebras and obsession with thumbs.
Enzo wants to be a human, and in the wanting, he ponders the curious ways that humans behave and endeavors to exemplify the best attributes that we have at our disposal. Unconditional love, empathy, compassion.
From the first page, you know that Enzo is dying. Stein doesn't come in sucker punch you, he lays out pretty early and often that there be trials ahead. But it's okay.
This is one of those books that hurts, but also gives hope. I reveled in the hope, I reveled through big, fat, ugly tears. Reveled.
P.S. This might be the best, most fitting, most wonderful title for a book ever. Good on so many levels. Two barks, people.