Christened "charming" and "winning" by the Washington Post and "touching" by Publishers Weekly, celebrated author Monica Holloway’s deeply moving memoir shares the unforgettable story of an extraordinary little boy and the irresistible puppy who transformed his life.
The day Monica Holloway learns that her lovable, brilliant three-year-old son has autism spectrum disorder, she takes him to buy an aquarium. But what Wills really wants is a puppy, and from the moment Cowboy Carol Lawrence, an overeager and affectionate golden retriever, joins the family, Monica watches as her cautious son steps a little farther into the world.
With his new "sister" Cowboy by his side, Wills finds the courage to invite kids over for playdates, conquer his debilitating fear of water, and finally sleep in his own bed with the puppy’s paws draped across his small chest. And when Cowboy turns out to need her new family as much as they need her, they discover just how much she has taught them about devotion, loyalty, and never giving up.
Sometimes it’s what you don’t know to hope for that saves you. For Monica and Wills, salvation came in the form of a puppy with pale blond fur, chocolate brown eyes, a fondness for chewing the crotch out of underpants, and a limitless capacity for love.
About the Author
Monica Holloway is the critically acclaimed author of the memoir Driving with Dead People. She has contributed to the anthology Mommy Wars, from which her essay "Red Boots and Cole Haans" was described by Newsday as "brilliant, grimly hilarious." She lives in Los Angeles with her family.
Praise for Cowboy & Wills: A Love Story…
"A boy and his dog -- that is sacred stuff. Layer onto that autism and the singular love of a mother and you've got the makings for deeply worthwhile reading. Monica Holloway is any one of us, doubled over with hope and pain and wishing." -- Kelly Corrigan, New York Times bestselling author of The Middle Place
"A young boy with autism is able to make friends with the aid of his pet dog named Cowboy. Pets can help open up social doors." -- Temple Grandin, New York Times bestselling author of Animals in Translation and Animals Make Us Human
"An intimate, loving, funny look at the heartbreaking relationship between one mom, one dad, their very special little boy, and the puppy that was heaven-sent to love them all." -- Leslie Morgan Steiner, New York Times bestselling author of Crazy Love and Mommy Wars
"Monica Holloway had me laughing AND crying within the first five pages of Cowboy & Wills. She crafts artful and, so often, hysterical observations of everyday life, while also revealing the many dimensions of heartache that come with being a mother who wants only the best for her family. Monica is the genuine article when it comes to pitch-perfect memoir writing." -- Jennifer Lauck, New York Times bestselling author of Blackbird and Still Waters
"Cowboy & Wills is the very best kind of memoir: a quietly profound story that reminds everyone of the power of simple acts of love. Holloway and her remarkable son are bound to inspire and transform many lives." -- Hope Edelman, New York Times bestselling author of The Possibility of Everything and Motherless Daughters
"Monica Holloway has written one of the most extraordinary memoirs I've ever read. Tender, loving, and heartbreakingly intimate, it chronicles her struggle to coax her son, Wills, out of the shell of autism. I highly recommend this gorgeous and frank book about family, connections, and the ephemeral state of belonging." -- Barrie Gillies, senior editor, Parents magazine
"Monica Holloway's Cowboy & Wills is a refreshing look at high-functioning autism. Her writing is personal, insightful, informative, and helpful. I highly recommend this book to families with autism, as well as to others who wish to gain a better understanding of the challenges and victories these families face." -- Elaine Hall, CoachE! in Autism: The Musical and author of Now I See the Moon