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To Sing Once More

Sorrow, Joy, and the Dog I Loved

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How do we honor the dog friends who keep us company without complaint? How do we prepare when their all-too-short lives near an end? How do we grieve their passing and take joy in their memory?

This memoir celebrates the life of a beautiful Golden Retriever named Hannah Estelle. It tells how, at a time of deep sadness, Hannah’s puppy presence helped the author learn to sing again; how, as he became an accomplished vocalist, her faithful friendship brought grace and joy; and how, during the cancer-wracked months that ended her life, his singing to Hannah helped her departure.

Woven around texts from poignant songs, the book speaks of loss and love, of sorrow and joy, of suffering and hope. Each chapter is a dog song, inspired by the canine companion it is about, and songlike in its own aspiration. Lambert Zuidervaart tells lyrical stories about a dear dog’s life to thank her for helping him learn to sing once more.

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Praise for To Sing Once More

“As a singer, composer, and conductor, I am deeply moved by Lambert's remembrances of his beloved Hannah, and the ways that music impacted their shared journey. I am inspired and reassured by the similarities I find here to my own life with dogs—from the joys and challenges of puppies, through the cementing of shared loyalties, and the grief of navigating illness and end-of-life care. I’m so grateful for this gracious, loving memoir and the memories it stirs in me.”
Matthew Culloton, Founding Artistic Director, The Singers - Minnesota Choral Artists, Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota

“This book, written passionately from the heart, verbalizes in truly beautiful language what so many of us who have shared our lives with dogs would wish to say, but could not find the words.”
Chris Zink, Sports Medicine Veterinarian and Lifelong Dog Lover

About the Author

Lambert Zuidervaart is emeritus professor of philosophy at the Institute for Christian Studies and the University of Toronto and a visiting scholar at Calvin University. He is the author of nine book in philosophy, including Artistic Truth, Social Philosophy after Adorno, and Religion, Truth, and Social Transformation. A resident of West Michigan, he sings in the Chamber Choir of Grand Rapids and two church choirs.

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