Beagle on Board is a beautiful, courageous, and heartbreaking book. Brad Bawmann invites readers to board the rickety rollercoaster that he and his family hung on to for dear life as they struggled to understand and cope with his father’s increasingly bizarre behavior, which eventually was tied to his devastating dance with Alzheimer’s disease. The book is intimate: The author makes himself astonishingly vulnerable, sharing personal and family secrets and insights few of us would dare put to paper. And he did constant homework, reading scientific studies and talking with doctor after doctor. Beagle on Board is sprinkled with snippets of humor, some dark, the author’s way to help himself and others deal with a such a cruel disease.
For those with Alzheimer’s in the family or neighborhood, and those who have not yet been confronted by the confounding disease, this book is both a punch in the gut and a touch by an angel. The book’s subtitle, One Family’s Journey to Find Love During Their Father’s Battle with Alzheimer’s, neatly sums up the author’s quest, which is to help others mired in similar situations better understand what they are up against, and how they might push forward with grace.