Mattie, Milo, and Me

Anne grew up in an abusive home, leading to severe depression and a determination to do better as a mother. One of her sons wants a dog from the time he is a baby; Anne very much does not. For years she appeases him with creatures who live in cages and tanks, but on his tenth birthday she can no longer say no—and she proceeds to fall in love with their new four-legged family member, Mattie. Then Mattie dies a sudden and tragic death, and Anne feels herself begin to sink back into depression.

Trying to cope, she immediately adopts Milo—a dog who, unbeknownst to her, has already been returned to the rescue by several families due to his aggressive behavior. But even after she realizes Milo is dangerous, she’s committed to trying to give him a chance at a good life.

Anne’s journey takes the reader from dog school into the deep woods as she perseveres with Milo’s lifelong rehabilitation and her unwavering efforts to be a good mother to her sons. Working with Milo strengthens Anne and expands her ability to love. Ten years later, when Milo dies, Anne faces another choice: close the door to that part of her heart, or risk loving another dog after two tragic losses?

Praise for Mattie, Milo, and Me

Mattie, Milo, and Me began as a winning story told on April 1, 2019 at a Moth StorySlam in New York City. The theme for the evening was Bamboozled. In her five-minute story, Anne and her dog Milo captured the hearts of the audience. In fact, it was such a hit that she wrote this memoir to answer the many questions posed by people who wanted to know more. Ultimately, Anne wove her compelling SLAM story into a gorgeous meditation on unconditional love. This is one of those books you won’t want to put down, but also one you won’t want to finish.”
—Inga Glodowski, The Moth

Anne Abel’s memoir Mattie, Milo, and Me is a beautifully written testament to the journey of dog ownership. This memoir takes you on an emotional ride that anyone who has loved a pet can surely identify with. You’ll laugh, cry, and want to hug your dog by the end. A must-read!”
—Gary and Allie Vider, owners of Metro Pets NYC

Not every book a person reads is worth time and energy. Mattie, Milo, and Me a memoir, by Anne Abel, is a rare combination: an absorbing, well-told tale that also leaves the reader changed in an unexpected and positive way. This is not just a book about an aggressive and abandoned rescue dog and the woman who courageously rescued him. This is also a book about love and hope; despair and depression. It is an entertaining and absorbing story on one level, and on another level, a deep dive into love and loss, hope and redemption, and what gives life meaning.”
—Jeanne Gemmill Griffin, PhD

Mattie, Milo, and Me by Anne Abel is a touching story that made me smile with joy. Yet the heartbreak around loss touched my heart as well. The joy, the comfort that Anne experienced with Mattie and then with Milo filled the pages. The joy of loving and the pain of losing them was heartfelt. The mutual love that the Abel family experienced with each other was real, honest, and unconditional, even as Anne dealt with her mother’s inability to express the human connection of a mother’s love. This story shows us how love and sorrow are so intertwined.”
—Sister Kathy McShane, Sister of Saint Joseph

I love Anne Abel’s memoir, Mattie, Milo, and Me. It had me laughing out loud. Yet, it so touching that it had me in tears, too. This book is brilliant. Anne’s resilience with Milo is admirable and inspirational. And her joys and struggles, relatable. I learned a lot. I highly recommend.”
—Natalie Aronow, Doctor of Veterinary Medicine

Mattie, Milo, and Me is a tender story with opposite emotional strings. One is: love denied by emotionally abusive parents, the other is: love received from a very caring husband and beloved sons. Through steadfast determination and a loving heart, the writer’s lifelong quest to be a good mother is realized in both the human and animal realms. Most of all it spins a loving tale of how dogs bring true joy, healing, and comfort to us. Mattie, Milo, and Anne were true gifts to each other.”
—Sister Marian Behrle, Sisters of Saint Joseph