For those of you have been following my blog for a while you know that it was the loss of my 15+ year old rottweiler, one of the great loves of my life, that inspired me to donate all profits from my first book to the first and only no-kill shelter in Ventura County ( The profits from His Name Was Ben are going to Canine Adoption Rescue League (

Photo on 2010-12-23 at 19.53

Portrait I painted of Tazzie when she was a teenager. She was a purebred rottie sold through a pet store to a couple who had her a month or two and brought her to a kill shelter when she was hit by a truck and broke her femur. It was an aligned fracture, easy to fix, and so me the nurse went to walk dogs one day and brought her home. That leg never bothered her into the ripe old age of 15+. She’s a prominent character in my new book, His Name Was Ben. A special homage to one of the great loves of my life.

Press article about my relationship with Tazzie and profits to dogs:

5.0 out of 5 stars Heartwarming Love Story with a Dog!!! Fantastic!, October 10, 2014
This review is from: His Name was Ben (Paperback)
His Name was Ben by Paulette Mahurin surprised me only because I am not easily drawn to stories about illness, especially cancer patients. I guess they touch a little too close to home for me so, my tendency is to run in the other direction. I didn’t do that this time. The story drew me in right away as we are introduced to Sara and her beloved Rottweiler, Tazzie. We discover that Sara has been treated for breast cancer and is being accepted into a new and promising study by her oncologist, Dr. Zimmerman. While in the waiting room she sees Ben, another patient (pancreatic) and is immediately attracted to him in spite of their unconventional circumstances. She memorizes Ben’s phone number as he fills out his information form and eventually gets the courage to call him. Sara talks all of this over with her best friend, Ellen, just as the author also gives us glimpses into Sara’s home life (her mother is a grouse and her brother is a schizophrenic) The good news for the reader is that Sara, Ellen and Ben are extremely likable characters so as the story continues we can’t help but sympathize with them and the situation at hand. I got a particular kick out of Sara’s increasing libido as her cancer drugs were working! There were even a few moments where it got a little racy ~ go Sara! The story is told with great compassion and authenticity as medical information is revealed just as if it were real life. (Mahurin is a nurse and it shows in her writing)
But, this isn’t a typical love store between two cancer patients. There is another layer here that really made the book stand out and capture my heart. The awesome inclusion of the dog, Tazzie buffers all of the difficult things that Sara and Ben must deal with. Near the beginning of the story, Mahurin says that: “Sara’s life had been empty until she got a dog.” Indeed it was! Tazzie reigns throughout this narrative as great companion and stress reliever, offering all the things that dogs do: unconditional love, support, sympathy companionship. As Sara and Ben traverse the mountain before them: the difficulties with their imperfect families, the bleakness of serious illness, the struggles of a new relationship, Tazzie is there urging them on in her own way. The relationship between human beings with each other and humans with animals is one that this author knows well. I loved this story and so will you!
5.0 out of 5 stars Moving, October 11, 2014
This review is from: His Name was Ben (Paperback)
I have read others’ reviews of this endearing story and I have nothing by way of a useful review to add regarding the story itself or the writing. I agree with what others have said in theirs. However, . . . .What I would like to acknowledge is the wonderful courage and amazing heart possessed by this story’s author. In her inimitable down-to-Earth style, in her unique way, Paulette tells, not just her own or another’s story, but generically each of our own stories too, demonstrating to us how it is possible to escape the self-generated shackles, the self-protective illusions in our minds, to ignite and stoke our true potential for love, enabling us to create our own lives, moment by precious moment, as we live them.
5.0 out of 5 stars A great read!, November 2, 2014
Verified Purchase(What’s this?)
This review is from: His Name was Ben (Kindle Edition)
I loved “His Name was Ben” so much I read it twice! The first time for entertainment and the second time paying more attention technically, not that I’m any sort of an author, literary agent or even know how to write a short story. This is such a great love story which reminds us that despite facing seemingly unbeatable odds, life is still worth living. Being a personal friend of Paulette, I so loved the little bits of her personal life she infused into the story: Ojai, details of her house indoor and out, Tazzie, UCLA, NASA, her experiences as an NP working in the ER with true, accurate medical details and more. Congratulations Paulette on the success of the book. Can’t wait for your next one!

About The Persecution of Mildred Dunlap

The year 1895 was filled with memorable historical events: the Dreyfus Affair divided France; Booker T. Washington gave his Atlanta address; Richard Olney, United States Secretary of State, expanded the effects of the Monroe Doctrine in settling a boundary dispute between the United Kingdom and Venezuela; and Oscar Wilde was tried and convicted for "gross indecency" under Britian's recently passed law that made sex between males a criminal offense. When the news of Wilde's conviction went out over telegraphs worldwide, it threw a small Nevada town into chaos. This is the story of what happened when the lives of its citizens were impacted by the news of Oscar Wildes' imprisonment. It is chronicle of hatred and prejudice with all its unintended and devastating consequences, and how love and friendship bring strength and healing. Paulette Mahurin, the author, is a Nurse Practitioner who lives in Ojai, California with her husband Terry and their two dogs--- Max and Bella. She practices women's health in a rural clinic and writes in her spare time. All profits from her book are going to animal rescue, Santa Paula Animal Shelter, the first and only no-kill shelter in Ventura County, CA, where she lives. (see links below on Ventura County Star Article & Shelter) To find out more please go the The Persecution of Mildred Dunlap on facebook or Amazon or e-mail us at the gavatar addresses. Thank you. (photos: of Paulette, her family, and a reading at The Ojai Art Center, July 2012)
This entry was posted in DOGS & CATS, HIS NAME WAS BEN, REVIEWS, REVIEWS FOR HIS NAME WAS BEN. Bookmark the permalink.


  1. tazzielove says:

    Great post and review. 🙂

  2. Awesome painting and story, Paulette. Woo hooooo for the wonderful review. We need a bugle band or something…

  3. How wonderful that you put your dog in the story. I haven’t started reading it yet, but it’s in my queue.

    • Aww, thank you, Ruth. Tazzie is one of the main characters. She sure was in my life when I was very ill and so I incorporated her into the story as my homage to her. It made me feel good to do that, remembering and writing down so many memorable things about her: how she begged for food, nuzzled me to go for walks, told me when it was time for bed, etc. But you as a dog lover must have experienced all these things with yours. Love dogs and can’t imagine life without them. ❤

  4. Littlesundog says:

    What a beautiful painting! And that reader review… what a gift to know that your readers are deeply touched by the story, and by Tazzie. Well done, Paulette!

    • Hi there and thank you so much for this sweet comment. It was very special for me to see Tazzie get her due. You know from your life with nature how important animals are in our lives. Tazzie was a special friend who I shall never forget. Happy weekend and a special smile for your four legged friends, the dear deers. ❤

  5. tazzielove says:

    Reblogged this on tazziesplace and commented:
    Rottie, Tazzie, a main character in His Name Was Ben, featured in reader’s review.

  6. Lovely painting of your gorgeous Tazzie. So glad you were able to give her a loving home. Congrats on another great review, Paulette. 🙂

  7. seeker says:

    I can see that Tazzie is using Ben’s painting. Wow, you have an artistic ability among other things.

  8. That’s a beautiful painting of Tazzie dog, Paulette and a beautiful review too. Dogs are very special…just like me 🙂 Pawkisses for a Happy Weekend 🙂 ❤

  9. kanzensakura says:

    And this is why I say these angel animals are never rescued by us, we are rescued and saved by them. if it had not been for my precious Pugsley, I wouldn’t have made it so well through cancer. He taught me all about unconditional love. I am glad Tazzie gets into the review. What an angel.

    • Right on. They come into our lives, our doggie angels, and we are never the same. Aww, love the name Pugsley. So cute. No better teacher for unconditonal love than the Pugsleys and Tazzies of the world. Was so happy Tazzie got the recognition in this review. ❤

  10. I recognized Tazzie right away in the book. It felt so comfortable seeing her there. 🙂 ❤

  11. And you’re an amazing artist, too? Will your wonders never cease, dear friend? I’m glad that Tazzie is getting to be as famous as you! Wag, wag, Arf! Aff! ❤

  12. Awesome ❤ 5 paws out of five from our doodle team in the UK !

  13. What a moving tribute and I know how unbearable the pain can be losing such a big part of one ‘s life. A beautiful dog and a most kind and compassionate owner. Very touching.

  14. Misaki says:

    Such a lovely painting and tribute xx

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