September 12, 2008

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So many book lovers! It's wonderful, really. Yuji and Baxter have made book recommendations for me. I will send the boss ma'am to the book store pronto.

In the meantime, I want to bark a bit about a book that has made a big splash: Marley and Me by John Grogan. I have to confess, I was not particularly impressed with "the world's worst dog." Sure, it's a cute story. Sweet, sad, kind of funny, all the usual dog story stuff. But between you and me, I hope Mr. Grogan never gets a terrier. World's worst dog indeed! (Sorry, Spring.)

If you want a good read about a really naughty dog, try What the Dog Did by Emily Yoffe. It's a scream. Here's what she learns while researching dogs before adopting one:

"In its entry on beagles, The International Encyclopedia of Dogs states: 'It is essential that the breed is trained to come when called, as this can avert disaster should a potential 'hunting' situation arise.' Excellent advice, and as useful as a child-rearing book declaring: 'It is crucial to instruct your offspring to become as rich as Bill Gates, as this can avert disaster should a potential financial obligation arise.'"

Once rescue beagle Sasha arrives, the author finds herself unprepared for the level of supervision required:

"In a Henry VIII-style banquet, Sasha had consumed one fifth of her weight in cat food. The food must have contained some special brain nutrients, since I then noticed that Sasha had managed to disable the brilliant string rubber band hook and eye contraption I had rigged to keep the basement door open only wide enough for the cats to fit through. This had successfully kept the basement--and its litter boxes--cats-only territory.
As I descended to the basement I was struck by how quiet it was. I got to the bottom of the staircase to see the cats, utterly still, eyes fixed, staring down the corridor where we keep the litter boxes. Goldie and Biscuit looked as if they were watching a snuff movie. They were repelled, in shock, yet unable to turn away."

Wonder how Mr. Grogan would do with a beagle.