Connie’s Book Club - Fall 2011

Connie's Book Club

Connie's Book Club

The Dogs of Central Park

Universe Publishing; 2011
By Fran Reisner
The green center that is the heart—and lungs—of New York City has a special kind of magic, the words themselves, Central Park, a tonic of sorts, for it seems an improbable oasis in the bustle of Manhattan, spat out as you are from the congestion of Midtown into the higher digits (and pay cheques) of the Upper East Side before the pavement drops away and the green acreage begins. New Yorkers and tourists alike flock there, but it is perhaps the dogs, busting free of the sidewalks and traffic, that best embody the miracle of the park, reveling in the space, the grass, the trees, and, yes, the squirrels. In The Dogs of Central Park, Fran Reisner, an internationally award-winning photographer and speaker, captures the joyous dogs who frequent it. The book features canines of all sizes and shapes, from Mikimoto and Gem, a Standard Poodle couple, to Scheki the three-legged rescue pup from Israel, all shot against the incomparable backdrop the park offers up, from John Lennon’s “Imagine” memorial to the skyscrapers in the distance marking its perimeter.—JN

To Fetch A Thief

Simon & Schuster; 2010
By Spencer Quinn
Spencer Quinn delights readers with the third installment of his New York Times-bestselling mystery series featuring the lovable characters Bernie Little, a private investigator, and Chet, his trusty canine companion. Chet is a handsome pup known as the best tracking nose in the valley and together they make up the Little Detective Agency. When an old-fashioned traveling circus comes to town, this dynamic duo is hired by Popo the clown to investigate the mysterious disappearance of Peanut the elephant and her trainer Uri DeLeath. Chet narrates the story, offering a light-hearted, humorous canine perspective on the human world. The result is a delectable combination of suspense and wit which adds up to an irresistible read.—BR

Dog

Simon & Schuster for Young Readers; 2007
By Matthew Van Fleet; photography by Brian Stanton
If you want to delight a young child with a book that will not only teach her about dogs, but also withstand her eager page-turning hands, then this sturdy, interactive book is a great choice. Those already familiar with Van Fleet’s million-copyseller Fuzzy Yellow Ducklings will understand why Dog, a similarly constructed book, will captivate toddlers (and adults, too!). The same pull-tabs and tactile surfaces that create a fun learning experience are here, this time accompanying photographs of 20 breeds of dogs. The rhyming verses demonstrate comparisons and contrasts, such as “Little dog, Big dog, Teeny dog quakes. Dry dog, Wet dog—shake, shake, shake!” The pull-tab then moves the bathing dog’s head from side to side, simulating shaking. Guaranteed to bring a smile.—CW

I’m Not the Biggest Bitch in This Relationship

NAL/Penguin; 2011
By Wade Rouse

Edited
Bringing dog lovers and comedy aficionados
together, funny-man Wade Rouse
manages to bring out both emotion and
humor in this compilation of stories
by luminaries such as Carol Leifer, Jen
Lancaster, Rita Mae Brown, Laurie Notaro, Jane Green, W. Bruce
Harbsion, and many more. Masterfully woven together, these
heartwarming tales prove that even though we may take things
too seriously, the dogs in our lives sure don’t. They will always
be there to love us—and to poop on the floor. With this book
benefitting the HSUS and other animal shelters/causes, we can
show them a little love back.—GM

The Art of Raising a Puppy

Little, Brown and Co; 2011
By The Monks of New Skete

This revised and updated edition of the
bestselling book offers an in-depth, stepby-
step guide to raising and training a
pup based on a program that enhances
the bond between puppy and owner.
New and expanded chapters cover crate
training, the importance of play, adoption,
and more. The Monks of New Skete, who have trained,
bred, and raised dogs at their monastery for over three decades,
focus on communication and mutual respect beginning in puppyhood.
More than 125 photo illustrate and explain techniques
and critical stages. From common concerns such as chewing and house-training to socialization, pack dynamics, and even a
puppy aptitude test, The Art of Raising a Puppy is sure to be a
comprehensive reference for all new dog owners.—MM

Training Your Dog the Humane Way: Simple Teaching Tips for Resolving Problem Behaviors & Raising a Happy Dog

New World Library; 2011
By Alana Stevenson

In Training Your Dog the Humane Way,
professional dog trainer and behaviourist
Alana Stevenson illustrates how
animals learn and why they learn best
through benevolent leadership. With this as her foundation,
Stevenson provides effective, positive dog training techniques,
making it easy to avoid resorting to punishment or inadvertent
negative-reinforcement. Whether you’re looking to remedy
ongoing behavioural problems or simply searching for a good
basic training manual, this book arms you with the information
you’ll need. Stevenson’s easy-to-follow methods and advice will
teach dogs polite manners and remedy all matter of ills, from
house-soiling and barking to play-biting, leash-lunging, fear of
strangers, separation anxiety, car sickness, and more. If you’re
seeking a training guide that offers a compassionate way to guide
your best friend to a desired behaviour, Training Your Dog the
Humane Way is a wise choice.—CW

Your Dog Is Your Mirror: The Emotional Capacity of Our Dogs and Ourselves

New World Library; 2011
By Kevin Behan

Kevin Behan, veteran dog trainer and
leader in dog rehabilitation, explains the
theories behind his revolutionary new
model for understanding canine behaviour.
Rather than the alpha/dominance model espoused by the likes of
Cesar Milan, or the positive approach where training is accomplished
through treats and reinforcement, Behan proposes a new
model, one that is founded on the belief that “dog cognition is a
function of emotion that forms the group consciousness within a
pack, be it an extended wolf family or the pairing of a domestic
dog and its owners.” Further, he believes that a dog’s very purpose
in our lives may be to reveal the core emotions we have
lost touch with, the emotions that become subsumed by our
constant thoughts. He believes that many problematic behaviours
that develop in dogs can be resolved through this new prism of
understanding dog cognition. His theory, developed over 30 years
of training dogs, opens the door to a whole new world of communication
and understanding between species, and possibly a
whole new understanding of ourselves. A fascinating read.—CW

Dog of the Week!

Meet: Misty