Connie’s Book Club - Spring 2012

Connie's Book Club

Connie's Book Club

Project DOG

Self-published, 2011
By Kira Stackhouse
Following a year-long social media campaign that yielded over 4000 submissions from would-be canine models, Kira Stackhouse embarked upon collecting the stories and images of over 300 dogs with the intention of promoting responsible dog ownership. Stackhouse photographed two members of each of the 170 breeds represented, one with papers, the other a rescue, and paired the resultant photos with endearing factoids such as favoured treats and pastimes. Older dogs and younger, the one-eyed and the hairless, they’re all here, standing in for the beloved canines who have come in and out of our lives. As the book’s introduction succinctly puts it, Project DOG is a celebration of something shared by so many of us—a love for dogs—independent of where they came from or what they look like.

Buji & Me: 7 Lessons From The Dog Who Rescued Me

Medallion Press, 2011
By Wendy Kelly
In Buji & Me: 7 Lessons From The Dog Who Rescued Me, animal behaviourist and former psychological therapist Wendy Kelly traces seven steps that can change the lives of animals and their guardians. In relating her personal experiences, she shows how animal training is not only about getting our pets to respond to our wishes, but also about opening ourselves to what they have to tell us. After taking on Buji, an aggressive and scared bully dog, Kelly learns how powerful and life-changing one’s relationship with their pets can be. She shows how simple interactions with animals can teach people how to live in the present moment, focus their energies on what they really want, and face future challenges with an open mind and heart. With fitting illustrations by cartoonist Dean Young and inspirational quotes peppered throughout, Buji & Me works to prove how animals can come into our lives and change it for the better.—OF

The Dog Who Danced

St. Martins Press, 2012
By Susan Wilson

In The Dog Who Danced, Susan Wilson, the New York Times bestselling author of One Good Dog (reviewed in Summer 2011 issue of Modern Dog), dishes up another captivating story that will keep you hooked until the last page is turned. At the center of this novel is Mack, a loyal, loving, and perceptive Sheltie who has a talent of bringing out the best in the people around him. He’s the one constant in Justine Meade’s life, which is a bit of a mess; Justine is down-on-her-luck, with a series of unsuccessful careers and relationships in her wake. When an emergency calls her back home after a twenty-year absence, her luck worsens; during the cross-country drive back home she loses her most precious companion— Mack. Panic stricken, she sets about trying to find him while attempting to balance obligations to a family whose love for her she doubts. Meanwhile, a lost dog is found by a dysfunctional couple still mourning the loss of a long-deceased daughter. As the story unfolds, we see how this singular dog manages to heal the lives of the humans he encounters, becoming the bridge they need to relate to each other and healing the guilt and sorrow they’ve let damage their relationships.

Murder Unleashed

Villard, 2011
By Merrill Markoe

In this collection of essays spanning
the most varied of topics, from difficult
mothers to unruly dogs, New
York Times bestselling author Merrill
Makoe takes the reader on a hilarious
journey through her personal history.
She shies away from nothing—it’s all
here, candid, affecting, and wickedly
funny. Unsurprisingly, perhaps, our favourite stories involve her
uncontrollable four-legged troupe. In an insightful, biting, and
very funny manner, she neatly illustrates how unlikely people’s
love for dogs most often is, given our dogs’ proclivity to deliver
of the most offensive smells, gut-wrenching squeals, and annoyingly
endearing (and very effective) distraction techniques,
coupled with terribly narcissistic motivations. An inveterate
dog lover herself, Makoe will make you laugh as she describes
the most unnerving actions pet-owners tolerate and how they
would be deemed completely offensive if performed by people,
like, say, one’s grandmother, instead of one’s dog. In cataloging
her adored dogs’ erratic and ought-to-be infuriating behaviour,
Makoe’s proves—in a laugh-out-loud way—that our love for our
dogs is the very definition of unconditional.—OF

Dog of the Week!