Connie's Book Club - Fall 2009

Connie's Book Club

Connie's Book Club

Guardians of Being by Eckhart Tolle and Patrick McDonnell

Connie's Book Club - Guardians of Being

Eckhart Tolle and Patrick McDonnell fans will rejoice over Guardians of Being (New World Library; 2009), the combined effort of these bestselling authors. This beautiful, thought-provoking, and enlightening book pairs Tolle’s “Power of Now” mindfulness with McDonnell’s beloved Mutts characters, showing how we can find “true happiness in simple, seemingly unremarkable things” by simply being present, a state that our dogs naturally occupy. The skillful use of the Mutts animals to illustrate Tolle’s theme renders his philosophy into easily grasped concepts. This thoroughly charming book deserves a place on your coffee table. While you’re at it, why not pick up a copy for your best friend, too? - Connie Wilson

K-9 Nation Biscuit Book: Baking for your Best Friend by Klecko

Connie's Book Club - K9 Nation

Even with nearly 30 years of
experience baking bread for
some of the best restaurants,
casinos, and hotels in the Twin
Cities to his credit, Klecko, a
life-long dog lover, tells us that
he actually prefers baking for pets. In his K-9 Nation Biscuit
(Minnesota Historical Society Press; 2009), he has applied his master baking skills to the creation of
three dozen unique biscuit recipes to tantalize your dog’s taste
buds. Presented in an easy-to-follow manner, the healthy recipes
emphasize high-quality ingredients and each comes with
its own story about a dog and his/her owner who inspired or
helped create the biscuit, along with handy tips from Klecko
that will assist even the most novice baker. From Calm Down
Biscuits to Tender-Tummy Biscuits and Sausage-y Beagle
Biscuits to Honey’s No-Honey Miso Biscuits, these tasty treats
will have Widget begging for more. - Connie Wilson

The Complete Single’s Guide to Being a Dog Owner By Betsy Rosenfeld

Connie's Book Club - The Complete Single’s Guide to Being a Dog Owner

Single and considering getting a dog?
If so, this is the book for you. Betsy
Rosenfeld’s The Complete Single’s
Guide to Being a Dog Owner
((Adams Media; 2009) will
help ensure you’re getting a dog for
the right reasons and prepare you
for the time commitment and adjustment to your lifestyle. With
lists of must-knows about canine guardianship and rules to living
and dating as a single-with-dog, this should prove an indispensible
read for those attempting to determine if they’re ready
to take the leap and make the commitment to a canine friend.
Knowledgably written in a humourous and sassy style, The
Complete Single’s Guide to Being a Dog Owner not only provides
sensible answers to practical questions, but also delves into the
importance of not letting your dog stand in the ways of your
romantic life, addressing important questions such as: What
should I do if my significant other and dog are jealous of each
other? What if my boyfriend won’t share my bed with my dog?
and: Bedroom door…open or closed?
As Rosenfeld points out, we all want the benefits of having
a dog—the companionship, unconditional love—we just need
to remember there’s plenty of responsibility that accompanies
the many joys. It takes commitment and a willingness to make
adjustments to your lifestyle and schedule so that your dog is
happy and well-adjusted. If more people would seriously consider
the implications of taking on a dog, there would be far
fewer poor souls dropped off at shelters. Two thumbs up for
Rosenfeld! - Connie Wilson

World Atlas of Dog Breeds By Dominique De Vito (with Heather Russell-Revesz and Stephanie Fornino)

Connie's Book Club - World Atlas of Dog Breeds

With close to a thousand pages
covering over 450 breeds, the
World Atlas of Dog Breeds (T.F.H. Publications; 2009) provides
a complete and excellent
resource. Part I outlines the history and development of domestic
dogs, breed types, and backgrounds, and Part II
covers care and training. Part III alphabetically lists profiles
on over 420 internationally recognized breeds and varieties,
while Part IV contains glossaries on terminology, disorders
and diseases, and resources. The well-planned format includes
colour-coded headers identifying the breed by type, full-colour
photographs, and at-a-glance breed and fast facts (including
compatibility with children and other pets, energy level, and
exercise requirements), making it a user-friendly and valuable
book for reference, research, or for anyone who simply enjoys
reading about dogs. - Connie Wilson

Heroic Measures By Jill Ciment

Connie's Book Club - Heroic Measures

Heroic Measures (Pantheon Books; 2009) is a touching, unexpectedly gripping story that unfolds over the course of a weekend and revolves
around Ruth and Alex Cohen, an elderly, childless couple, and their 12-year-old Dachshund,
Dorothy, a little dog who not only holds the center of their lives, but brings it meaning. With
the five flights of stairs up to their apartment becoming too much of a challenge for all of them,
the Cohens have just put their home on the market in hope of getting top dollar so they can
afford an apartment with an elevator. Fate intervenes when several disasters, both public and
personal, arise. As a gas tanker truck gets stuck in the Midtown tunnel and the city, in the hold
of post-911 jitters, fearing it to be another terrorist attack, shuts down, dead-locking traffic,
Dorothy’s back legs suddenly become paralyzed. Ruth and Alex struggle to get her to the vet
and deliberate on subjecting their dog to a “no-guarantees” surgery, while coping with people
traipsing through their home as news reports and polls speculate on the trucker’s motives and
psychological state, causing the real estate market to yo-yo in response. As you follow events
through Ruth’s, Alex’s, and Dorothy’s shifting points of views, you’re caught up and held in
suspense right to the conclusion of this heartrending tale of urban drama. - Connie Wilson

Rescue Matters! How to Find, Foster, and Re-home Companion Animals By Sheila Webster Boneham

Connie's Book Club - Rescue Matters!

Having grown up in a home that
regularly took in strays they would
care for and re-home or keep,
Boneham’s interest and knowledge
on the subject of rescue comes
from lifelong experience. Her
book, Rescue Matters! (Alpine Publications; 2009) offers helpful
advice for anyone who has thought about starting a rescue,
whether one has a limited amount of time or can dedicate multiple
hours per week, and provides the expertise, insight, and
tools needed to get off on the right track. Included are useful
templates for forms such as adoption applications and foster
caretaker applications, along with rescuer resources and contact
info. Potential adopters considering a rescued animal will also
find useful information on what to look for in choosing a legitimate,
ethical, and well-run rescue organization. As Boneham
says, “More people than ever before are making well-considered
choices and getting their pets from responsible sources… Great
changes in societies start small, and while the rescue road is
long and often dark and bumpy, we have covered considerable
ground.” Rescue Matters! is a great resource and inspiration for
those wanting to make a difference and get involved in
the fight. - Connie Wilson

Spirit Dogs: Heroes in Heaven

By Susan Kelleher; Illustrations by Rod Lawrence
Spirit Dogs: Heroes in Heaven

(Owl of Athene; 1998) If you or someone you know has experienced the heartbreaking loss of a dog, Spirit Dogs will afford comfort. This beautifully illustrated little book provides the consoling promise of a hereafter, a doggie heaven from which our friends continue to send us their love. This book would make an excellent condolence gift.

Spirit Dogs: Life Between Lives

By Susan Kelleher
Susan Kelleher

The engrossing Spirit Dogs: Life Between Lives (Owl of Athene; 2005) by Susan Kelleher is a thought-provoking story about canine afterlife, related through the experiences of Ivan, a Border Collie, and his four heavenly canine companions. Having recently passed to the other side, the dogs help each other analyze and understand the purpose of their past lives in order to get to the true essence of the canine spirit. Thus prepared, they choose the dog they will incarnate to, continuing their evolvement to “wholeness.” All together, a very interesting reflection on the canine spirit and the afterlife, and one that will likely be a comfort to anyone who has lost a dog. 

Dog of the Week!

Meet: Misha