Thursday, March 14, 2013

For Your Reading Pleasure, The Best of 2012!

EverythingDogBlog #21
EverythingDogBlog: For Your Reading Pleasure
by Skye Anderson, MS
I read books. I read dog books. I even review dog books. I have, for nearly 10 years now. And I have found that a yellow highlighter is a book reviewer’s best friend (after a dog, of course).
It’s difficult sometimes to place certain books in a certain year. I couldn’t read all the books I needed to before the end of this year, because some of them haven’t trickled down to me yet. And what if a hardback was published in one year but the paperback came out later? It often happens that a book says it is published in one year but Amazon lists it in the following year. And, finally, I naively ignore the publication date until near the end of the year when panic sets in.
So, here is my A-List for 2012 (though my 2011 list is probably more inclusively accurate). And here’s my B-list. And more, including a few I haven’t finished reviewing. In all, each year I read about 50 books of the reviewable kind.  Some I purchase, some are sent to me and some are library books. I have also included the Best Dog Product of the Year which I love! It’s at the end.
The “A” List of Titles I Loved (includes DVDs, and books for the younger set)
(generally available at or or your friendly neighborhood independent bookseller)
The Buddy Files: The Case of the School Ghost (Number 6 in the series), Dori Butler (Whitman, 128 pages, 2010, $14.99HB, $4.99PB, grades 1 and up), wherein a golden retriever plays detective and therapy dog.
Fetching the Perfect Dog Trainer, Katenna Jones (Dogwise, 52 pages, 2012, $9.95), how to select a dog trainer and what do all those initials mean, anyway?
From Tongue to Tail: The Integrated Movement of the Dog, narrated by Andy Mead, BVetMed, MRCVS, and produced by Julia Robertson (Parkes Productions, 48 minutes, 2011, $24.95), for novices and professionals alike. Fascinating slo-mo and illustrations of the bones superimposed on a moving dog. The more I view this DVD, the more I love it. Agility people especially will love it.
Reactive Dog Classes: On the Road to Reality, by Ali Brown (Tanacacia Press, 63 minutes, 2012, $49.95) (videoclip at This is the DVD for you if you have or want to help reactive dogs.
Showing Kunga: From Pet Owner to Dog Show Junkie, Alxe Noden (Dogwise, 123 pages, 2012, $12.95), how one woman was bitten by the dog show bug and how she manages to find people to show her how to do it. Funny.
Scooter in the Outside, Anne Bowen (Holiday House, 32 pages, 2012, $16.95, preschool – grade 2), a lovable book with lessons about responsibility and love.
The “B” List (Almost Loved)
Broadway Tails by Bill Berloni and Jim Hanrahan (Lyons Press, 246 pages, 2012, $19.95), wherein a Broadway trainer tells all. If you know Broadway, you’ll like this book. Lots about Annie of Little Orphan Annie.
Dancing Dogs: Stories by Jon Katz (Ballantine Books, 237 pages, 2012, $24), fiction tales by a gifted dog writer of non-fiction.
Dog InSight, Pamela Reid, PhD, CAAB (Dogwise Publishing, 216 pages, 2012, $12.95), a collection of (undated) non-fiction essays by a Canadian who now works for the ASPCA.
Dog is My Copilot: Rescue Tales of Flying Dogs, Second Chances, and the Hero Who Might Live Next Door, by Patrick Regan (Andrews McMeel Publishing, 136 pages, 2012, $16.99), about volunteer pilots who transport dogs to their forever homes.
Dogs of Courage: The Heroism and Heart of Working Dogs Around the World by Lisa Rogak (Thomas Dunne Books, 273 pages, 2012, $14.99), follows the success of Dogs of War.
Picture This by Jacqueline Sheehan (Avon Books, 2012, 400 pp, $14.99 PB), almost-a-romance-novel series.
Plenty in Life is Free: Reflections on Dogs, Training and Grace, Kathy Sdao (Dogwise, 112 pages, 2012, $12.95), telling us it’s OK to sometimes spoil our dogs.
Pure Gold: Adventures with Six Rescued Golden Retrievers, Holli Pfau (Glad Dog Press, 263 pages, 2012, $24.95), a memoir of six goldens in one family.
Unlikely Friendships: For Kids – a new series based on the adult book, Unlikely Friendships, by Jennifer Holland (Workman, 48 pages each, 2012, $7.95, ages 7 and up), follows on the success of the volume for adults. Animals of different species become friends.
Wallace: The Underdog Who Conquered a Sport, Saved a Marriage, and Championed Pit Bulls - One Flying Disc at a Time, by Jim Gorant (Gotham, 2012, $26, 256 pp), one pit bull – from shelter to national dog disc championship.
What the Dog Said by Randi Reisfeld (256 pages, 2012, $16.99, ages 10 and up), a 13-year-old girl raises and trains a service dog after her father’s death on duty as a policeman.
Very Promising (not finished with these yet)
Between Dog and Wolf – Understanding the Connection and the Confusion by Addams and Miller, a Dogwise book.
Facing Farewell: Making the Decision to Euthanize Your Pet by Julie Reck, DVM, a Dogwise book.
I’m a Good Dog: Pit Bulls, America’s Most Beautiful (and Misunderstood) Pet by Ken Foster, whose books are always great.
A Fistful of Collars, The Dog Who Knew Too Much (and A Cat was Involved), by Spencer Quinn. Dog and man detective team from both points of view.
Juvenile Delinquent Dogs, by Sue Brown. How to deal with a canine teenager – or a teenaged canine!
Little Boy Blue, A Puppy’s Rescue from Death Row and His Owner’s Journey for Truth, by Kim Kavin and Jim Gorant (who wrote Lost Dogs, about the Michael Vick dog-fighting ring).
Show Dog: The Charmed Life and Trying Times of a Near-Perfect Purebred by Josh Dean – following a dog for a year, traveling the dog show circuit.
Unsaid. Abramson. Great author.
What’s a Dog For? The Surprising History, Science, Philosophy and Politics of Man’s Best Friend, by John Homans.
Others (unfinished reviews)
Comet’s Tale: How the Dog I Rescued Save My Life. Wolf and Padwa.
A Dog Named Boo: How One Dog and One Woman Rescued Each Other – and the Lives They Transformed Along the Way. Edwards.
Trusting Calvin: How a Dog Helped Heal a Holocaust Survivor’s Heart. Peters.
Uggie, My Story. Uggie.
 New Product of the Year
And my Product of the Year (drumroll, please) is the Soggy Doggy line of towels and mats! Don’t settle for anything with a name that’s close – make sure it’s SoggyDoggy – either a towel with pockets or a mat so soft I was tempted to sleep on it myself at dog camp (could be a crate pad, too). Available at, and www.thegreatoutdoors, but make sure it is a Soggy Doggy. And here is a video –scroll down at ( or or

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