Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Book Review: Dogs Don't Look Both Ways (lab)

Dogs Don’t Look Both Ways: A Primer on Unintended Consequences, by Jane Hanser (Ivy Books, 2014, 162 pages, $12.99)

I LIKE it!

I like just about everything about Dogs Don’t Look Both Ways! I like the size, I like the title, I like the author’s first name (same as my middle name), I like the photos (very professional), I like the varying lengths of the nearly two dozen chapters, and I like the stories of Joey’s life. I like the cover: I even like Joey’s collar - Joey is so regal looking.

I really like the title! And I laughed at the photo of the Animal Control truck author Jane Hanser included on page 42! (It turns out the Animal Control Officer and Joey become fast friends!)

I like the dedication. In the words of Joey, the Labrador Retriever, the book is “dedicated to . . . the mail carriers who leave us treats every day, and the Animal Control policemen who bring us back home after we’ve escaped!”

I even like the Foreword, by Joey’s emergency veterinarian.

Will the Real Author Please Stand Up?

I know a lot of readers don’t like reading books that dogs have supposedly written. But I do. Perhaps I have only read those well-done, well-written books but I like getting into the mind of a dog to learn what makes him tick, what tickles his funny bone, how he observes us humans. What he thinks about and what he doesn’t.

Dogs is written by Joey, the chocolate lab, though his person’s name appears on the cover as the author. Dogs is so well written that I invite those skeptical dog-author dislikers to check this book out. You might just love it like I did.

At first, though, Dogs seemed a bit forced. Joey himself wrote the book but his adjectives are big enough to have come from an English teacher (like his human mom actually is): however, either I became used to the flow or Joey toned down his high-falllutin language to the vernacular so that it didn’t interfere with the flow of the stories after a few pages.

Suspenseful Beach Read

Dogs is a great beach read or plane book. I had hoped to finish it on the train from Washington, DC, to Connecticut but another part of me wanted to savor the stories. (I ended up reading it several times.)

Joey is a dog who never grew up though his command of the English language is commendable and his gift of gab is hilarious. You simply have to smile at Joey, his life, tribulations and antics all.

Have You Ever Wondered. . . . ?

Why does your dog continue to try to run away every once in a while (or constantly plot to do so) even when you scold him or shower him with kisses upon his return? Joey knows and will tell you if you listen hard enough. And he sneaks in quite a bit of information about Labrador Retrievers and dogs in general. I guess Joey wants a wise readership.

Joey Tells All - In Only Ten Years

Why do dogs dig? How does a lab grow up? Why does a lab want to do what his human family does? Why do dogs chew? Why do labs like sitting outside in the backyard? Why don’t dogs look both ways? What good is a dog’s nose? Do all retrievers retrieve? Do all labs love to swim?

What would you do if you were a dog and moved several hours away from your birthstate and then, quite by accident, were suddenly met by one of your litter sisters at a boarding kennel – would you recognize her, years later? Find out if Joey did.

And, of course, I love the chapters that relate the story of the title. What happens when dogs don’t look both ways and how long do the repercussions last?

Joey, the chocolate lab, will reveal all these and other secrets to you in Dogs Don’t Look Both Ways. Get it and read it over and over.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you, Skye, for expressing your perceptiveness, insight and enthusiasm about the book so fully.

    It's funny you noticed the collar. Rosie (you remember Rosie?) was wearing the exact same collar when I first saw her. How's that!!

    All the best.