My Beloved Dogs: Record Keeping for the Canine Competitor and Multi-Dog Homes by Leila Grandemange (SunnyVille Publishing [self-published], 2015, 227 pages, $17.95)
Niche ‘Book’ Like a Scrapbook to Fill
My Beloved Dogs is just right for you if you have up to 20 purebred dogs who compete in conformation (or possibly rally, obedience or agility with some modifications to pages) and have more money than time. Leila Grandemange has provided the show dog world with a handy book of empty pages for you to fill in with records of your dogs – up to 40 dogs in some sections.
I am sure there are readers out there who can nearly fill this book, who have 20 show dogs: this book will help them become less scatter-brained by providing a place for all the ‘important stuff.’ Of course, you are paying for empty pages but sometimes it is more convenient for others to both provide us with empty charts than for us to think about what information we need to keep for our dogs and to devise the categories of such information.
Part One consists of three pages on which to record basic information for up to 24 dogs with the fantastic feature of a blank space for the page number associated with each dog’s more detailed information charts found in Part Two!
Part One also provides a blank chart for very basic information on 30 future (hopefully) champions; another, for 80 heats and breeding attempts; and, lastly, a place to write down information on 40 stud services. One page contains the information required by AKC on each registered dog, and, finally, you can read “The Ribbon that Runs Through History: Its Meaning, Purpose and Goal” which primarily consists of a several-paragraph quote by Dennis Homes.
Melding into Part Two with nary an internal demarcation, we come upon six pages per dog for up to 20 dogs – their photo (I presume, on one page); half a page for health, nutrition and routine; an entire page for achievements; one page for vaccination dates with the vaccinations already listed (very helpful) followed by two entire pages for veterinarian visits called Health Testing Health History, also a great and handy idea.
Part Three consists of a chart for 15 show results followed by a blank page for notes for 40 dogs. To introduce Part Three, the award-winning author answers the question, What is a Conformation Show? in a couple of paragraphs and also gives us a sample chart filled out.
The book concludes with general (obvious) safety tips, how to be a good ambassador, a short one-page article on how many dogs may be too many for you, a blank phone and address directory, and some recommended books and useful web sites, all quite introductory.
Artistic Photo Layouts
The few photo spreads are very nicely done, even if most of the dogs are the author’s breed. Collages with plenty of white space and with the photo edges ‘smudged’ emphasize excellent shots of dogs.
In addition, the 8 ½ by 11 inch size is just right. I can envision readers like me hurriedly stapling other papers of merit inside this volume so the size is indeed just right!
Besides fewer pages (many fewer), a couple of chapter transitions, a competent editor, additional sample pages ‘filled out already,’ and more breeds pictured, it might be helpful to have the book three-hole-punched. If it could be taken to shows inside the protection of a three-hole binder, it would have a better chance of surviving to actually record the lives of 20 dogs! On the other hand, if the pages were perforated, the reader could Xerox the charts herself as she needs more or, on the other hand, bring just the needed charts to each vet visit or to each show.
Again, Your Beloved Dogs belongs primarily on your bookshelf if you have more money than time!