Saturday, November 26, 2016

EverythingDogBlog: Scents and Sensibility (dog, desert, private eye)

Scents and Sensibility: A Chet and Bernie Mystery (#8), by Peter Abrahams, alias/aka/nom de plume/pen name Spencer Quinn (Simon and Schuster, 2015, 307 pages, $25)

Spencer Quinn Does it Again!

This time with Scents and Sensibility.

What is so appealing about Quinn’s series of ‘who-dun-it’s’ that many Chet and Bernie fans are fans for life?

Is it the settings that, with nearly each book, center in more and more on Phoenix, Arizona, except the ones set in Washington, DC, or Louisiana or elsewhere? Is it the locales – be it a movie set or a circus or something simply mundane? Is it private eye Bernie, who has absolutely no flair for finances but always gets his man? Is it the complex plots that the reader reads with accelerating speed but then has to slow down so as not to miss all the loose ends that tie up so nicely in the end? Is it the striking, lemony-limey-raspberry-orangey cover shots that feature Chet, of course, and silhouettes against a wide expanse of sky?

No, No, and No. But They Help

It’s the narrator, Chet, Bernie’s delightfully daffy canine sidekick who sits in the shotgun seat of whatever Porsche Bernie happens to have at the moment. And even the perps (bad guys) are fairly likable.

Scents and Sensibility takes us into the Arizona desert where endangered saguaro cacti are uprooted and sold on the black market one by one, where teens gather for a musical celebration in the desert (“Desert Man”), where Bernie discovers his missing wall safe with its missing grandfather watch, where we read about a kidnapping from long ago, plus a modern-day cult, and a prison murder (of course),

Remember Gracie?

Your grandmother will remember Gracie Allen, that lovable ditzy blonde, who was so smart she was dumb, always taking things too literally, even running for President on the Surprise Party ticket. Chet-the-dog narrates in the same manner which may be his most endearing quality, along with his utter devotion to Bernie and his uncanny ability to count to two.

Once you read one Chet-and-Bernie book, you’ll be hooked! And that’s a good thing.

To read other great reviews of other great Spencer Quinn books, click on To Fetch a Thief,
Paw and Order,

and Woof,
                                         the most-read blog of approximately 400 blogs at!   

Monday, November 21, 2016

EverythingDogBlog: Meet Wattson!

Wattson, the Super Dog

Yes, DogEvals did spell Wattson correctly!

Not Just a Dog

In northern Idaho, the utility company, Avista, has a dog that reminds one of Marmaduke*. (Does that make Wattson a dog spokesman or a spokesdog?)

A Super Dog!

Nevertheless, Wattson with red collar and blue cape is a doggone good dog,
who teaches kids about energy efficiency, conservation, and safety around electricity and natural gas.


The Wattson webpage at has coloring pages, puzzles, lesson plans for school and home, plus The Wattson Show!

The Wattson Show

Kids love Wattson and The Wattson Show is reminiscent of The Howdy Doody Show when grandparents were kids in the last century - or the original Mickey Mouse Show.


My only question is: Where was Wattson when I was a kid?

is America’s most lovable Great Dane who causes family escapades in comic strips (drawn by Brad Anderson from 1954-2005) and a movie (2010) starring Owen Wilson.

Friday, November 11, 2016

Friday Face-off: Dogs and Cats in Bon Appetit (September and November)

Bon Appetit!
Sample Cover of Bon Appetit

Or should I say, “Bone Appetit”?


The September issue of Bon Appetit came a while back and I quickly perused it for dogs and cats. I didn’t expect to see many because pets don’t seem to sell food.

168 pages of food and I don’t cook! But I did receive a subscription to Bon Appetit in the mail as a gift so who am I to look a gift horse in the mouth?

Right away, a little white fluffy dog is walking the streets of probably a fall day in New York City with a woman and a man holding a pot – ah! Dogs selling Le Creuset cookware.

No cats.

A woman baking cookies wearing a T-shirt with four elephants and a cow selling Ben and Jerry’s and some fish selling . . . what else? Fish! But, no cats.

So September’s score is Dogs 1, Cats 0.

November, Special Thanksgiving Issue of Bon Appetit

Wow! Another 162 pages of fantastic food for Thanksgiving with all the details of the meal for you novices out there including a section with new ideas for leftovers.

The Thanksgiving issue contains the regular section of City Guide - this month of Stockholm – along with pages and pages to help you select the best cookware for any occasion, and mouth-watering photos of all things food, like turkey.

I love this magazine – and that comes from someone for whom cooking is oatmeal in the morning, egg salad sandwiches for lunch, and a salad for dinner. However, if I ever do use my stove or oven again, I just may try something from Bon Appetit.

However, I digress. We have a competition to get back to. And my favorite section: Common Mistakes.

Friday Face-off

Cats, none. Dogs, none, but plenty of turkeys (dead) and a few fish (also dead).

Sorry, dear reader. . . . but, enjoy the photos!

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

EverythingDogBlog: Movie Review, Wag the Dog (not dogs but an election)

Wag the Dog produced by Barry Levinson and Robert De Niro (Baltimore Pictures and TriBeCa Productions, 1997, 97 minutes, $15.99, rated R)

If you like Dustin Hoffman and Robert De Niro and Anne Heche and Craig T. Nelson and Willie Nelson and Woody Harrelson, you just may like this dark comedy about the final weeks before a presidential election. On the other hand, you may just need a diversion from the events of yesterday, 8 November 2016.

Problem: The incumbent faces a sex scandal a mere two weeks before the election.

Solution: Take the country’s attention off sex by fabricating a fake war with Albania, a nuclear power. (Shades of The Mouse That Roared? [1959])

Sit through a long 97 minutes of humor in a movie with a war theme, a war song (thanks, Willie Nelson!), a real production, a humorous pageant complete with a US soldier rescued from behind enemy lines. On the other hand, you may have something better to do. Anything.

Gem: Wag the Dog came out one month prior to the unfolding of the Clinton-Lewinsky unfolding. Later, when Bill Clinton heard that De Niro had a new movie out, he asked De Niro what it was about. (Needless to say, De Niro nearly choked on his reply.)

Other presidential movies to take your mind off current events include the marvelous Dave
with Kevin Kline and Sigourney Weaver, and The American President
with Michael Douglas and Annette Benning.

PS – The trailer (click here) may be the best thing about Wag the Dog! (available on Netflix)