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Dog Culture: Reviews
The Art of Racing in the Rain
Harper, 336 pp., 2008; $23.95
I must admit that when a review copy of the novel The Art of Racing in the Rain arrived on my desk, I wasn’t optimistic. Strike one, it is not only written in a dog’s voice, but the dog narrates the story in retrospect as he nears death. Other than in the hands of a master storyteller—Paul Auster in his compelling novel Timbuktu, or E.B.White in the enchanting Charlotte’s Web—such a species-...
Dog Culture: Reviews
Feed Your Pet Right: The Authoritative Guide to Feeding Your Dog and Cat
Free Press; $16.99
Feed Your Pet Right is an invaluable overview of the invention, production, distribution, marketing and regulation of pet food. This handy paperback covers everything from the “big picture” (nutritional standards, labeling lingo and industry structure) to consumer tips (for example, on the label, every ingredient listed after salt is negligible in amount). Food, supplements, treats, chews and...
Dog Culture: Reviews
Scent of the Missing: Love & Partnership with a Search-and-Rescue Dog
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt; $26
In a dog book, I look for great information, a wonderful story about the relationship between humans and dogs, and anecdotes that are funny, insightful and memorable. Rarely do all three components come together, but Susannah Charleson’s memoir has the whole package. Beautifully written, informative, charming in every detail that chronicles the life and work of Susannah and her dog Puzzle, and...
Dog Culture: Reviews
One Dog at a Time: Saving the Strays of Helmand
Thomas Dunne Books; $24.99
When a Western soldier goes off to war in a hard-bitten country like Afghanistan, he prepares himself for heat and dust, danger and hostility. He is expected to put his emotions on hold, trust no one, get the job done and get out. But if he is an animal lover, with a couple of pampered hounds waiting back home, it is impossible for him to ignore the hungry packs of dogs who linger outside every...
Dog Culture: Reviews
A Modern Dog's Life: Discover How to Do the Best for Your Dog
The Experiment; $15.95
Paul McGreevy’s love of dogs shines through in A Modern Dog’s Life: He loves the smell of dogs’ feet (and advises readers to take a sniff), advocates hu-mane training methods and takes an uncompromi s ing l y strong stand against choke chains. Readers will enjoy McGreevy’s many practical suggestions. To make sure clients positively reinforce their dogs, he tells them to “make your dog’s tail wag...
Dog Culture: Reviews
Let's Take the Long Way Home
Random House; $23
Intensely moving, without a hint of sentimentality, Let’s Take the Long Way Home — part memoir and part biography of a friendship — should be read and cherished by Bark readers. Gail Caldwell is a fiercely private, independent, talented writer (with a Pulitzer Prize for criticism) and a dog enthusiast. So, when a dog trainer commented that she reminded her of another Cambridge writer who also had...
Dog Culture: Reviews
Editor’s Picks for Notable Dog Books in 2010
Dog books are getting better and smarter. This year’s bumper crop is testimony to the unflagging popularity and importance of canines in our lives. From stories of incredible courage and redemptive come-backs, to moving memoirs and spot-on training guides, these ten standouts, with a few memoirs also noted, are definitely worth your attention.   Dog Walks Man by John Zeaman is a contemplative...
Dog Culture: Reviews
I Thought You Were Dead: A Love Story
Algonquin Books; $23.95
“I thought you were dead,” Stella says to Paul when he returns home from a bar, on page one of Pete Nelson’s new novel. Delivered by an aging, arthritic Labrador/Shepherd mix, the line displays the dry wit and dog logic that makes Stella and, by extension, much of this novel a delight.   At the center of the story is Paul Gustavson, a writer in Northampton, Mass., whom we follow over the course...
Dog Culture: Reviews
Not Fit for a Dog! The Truth about Manufactured Dog and Cat Food
Quill Driver Books; $25
The past decade has seen a steady increase in the number of pet nutrition books on the market, all geared toward helping people learn more about commercial diets, natural feeding and how to provide optimal nutrition for our companion animals. One of these offerings, Not Fit for a Dog!, written by three distinguished veterinarians, takes this literature to a new level. A thoughtful look at the...
Dog Culture: Reviews
Love Is the Best Medicine
Broadway Books, $23.99
First, a confession: I did not expect this book to win me over. A confirmed cynic, I naturally am on guard against the sentimental or prosaic. But, contrary to my intentions, I fell for the story, its characters, and veterinarian Nick Trout’s insightful writing.   Love Is the Best Medicine is Trout’s second book. His Tell Me Where It Hurts: A Day of Humor, Healing, and Hope in My Life as an...

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