IT WAS A HORROR STORY THAT MADE headlines throughout Canada and the rest of North America. The operator of a recreational sled dog company ordered the execution of 56 sled dogs in Whistler, British Columbia, after a downturn in tourist bookings following the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver. Robert Fawcett, under instructions from his employers at Howling Dog Tours, shot, stabbed and slit the throats of the terrified animals, reportedly in full view of other dogs awaiting the same fate.
Though they’re set in places that couldn’t be more different— Colorado’s high country and urban New Jersey— Margaret Mizushima’s “Timber Creek K-9” and David Rosenfelt’s “Andy Carpenter” mystery series have much in common. Both reveal their authors’ deep love and appreciation for dogs, both set up and solve interesting puzzles, and both are cracking good reads.
We were pleased that Gregory Berns, a neuroscientist who uses functional MRIs to measure canine (and human) brain activity, and author of the 2013 bestseller, How Dogs Love Us, is back with new work. In What It’s Like to Be a Dog, Berns brings us up-to-date on recent discoveries coming out of his Dog Project at Emory University.
Laura Schenone, author of The Dogs of Avalon: The Race to Save Animals in Peril, was not always a dog person. Afraid of most animals, she couldn’t understand those who devoted themselves to animal welfare causes, especially in light of the number of people who needed “saving.”
Let’s start with what this book is not: it is not a new entry in the author’s “Chet and Bernie” series; the main character is not an awkward but insightful male PI and the dog is not a roguishly charming (and easily distracted) narrator. Rather, the primary human, LeAnne Hogan, is an army sharpshooter badly injured during her tour in Afghanistan, and the dog— a large, black Rottweiler/ Malinois-type mix with huge paws and a blocky head, unreadable eyes, and an oddly chopped-off tail—is no one’s idea of a pet. In another departure, the dog’s a female who keeps her thoughts to herself.