The first quarter of this little book is about the problems the author has with his new dog and its bodily waste excretion needs. Most of the rest of the book is about get the bitch to breed. The tone is that of consideration and affection for the dog, its communication difficulties, its bodily and even emotional needs. On the whole, it was a pleasant read.
"Who would imagine that the bodily eliminations, impacted anal glands, and sexual dysfunction of an ordinary dog could inspire a story so delicate, so sensitive, so clearly understood, and so purely and delightfully composed as to rival an Elizabethan sonnet?" So writes Elizabeth Marshall Thomas in the introduction to J.R. Ackerley's 1956 book about his dog, Tulip, a German shepherd. While I like dogs, I'm not a dog owner and so some of the charm was probably lost on me. I did learn way more than I needed to about the sexual and reproductive habits of dogs. Ackerley wrote several other non-fiction books and the novel "We Think the World of You." Made into an animated film.
Having not read Ackerly before, I am left with the feeling I would not like the man. Maybe it's the era in which he wrote but, spoiler alert, have obsessed on getting his dog bred it is unfathomable that he moves to drown half her litter when she finally has pups. I do not understand how this could be popular with animal lovers, but there are so many better books now available. Leave this one on the shelf. Or at least skip the chapter on dog poop and pee.
Checked this book out because it was on the "Sweet and Snappy Staff Reviews 2011" I had a hard time getting involved with the main character and his dog. I found it to be boring and not at all engaging. The time period is late 1940's and set in England. Obsessed dog lovers may enjoy this book. I finally took it on a road trip and was able to finish it. The reader is subjected to many pages describing the dog pooping and her bowels, the dog peeing and whether it is social or necessity, and last but not least, the dog in her "heat". The author was not about to leave out descriptions all the secretions associated with it and his efforts trying to mate her. I never was able to appreciate the bond between the dog Tulip and the owner, Mr Ackerley.
mom2two08 thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over
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