Thursday 19 August 2010

One tries to influence one's human's reading habits..

I suspect I'm not the only blogging dog to live in a house full of books.

But I do wonder how many of you have to put up with a human whose summer reading has included titles like "The State of the Universe - A Primer in Modern Cosmology" or "Quantum: Einstein, Bohr and the Great Debate About the Nature of Reality".

Yes really! I'm beginning to understand how Hamish the Westie turned out the way he did. (Remember his Parallel Universe Theory?)

OK I will admit that we have lots of fiction and travel books too, and a smattering of biographies, as well as all the sciencey stuff.

Now you might imagine that I, and Hamish before me, would be sufficient inspiration also for a whole shelf full of canine-related literature. But no, not at all, our house is woefully deficient in this particular category. 'Call of the Wild' sits alone in its own barren wasteland in the bookcase.

Well a couple of weeks ago I decided to take matters in hand and use my fast developing computer skills (us six month olds are such quick learners) to order a new book for Gail.
I hope I do not sound too self-congratulatory if I say that this book was cleverly and subtly chosen. You see, I have come to realise that Gail likes her dogs to be fluffy, but not her reading material. So didn't I do well to unearth a story about a fox terrier set in communist Hungary*? Gail could kid herself that she was reading something 'worthwhile' and 'serious' about the human condition, but really we know that she was enjoying a nice tale about a cute little pup!

Now that I have got her started, I wonder if any of my friends have other recommendations for books about dogs, preferably one that aren't too blatantly sentimental?

*'Niki: The Story of a Dog' by Tibor Dery.


  1. Well I've just taken alook at our books and the one's about dogs are all on how to brain wash me!! shes just got no idea.
    See Yea George xxx

  2. We mostly just have breed books and so forth, when it comes to dog books around here. Alpha Mom reads a lot of serious things, too. I can safely say that most of her reading material is safe from being stolen away by anyone. Blog Mom hasn't got much time to read since she spend most of her sitting down time helping me with blogging or even more time reading all our furiends' blogs. Both of them are afraid that most dog books wil make them sad. They never got over Old Yeller, it seems. It was most popular in their long ago youths.

    lotsa licks, Lola

  3. Bertie - As an aside your picture in the heather is very fetching.

  4. Well done Bertie, we can see how much you are adding to Gail's reading material.
    We admit we have never heard of Niki but it sound just the thing for Gail to be reading.
    We don't want her becoming one of these stuffy academics!!!!
    Thank dogness you are there.
    We have a few dog books - we prefer 'true stories' and loved One Dog at a Time by Pen Farthing. We can send you it if you want.
    It is about how Pen Farthing and other Royal Marines helped to rescue dogs in Helmand Province.
    Our human is always intrigued by the animal/human bond!
    They now have a charity set up Nowzad dogs.
    love and kisses
    Aunties Martha and Bailey xxx

  5. Our library has its own book shelf (now spreading over to two) dedicated to our canine pals. We don't have that book, though. Mom will need to go look for it!


  6. Hi Gail! I recommend "A Dog Year" by Jon Katz as well as his "The New Work of Dogs". They, along with his others are on Amazon. I enjoyed them a lot :-)

  7. MAN Bertie,
    You have one super smart mom!! It is hard to believe that NO dog books and yes great choice on the new book.

    The only books we have is craft/decorating books and some dog ones too!!


  8. Firstly Mom wants to talk first. Oh Bertie that the picture of you in the Heather is just lovely, you do look so very handsome there. As far at the pic in the library you look quite the intelligent young boy!

    Tessa here, for Moms library, Mom has lots of books on Shetland Sheepdogs, because she always had Shelties before me. Mom also has books, books, books on obedience training. Mom did training with me at our local Assistance Dogs for the Disabled. I think those obedience books are full of dust because every time I walk by them I sneeze! BOL

    I think your Mom is very very smart! So therefore you Bertie will be Brilliant!

    woo woos, Tessa

  9. Your bookshelves are certainly neater than ours! We don't have many dog stories.....unless you count James Herriot. And the books on the bottom shelves have a few chew marks. So far Bella has worked her way through Anne Frank, Italy, the Titanic and an atlas!

    XXXOOO Daisy, Kendra & Bella

  10. Sorry Bertie. We are not sure what momma reads but we read Dr. Suess Green Eggs & Ham
    Benny & Lily

  11. Merrill Markoe has written two very witty novels about rather unsentimental dogs --"Walking in Circles Before Lying Down" and "Eyes Up, Nose Down." don't be dissuaded by the cute dog photos on the cover, this isn't "Marley & Me!"

    Your pal,

    Uncle Petey

  12. Hey Bertie
    I think Gail should get you a book of your own: "The adventures of Tin Tin!"...or preferably a comic book that you are fully entitled to shred.
    I don't have time to read nowadays because I'm busy writing Max's book....mmmm...
    Sending lotsaluv

  13. ps...better yet...get Gail to go and see the live show and musical; "Jock of the Bushveld" - a story about a dog in SA with a great heart! Unfortunately she'll have to travel to SA to see it...I don't think it is elsewhere at the moment.

  14. This comment has been removed by the author.

  15. "The Hidden Life of Dogs" is great! I couldn't remember the title yesterday :-)

  16. We're back. With tucked tails. Seems we may have posted a comment that could inflame some dog owners. We'd never want to do that. So. We promised Moma we'd edit our words. Make them more current. So here goes.

    We said:

    "Oh dear. You've (we've) distracted Moma from the interminable list of distractions (not redundant ... not at all ... she NEEDS distractions right now ... believe us!) that she has surrounding her. Books! Dog books! What an array!

    First of all. Dear Winston. (You remember wise Winston, the wheeless, don't you?) His favorite is a tattered old book titled The Diseases of Dogs . Copyright 1901. "Fascinating reading," he says. (He also says he's going to blog about it, someday ... yeah right ... his arthritis is probably not going to allow that.)"

    Then. We went on to talk about:

    "Another one. The Hidden Life of Dogs Author (anthropologist) Elizabeth Marshall Thomas."

    What we didn't say is that it's been years since Moma read that book. It seems that, as with lots of stuff, attitudes have shifted and conditions have changed. There are a lot of "bad" reviews now. Oh. Well. We'll leave it at that. (Years ago, when she was gifted this book, Moma liked it. But that was years ago. We're thinking maybe she should reread it now. Maybe we could help edit it.) Anyhow,

    "We're about to get caught messing around on the computer ... and we're not 'sposed to right now.

    Later, though.

    Happy reading (at the foot of your Gail)"

    Jake and Fergi

  17. ...nothing better than a little bit of fluff...heck...a lot of fluff...I'm with you on this!

  18. Very clever of you. Dad built Mom a library for her to keep all her books together and safe from us. She has a whole doggy section, but we aren't allowed to touch. Samba ate a book once and now they're all off limits. There's even a gate across the library door.
    Morgan, Tsar and the Porties

  19. Gail! You should read 'The Dog who Wouldn't Be' by Farley Mowet (iconic Canadian author). it is hilarious and witty (or so i remember, it's been a while), and really not at all sentimental. there's a lot of drool. He also wrote 'Never Cry Wolf', about living in the Canadian Arctic with a wolf pack, which likewise hilarious, unsentimental, and fascinating and has, I believe, been turned into a film?).