by Ted Patrick
Another book of dog stories I picked up at a used sale. This one is a bit more focused- it contains the author\’s personal take on various subjects surrounding dogs: their loyalty, devotion to man, perceptive senses, training and so forth. In most cases he points out how common perceptions (of his time) are flawed and what a dog is really doing has a matter-of-fact explanation- such as that dogs are not psychic but know when you\’re coming home because they actually hear your vehicle when its still two miles from the house, or how easily they can find their way home when lost or moved (without their consent) because they can remember landmarks, scents, and have a directional sense. He also discusses dog breeding and shows, what makes a champion (how easily a good handler can turn any well-bred dog into a champion by strategic entries), how certain breeds have been degraded by their popularity, how to properly choose a dog etc etc. It\’s written in an amiable, somewhat amusing style that makes for easy reading, but nothing in here really stands out compared to other dog books I\’ve read. In fact probably the most interesting sections are the forward written by John Steinbeck (on why he doesn\’t want to write an introduction, and tossing in a few brief stories of his own as if he can\’t help himself) and the last few chapters which tell of the author\’s own dogs- all of them Airedales.
Rating: 3/5 150 pages, 1964