Woof, arrf, stories of my fluffy friend: New Books About Dogs

From heroic earthquake dogs, to whimsical animal poems, the stories of the lovely fluffy dogs will cheer up your day and melt your heart.

Syndetics book coverA dog walks into a nursing home : lessons in the good life from an unlikely teacher / Sue Halpern.
“Halpern’s (Can’t Remember What I Forgot) love of life and openness to its infinite possibilities shine through in this powerful and engaging account of her time working in a Vermont nursing home. Her efforts to brighten the residents’ lives were aided by a remarkable Labradoodle named Pransky-“one singular, faithful, charitable, loving, and sometimes prudent dog.” Confounding both her expectations and the reader’s, Halpern was surprised to find that happiness was “the dominant emotion for both Pransky and me,” at the nursing home where they work together as a therapy-dog team. From the outset, the book’s humanity is evident, as seen in a description of an encounter with a legless man Halpern had never seen before and would never see again. Instead of simply passing by the man, who embodied her worst fears about nursing homes, Halpern, prodded by her dog, engaged him in conversation and got out of her comfort zone. Time and again, anecdotes bolster her contention that in places where “life is in the balance,” it is possible to get to the essentials about human nature.” (Abridged from Publisher Weekly)

Syndetics book coverLuv from Dog / by Murray Ball.
“Following on from the ‘Wisdom of Dog’, comes ‘Love from Dog’, a book focusing on the many romances down on the Footrot Flats farm. From the intense relationships between Dog and Jess and Wal and Cheeky to the troubled and sometimes fleeting encounters of many other Raupo residents, love is definitely in the air.” (Publisher information)

Syndetics book coverWedding dogs : a celebration of holy muttrimony / by Katie Preston Toepfer and Sam Stall.
“Dogs attend weddings, often making up the bridal party, in this lighthearted catalogue of four-legged matrimonial revelers. Toepfer writes: “When my parents were married, my dad’s best man was a Labrador and my mum’s maid-of-honor was a Dalmatian.” A broad range of weddings, breeds, and locations are covered. Each wedding features a canine photograph and comments from the newlyweds. An “exuberant kiss” is planted on a bride in Montreal, a lathering, in fact. Bride Casi in Virginia recalls, “The dogs totally outshined me at my own wedding!” Kelly, whose pugs couldn’t make the ceremony, made pug cake toppers, had pug buttons hidden in her bouquet, and included pix of the three pugs on the wedding announcement. Outdoor weddings show a more appropriate environment for the shaggy guests, being amenable to common complaints of barks and rowdiness. A great picture of a hulking mastiff mix shows him absconding with the bride’s bouquet; perhaps a greater infraction occurs when “Romeo, enthralled by his mistress’s dress, immediately grabbed a mouthful and commenced a one-sided game of tug-of-war.” Chipper captions work in tandem with precious pictures of dapper canines: “While other guests shed tears of joy, Addie merely shed.” (Abridged grom Publisher Weekly)

Syndetics book coverQuake dogs : heart-warming stories of Christchurch dogs / text by Laura Sessions ; photography by Craig Bullock. “Strange-but-true dog stories from the Christchurch earthquakes, with beautiful photographs illustrating each story. A collection of stories about Christchurch dogs and the earthquakes u true tales of heroism, odd and quirky stories, funny stories, sad stories u stories that will surprise you, make you chuckle or make you go awwww. Includes stories of USAR dogs that worked in the central city right after the February earthquake; Guinness, the unofficial mascot of the Student Volunteer Army; Nemo who has a special gift for predicting earthquakes; dogs who were rescued and dogs who rescued others; and the uncanny knowledge that a number of dogs showed in their efforts to find their owners. Dogs have been a huge comfort to their owners in Christchurch. The intensity of the earthquake experience has heightened the wordless connection between people and their dogs, and their understanding of each others’ emotions. Part of the proceeds from the book help support one of the organisations that helped to save many dogs following the earthquakes. HUHA is a national organisation that works to rescue and re-home animals around the country, and they went to Christchurch three times to take more than 70 dogs plus numerous other animals to safe and loving homes elsewhere in the country.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverMonster knits for little monsters : 20 super-cute animal-themed hat, mitten and bootee sets to knit / Nuriya Khegay ; [photography by Alexandra Vainshtein].
“25 super cute animal themed hat and mitten sets and snowsuits to knit. Coverall hats to keep your childs head, ears and neck warm and toasty Practical pullover design ensures your little one wont tug it off Stylish matching mitten. All in one snowsuits for babies create a very Cute outfit indeed. Patterns to suit all knitting levels, from beginner to advanced, and in a rrange of sizes from 6 months to 4 years.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverPug and other animal poems / Valerie Worth ; pictures by Steve Jenkins.
“As with the highly regarded Animal Poems (2007), Jenkins’ meticulous cut-paper collage images successfully catch the essence of Worth’s concise, vivid poems about a startling variety of creatures. The 18 featured animals, each radiant upon a separate double-page spread against boldly colored backgrounds, run the gamut from large (bull) to small (fly), from beautiful (Bengal tiger) to ugly (pug), from lively (fox) to dead (mouse), and from unusual (wood thrush) to more common ( My Cat ). Rendered in action close-ups, each should be recognizable to children. Worth’s free-verse poems are chock-full of delicious metaphor ( The Bengal tiger / Batters his cage; / His rage is thunder, / Sharp stripes flash ), providing a precise mental image. While some concepts may be a tad sophisticated for the youngest, the language and images should inspire appreciation in audiences of all ages.” (Booklist)

Syndetics book coverChaser : unlocking the genius of the dog who knows a thousand words / John W. Pilley with Hilary Hinzmann.
“Many dog owners think their own pet is smart, but get ready to meet an energetic and truly intelligent border collie, Chaser. Pilley (psychology, emeritus, Wofford Coll.) shares a remarkable story of his family dog, who over a period of three years learned to recognize and fetch more than 1,000 objects by name and eventually was even taught the meaning of different types of words such as verbs and prepositions. Pilley conducted other experiments and concluded that Chaser has two cognitive abilities: memory storage and working memory. Pilley’s findings were published in a scholarly journal, and Chaser has appeared on the Today Show and CBS Evening News and was featured in a NOVA Science Now episode on animal intelligence along with Alex, Irene Pepperberg’s fascinating parrot. While the author focuses on Chaser’s intelligence, he writes charmingly about fun, loyalty, and the friendship that an older man and his companion dog share. VERDICT Along with Pepperberg’s Alex & Me, Chaser’s remarkable story adds to our evolving understanding of how animals learn and is recommended for dog and animal intelligence collections.” (Abridged from Library Journal)

Syndetics book coverEvery dog has its day : a thousand things you didn’t know about man’s best friend / Max Cryer.
“Why has Fido become a generic term for all dogs? Why did hundreds of people collect dog faeces – and sell it?Dogs never eat other dogs, so why is it a dog-eat-dog world? Did any dogs survive the ‘Titanic’?What is a Yorkipoo?Do mad dogs really go out in the midday sun? ‘Every Dog Has Its Day’ pays homage to man’s best friend, telling the stories of famous dogs in history, tracing the origins of some of our favourite breeds, showing how dogs have become a significant part of our language, and describing the amazing range of activities in which dogs are involved. Written with Max Cryer’s characteristic light touch and sense of humour, this is a fascinating – and sometimes surprising – collection of historical facts and eccentricities of language. It will delight all dog-lovers and anyone with a morsel of interest in the world around them.” (Syndetics summary)