Monday, September 10, 2012

Things Your Dog Doesn't Want You to Know

Things Your Dog Doesn't Want You to Know: Eleven Courageous Canines Tell All by Hy Conrad and Jeff Johnson
Sourcebooks, 2012
Trade Paperback, 240 pages
ISBN-13: 9781402263286

Dear Human:
Your dog probably puzzles you. Most of us do that. And most of us would like to keep things as they are: humans in the dark, dogs with the upper hand.
But we dogs are about to let you in a little secret. Okay, a lot of secrets.
We graduated first in our obedience class three times. This should tell you something.
Puppies know that they're being cute. They're using you.
We don't sound anything like those silly voices you use to imitate us.
We hate those ridiculous names you give some of us. Moonbeam is not a dignified name for a mutt.
You might want to check your herb garden for fertilizer.
We are only wearing this stupid birthday hat so we can get some cake. No self-respecting dog cares about his birthday.
We are not spoiled, certainly not in comparison to teenage girls.
We are in charge of the house. We let you pretend that you are.
We'd be lost without you. We love you.
It's all in our new book, Things Your Dog Doesn't Want You To Know, as told to humans Hy Conrad and Jeff Johnson. Even Steve Martin (yes, THAT Steve Martin) raves about us! Inside you'll find revelations such as the reason we at the sofa (leather tastes very similar to rawhide), and what we really think of the costumes you dress us up in.
I'm not alone. Ten other courageous canines have stepped forward to tell you what your dog won't – every last dirty, hairy bit of it. If you have dogs, love dogs, or have ever been baffled by a dog, this book is a must-have.
My Thoughts:
Things Your Dog Doesn't Want You to Know: Eleven Courageous Canines Tell All by Hy Conrad and Jeff Johnson is a charming, entertaining collection of essays written from the point of view of eleven different dogs, both male and female. The dogs contributing to this collection are:
Axelrod: Yellow Lab
Lives in the suburbs with his family and a yard with an impossibly high fence. Graduated first in his private obedience class three times.
Bandana: Border Collie
Bossy, with his opinions about everything. He runs the household. It couldn't go on without him.
Dimples: Boxer
Recently gave birth to Mutt Junior and Runt, who are both still living at home. Disagrees with humans about parenting.
Tinkerbell: Chihuahua
Lives in a mansion with the alpha human Margo and he equally human daughter Brianna. Can shed but prefers not to.
Orson: Bulldog
A foodie. Has two working mommies who reluctantly indulge his obsession. Lives in a small apartment that seems to be getting smaller.
Sophie: Cocker Spaniel
Mother of 18. Grandmother of 168. Great-grandmother of...? Living out her twilight years with her original humans - and a cat.
Sarge: German Shepherd
A working dog who has spent his life going from one dead-end job to another. Will work for scraps.
Charlie: Miniature Schnauzer
Found on the street with no memory of his past. Adopted by a shelter employee. Lives with six other dogs and considers his current situation foster care.
Moonbeam: Mixed Breed
Found stranded on a roof after a flood. Adopted by a New Age follower. Hates her name.
Gabby: Long-Haired Dachshund
Girlie and smart. She's at that awkward age when she's just starting to notice boys.
Rufus T.: Bloodhound
A country dog who feels a little out of place. His best friend is Toby, a boy he's known almost from birth.

All the essays are two pages and presented like a journal entry from each individual dog point of view. Each dog's pages are different and reflect their unique personality and voice. The topics are wide ranging and include subjects like : "The Reason I Ate the Sofa"; "Why Am I Barking"; "I'm not a Strict Vegan"; "Speed Dating"; "No Dog Costumes!"; "The Art of the Growl"; and "My Time in the Pen" to name a few.
I really loved this book and would be hard pressed to pick a favorite dog. I will admit a fondness for Axelrod the Yellow Lab. (I still miss my big, rather dim witted, but entirely loveable big dog who was a Yellow Lab/Great Pyrenees mix.) Moonbeam was very enjoyable too. (I also have a fondness for shelter mixed breed dogs) Tinkerbell was a funny, fierce little diva and Rufus T. was an actor with unfulfilled dreams. Dimples had some great training advice - now that the humans have taken over puppy rearing. Some selections were hilarious and I was laughing and snorting. Other selections made me pause and think. Some were poignant and touching - like Sophie's selections
This would be a great gift for the dog lovers in your life! 
Very Highly Recommended
Be sure to stop by and read the guest post tomorrow by the authors Hy Conrad and Jeff Johnson.

Hy Conrad has spent his career writing for television -- he's one of the original writers for Monk, the USA series, and he was nominated three times for the Edgar Award for best TV Mystery episode. he has written a mystery series published by Sterling. Currently he is a writer and consulting producer on the TV show "White Collar."

Jeff Johnson spent most of his life working in advertising, for giants such as JWT and DWB&B and prestigious creative shops, and he has created successful campaigns in nearly every consumer category. He wrote THE HOURGLASS SOLUTION: A BOOMER'S GUIDE TO THE REST OF YOUR LIFE. 
Disclosure: I received an advanced reading copy of this book from the author and Premier Virtual Author Book Tours for review purposes.    
For centuries, dogs have kept their secrets to themselves, refusing to share them with even their best human friends. There are many reasons for this. First, dogs are typically shy. And humans don't always ask the right questions. Both species have a natural desire to maintain privacy. And last, but not least, dogs can't talk.
At least, that's what we thought. But with persistence and patience and half a ton of treats, we have managed to convince eleven dogs from all walkies of life to come forward. This is finally their chance to tell us the things that other dogs can't - or won't: their hopes and dreams, their grudges and pleasures, and what they really think about you. opening.
That chew is made out of rawhide. And rawhide is like leather. And the sofa was made out of leather - or something kind of like leather. I thought you wanted me to go for it.
Honest mistake. Won't do it again. I guess the rule is, if you guys sit on it, it's not a chew. Axelrod, pg. 33
I would like to point out hat this isn't my fault. I had a tail once but it disappeared, like the balls between my legs - also not my fault. I do have a little stub and, you know me, I wag it when I'm happy - or after a bath when I'm wagging everything else. Charlie, pg. 64
I hate it when you pose me with all your stuffed animals and take pictures and then ask strangers which animal is real.
I don't think I'm big so stop saying it. "See how fierce Tink is? She thinks she's a big dog." I'm not an idiot, okay? I know I'm tiny. The only reason I go after big dogs is so that they won't want to go after me. Kind of like you and boys.
I am not a kitten, so stop putting me on the piano and taking videos. Tinkerbell, pg. 70

1 comment:

Jeff Johnson said...

Hi Lori--Thank you so much for allowing us a guest post on your blog and for reviewing our new book (Things Your Dog Doesn't Want You to Know). It was great fun to write the book -- and even more fun when we get great reviews like yours. A million thanks for all your support. (And I'm glad the book made you laugh & snort!)