High Peaks Publishing; 2008
Kindle eBook, 177 pages
Of all the columns Tim Rowland writes, the ones that always get the biggest response are those about animals. Maybe it’s not too surprising that people pick critters over politicians: the animals are more intelligent and, on a per-pound basis, cost less to feed.
ALL PETS ARE OFF is a comical collection of those warm and funny columns, collected through the years as animals have come and gone through Tim’s writing years, including his uneasy existences with Bubba the cat, the Jack Russell terrier named Jake Biscuit, various other creatures large and small and his latest charge, Opie, a buoyant Bouvier des Flandres.
After reading Tim Rowland's Creature Features I purchased his first humorous collection of columns about his pets, All Pets are Off: A Collection of Hairy Columns. This first collection focuses more on his pet cats and dogs, but there are a few columns that expand to the more exotic farm yard animals. I was bound and determined to find the time to read All Pets Are Off and am thrilled that I did.
In the introduction, Tim Rowland writes:
"The cast of characters in this book — in the chronological order that they entered my life — include, but are not limited to: Tory and Lacey, two Australian shepherd mixes with good attitudes but bad manners; a black-and-white cat named Bubba, who was given to me with the assurance that it was a mild, “marshmallow kitty,” but turned out to be Satan’s own cat; Jake Biscuit, a Jack Russell terrier and the exception that proves the rule that Jack Russell terriers are smart; Colonel Sanders, a large, indignant and unspeakably uncoordinated Himalayan; Hannah, a sweet but self-doubting bulldog; Juliet, a noisy and opinionated Siamese; and the Bouvier des Flandres named Opie — who best as I can describe him is like Marmaduke, only not as sober. The latter three, along with some of the larger animals that have more recently arrived in my life, are courtesy of my wife Beth, who not only has introduced me to a wide variety of critters, but taught me how to better understand them." (Location 98-106)
"The kind of animals I like are the ones that have been with me all the while, that is to say, uh, spirited. All my pets are indeed off; and I like it that way." (Location 110-112)
Once again Rowland's columns were hilarious and perfect light-hearted entertainment during some rainy summer days.
On dog food:
"We have Mighty Dog: “It makes your dog a Mighty Dog.” These people have never experienced my dogs. If they had they would know a mighty dog is not a good thing. They would want a cautious, reserved dog. They would name their food 'Zombie Dog.'" (Location 282-284)
Concerning a large, clumsy puppy:
"Grace and agility are never strengths in a puppy, but this one took a lack of coordination to new levels. As a matter of fact, he fell over more often than a two-legged bar stool — so much so that for a time we seriously considered naming him “Thud.” (Location 1780-1781)
On his carpentry skills:
"And, long story short, construction is not my strength. I hear carpenters say stuff like “measure twice, cut once,” but that seemed like a lot of bother, so I’d cut twice as much as needed, never measuring at all, on the theory that one piece of stock or another would at least come close to fitting. This always resulted in finished products that were not terribly functional but were unspeakably picturesque." (Location 1872-1876)
Very Highly Recommended!