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Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Books plus

I'm loving this discussion of books. We've wandered into one of my favorite areas. I love to read and we're in the process of building our own library here in the house. I'm so excited about it. We're turning a spare bedroom into a library with floor to ceiling shelves. It's not finished yet, but it's far enough along to start filling the shelves.

I haven't seen the movie 'Marley and Me', but a friend gave me the book shortly after it was published. I was reading it in bed one night when I came to the part about obedience class. Rob was asleep and as I read I began to laugh out loud, something I don't do often when reading. My laughter woke Rob and he asked me what I was reading. I showed him the cover. He asked if it was that funny and I nodded, so he asked me to read it to him. I tried, but I was laughing too hard to speak. He had to take the book and read it to me. I had tears running down my face.

I had been at a similar class with my dog Libby. She was part Boxer and part Terrier and an absolute terror of a puppy. Our class was held outside in a parking lot and Lib would sit down to watch planes going over. The class would form a large circle and walk around endlessly, stopping on command to do a sit or a down. As soon as we started walking, heeling, Lib would grab my pantleg, start shaking her head and growling. I would have to walk around the circle dragging this strong, growling dog attached to my pants.

What eventually got us kicked out of class was Libby's vanity. She loved to dress up. She had several tee shirts that she wore when we went anywhere with friends. She also liked ribbons in her hair, which was tough as she had short hair. One night one of the female dogs came to class with doggy panties on. She had come into heat and the instructor allowed her to stay. Not a good decision in my book. They placed the dog in heat at one end of the parking lot with all the other female dogs between her and the males.

Well, Libby saw that dog wearing something that she wasn't and went after her. She didn't try to harm the other dog, she just wanted those pants. We were asked to not return for the next class.

Back to 'Marley and Me'. The ending made me cry. It reminded me of Bentley when he got old and had trouble getting around. I liked the book very much.

If there is anyone left in the world who hasn't read the James Herriot books, do it now. You will love them. They are all treasures of unforgettable characters. They'll have you laughing and crying.

A book I recently read is 'The Story of Edgar Sawtelle' by David Wroblewski. It was a great read. Mr. Wroblewski has obviously lived with and paid close attention to dogs. His descriptions of dog behavior is right on.

The book has a controversial ending. Some readers were very disappointed or upset by the ending. I thought the ending was perfect for the story. Not all stories have happily ever after endings. Read it and decide for yourself.

If you are interested in a non-fiction book on dog behavior and how we interact with our canine friends, read 'The Other End Of The Leash' by Dr. Patricia McConnell. I bet you'll recognize either yourself or your dog or both in this book.

I'll be starting a list of books you've recommended on the sidebar. I was hoping to get a Shelfari bookshelf to show them, but their website isn't cooperating today. I'll try again later.

To add something to our auto topic. In the vet's office yesterday I was thumbing thru a new magazine and saw an article about the 2010 Honda Element coming out this fall. It will have a load-in ramp (yea), a pet restraint system, cushioned pet bed, electric fan in the back, and spill resistant water bowl. These are good additions even if you don't have an Element. Other manufacturers may follow Honda's lead.

Chan and I have been planning ahead. The week between Christmas and New Years we are going to call 'Rainbow Week'. At that time we will post pictures and a paragraph about each of the pets that have left us during the year 2009. You can send pictures and write whatever you'd like to say about your friend.

We feel that we need to pay tribute to those pets that left us prior to 2009 also. So on September first we would like to acknowledge any pets that died before this year. Send us your favorite photo and what you'd like to say about your pet and on Sept. 1 and more if we need more time, we'll post them. We think it's important to do this. We hope you agree.

Be sure to let us know what books you've enjoyed, what vehicles you like and don't forget to go thru your photos for a special remembrance of the ones that are gone.


  1. I love all of the James Herriot books! My niece gave me a copy of "Marley and Me" a couple of years ago, but I can't bring myself to read it. I've heard the ending is terribly sad, and I just can't put myself through that. Maybe someday, but probably not.

  2. I love Marley and Me and also all the James Herriot books. I also really liked Merle's Door by Ted Kerasote, it talks about the life of his dog Merle and is really great. I highly recommend it.

  3. I've had Marley and Me since it came out years ago as well... but I need to find the time to read it. Trouble with me reading is I'd usually rather spend the time knitting, but I must make it a point to read more as well.

  4. Natalie with the standard poodle, please email me. I have tried to leave comments on your blog and it won't let me. I don't have your email address.

  5. I listened to Marley and Me on CDs and then had to buy the book, in fact, two versions, so my son can read the kids version. I cried buckets at the movie, knowing how it was going to end. Speaking of dogs and cars and books, how about John Steinbeck's Travels with Charley? I reviewed it last week for my DOT. A great dog for a great author.

  6. marley and me is a terrfic book, and of course james herriot is wonderful.


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