Do you delight in reading the tales and adventures that other people have with their pets? From folks who hunt with their dogs, to those who simply have stories of precocious canines to share. If you enjoy delving to the world of dogs through flipping the pages of a book, then we’ve got a recommendation for you!
This book is a sparkling collection of 51 varied dog stories that have regularly appeared in the eponymous columns of Garden & Gun since its launch in 2007. This book would make an excellent gift for dog lovers across the board!
DiBenedetto (On the Run: An Angler’s Journey Down the Striper Coast, 2003), the magazine’s editor in chief, explains the rationale behind the selections chosen by the editors. “[Our] Holy Trinity is bourbon, dogs, and barbecue, but dogs truly reign supreme,” he jokes. These are not your stereotypical lap dogs. In “Hurricane Muffin,” Katie Crouch writes, “[e]ven when he was a puppy, Muffin our cairn terrier, was yappy and mean, calculating and chewy.” Nonetheless, he showed his mettle when he herded the family to the only safe spot in their house during a fierce hurricane. Logan Ward describes how his first dog was a toy poodle, “a fur ball the color of a Hershey’s Kiss and only slightly bigger,” whom he named Tom—Thomas Thumb Ward. Despite his diminutive size, Tom became an avid bird dog. In “Training Days,” DiBenedetto gives an amusing account of a yellow Labrador who only “retrieved one duck in his gundog career.” His claim to fame was that, after being neutered, he would run away, heading back to the vet’s office: “Well, we liked to say he was looking for his balls.” The role of a companion dog is a recurrent theme. In “A Marriage for the Dogs,” Jill McCorkle discusses the problem of modern blended families. “When my husband and I got married,” she writes, “we were as concerned about merging our dogs as we were our children.” On a different note, Jack Hitt uses a personal anecdote to suggest that veterinary medicine can become prohibitively expensive and is not necessarily required. Other contributors include Ace Atkins, Rick Bragg, Roy Blount Jr., Jon Meacham and Julia Reed.
Bird lovers may blanch at feather-in-the-mouth hunting tales, but this selection of vignettes is varied, entertaining and frequently heartwarming.