Edited by Wade Rouse
Hilarious, heartwarming tales about man’s best friend from America’s favorite humorists
I’m always suspicious about anything that presents itself as “hilarious.” It reminds me of the movies that rely heavily on fart jokes or crotch shots. Or the sitcoms that have to introduce a laugh track so you will get that it is supposed to be “zany.”
Fortunately most of the stories in I’m Not the Biggest Bitch in this Relationship don’t try to be hilarious. Rouse has compiled dog stories by 21 writers that range from the humorous to the poignant to the pretentious.
It occurred to me in reading this book that good dogs are usually not very funny. Puppies are funny. Dogs who misbehave are funny if they belong to someone else. But living with an out of control dog for 10 to 15 years is not funny.
Many of the dogs in the book are rescue dogs who have never learned to be good citizens. Some of the best stories in the book recount how the owners realize that training is definitely a two way street. They realize that trying to impose human ideas of good behavior on a dog is bound to fail unless there is some understanding of what goes on in the mind of a misbehaving dog.
While it is wonderful for people to rescue a dog, they need to do it with their eyes open and an idea of what they might expect. Many rescue dogs have driven humans to the point of insanity and the people simply gave up on them because they seemed hopeless. Some were not socialized as puppies and others had been taught bad behavior by owners who didn’t know better.
This is a book that all dog lovers would enjoy, but I think it is especially valuable for someone who has, or may be considering adopting a dog that needs patient training. As these stories show, the reward for turning a dog from a destructive dervish to a beloved family member can’t be overstated.
The author is donating 10% of the royalties to the Humane Society of the United States—which is unfortunate.