First, I want to cover the work of the art director. Physically this book is a first rate, quality soft cover book, from the heavy stock pages, the full color pictures, the well designed pages, and the rounded corners. It is a gem.
Stefanides shares his home with eight dogs and a wife so you almost get the feeling that this book is a labor of love for him. There is no mention of the writers being dog owners, but they may have been dogs in another life.
Authors Hy Conrad and Jeff Johnson have taken eleven very real dogs of various breeds and sizes who have agreed to post entries written to their owners or the reader. The dogs all have distinct personalities which they bring to their writing.
They alternate facing pages in the book, pages designed to reflect their personalities. Each page is set up with the dog’s photo, unique borders and different fonts.
The stories/letters of the eleven dogs are alternated through the 231 pages of the book.
Some of the dogs:
Axelrod, a yellow Lab, lives with his family in the suburbs and contemplates the mysteries of life. He waters and fertilizes the herb garden and gives a logical explanation about why he ate the sofa.
Tinkerbell, a Chihuahua, lives in a mansion with an indulgent mother and daughter. She has mixed feelings about being carried in a purse and dreams of being a feral dog.
Orson, a Bulldog, lives in an apartment with his two mommies and has a lot of complaints about his food life. He loves it when his mommies get mad at each other and don't talk. He gets two meals.
Sarge is a working German Shepherd who took a liking to cocaine as a police dog. Now he keeps getting fired from other jobs for reasons not entirely his own.
Moonbeam, a mixed breed, was adopted by a new age vegan, but still managed to find meat to eat. Moonbeam hates her name.
Rufus, a country Bloodhound, has dreams of greater glory. Rufus doesn’t howl at the moon. He sings—“anything but country.”
There is Bandana, a Border Collie, who runs his household and lectures his humans about their irresponsibility. From Bandana we learn how it felt to wake up to find his balls were gone, but he demonstrates that he is still horny.
Sophie, an aging Cocker Spaniel, contemplates her mortality and the love she shares with her humans.
In spite of the attractive, colorful appearance, this is more a book for adults or “parental guidance suggested.” Besides some doggie sexual references there are positive references to drugs, cigarettes, and alcohol by the dogs.
Funny stuff for adults, but not subjects some parents might want to deal with in an otherwise warm, funny and entertaining book.