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FLAWED DOGS: The Year-End Leftovers at the Piddleton "Last Chance" Dog Pound

Berkeley Breathed, Author
Berkeley Breathed, Author . Little, Brown $18.95 (36p) ISBN 978-0-316-71359-7
Reviewed on: 11/24/2003
Release date: 10/01/2003
Open Ebook - 978-0-316-04957-3
Hardcover - 216 pages - 978-0-399-25218-1
Open Ebook - 208 pages - 978-1-101-13937-0
Peanut Press/Palm Reader - 208 pages - 978-1-101-14028-4
Downloadable Audio - 978-1-4561-1354-4
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In this outwardly glib paper-over-board catalogue of homeless dogs, Breathed (Edwurd Fudwupper Fibbed Big ) comments on people's mistreatment of animals. Trouble is, Breathed's flippant satire and visual hyperbole make an odd fit with his devotion to a worthy cause—the book may be best suited to adult dog lovers. According to the introduction, Piddleton, Vt., "Pop. 327 (People: 243)," is home to activist Heidy Strüdelberg, who once named a "shivering three-legged streetdog" best in show at Westminster and then founded the Last Chance Dog Pound, to give "the doomed and most desperate... a final try at getting adopted into a world that worships perfection." But that's all in the fine print. To a casual browser, the book is a rogue's gallery of unlovely pets. Barney, a tattooed hound, sits sadly at the grave of his departed owner, "Leo 'Nardo' Davinski, 1922–2003, Tattooer to the Angels Now." Pepe, a cross-eyed Chihuahua, thinks he's as handsome as Richard Gere. Other charmers are flatulent or stick their heads up their owner's nostrils. Every spread includes a full-page color portrait, opposite which is a black-and-white mug shot picturing the lonely animal in a gray cement cell. The sentimental concluding image, a glowing Piéta holding a bandaged dog, laments that "Some live without love.../ That's how they're flawed." Despite this pro-adoption plea, none of the unfortunates finds a home, and the vaunted Piddleton shelter (if indeed it is the one pictured) looks as lifeless as a tomb. All ages. (Oct.)

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