The Wrong Dog Dream: A True Romance

Jane Vandenburgh, Author
Jane Vandenburgh. Counterpoint (PGW, dist.), $26 (384p) ISBN 978-1-61902-120-4
Reviewed on: 01/07/2013
Release date: 04/01/2013
Filled with anxiety over ending up with the wrong dog, Vandenburgh (Failure to Zigzag) sets up a personal exploration around these fears. After moving from California to Washington, D.C., with her husband, Jack, the two decide that the best remedy for their childless blues is to purchase a purebred English springer spaniel named Whistler, but he is a high-strung, overbred kennel club dog and not the mongrelly kind of the author’s childhood. Though this memoir contains moving passages about Vandenburgh’s deceased father and escapes to a forest cabin with her brother and their childhood dog, Doctor Ross, such highlights are overshadowed by repetitive, and occasionally whiny passages about how the author prefers the company of her West Coast friends to the folks in her new city. In such moments, Vandenburgh risks coming across as a privileged complainer the moment Whistler lets out a whimper or a growl. Agent: Elise Capron, the Sandra Dijkstra Agency. (Apr.)
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