Old Dogs, Old Friends: Enjoying Your Older Dog

Bonnie Wilcox, Author, Chris Walkowicz, With Howell Books $22.95 (210p) ISBN 978-0-87605-750-6
This brief book is to dog training what the Xeroxed Christmas letter is to the epistolary art. It magnifies the mundane, seems to take greeting-card-type imagery as inspiration, and reminds us yet again that sincerity is not a literary virtue. Veterinarian Wilcox and American Kennel Gazette columnist Walkowicz (coauthors of Successful Dog Breeding ) obviously adore pets, especially the aged animals referred to here as ``seniors,'' ``Grandmas,'' ``Gramps,'' ``oldsters'' and so on, even if they do go in for a certain amount of sour-grapes-ish puppy-bashing (``The old dog does not give his heart as freely as the noisy, fickle young''). Aside from a lengthy and careful discussion alerting the reader to symptoms of illness and signs of physical deterioration, however, their comments are largely sentimental: ``A houseful of dogs and people should be like a heart. No matter how many are in it, a special corner should always be reserved for a special dog.'' Owners are advised to ``plant more memories to bud and bloom forever'' via various forms of canine competitions, photograph-taking and video-making. A final section discusses the death of beloved pets. (July)
Reviewed on: 07/01/1991
Release date: 07/01/1991
Genre: Nonfiction
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