The Particulars of Peter: Dance Lessons, DNA Tests, and Other Excuses to Hang Out with My Perfect Dog

Kelly Conaboy. Grand Central, $27 (256p) ISBN 978-1-5387-1786-8
New York Magazine writer-at-large Conaboy merges humor, memoir, and reportage in her winning debut about the experience of sharing one’s life with a dog. Conaboy first describes fostering and adopting Peter, a “Labrador-terrier mix, with a soulful amber gaze [and] spunky little foldy ears,” before exploring general (and typically tongue-in-cheek) questions faced by dog owners, such as “Does my dog like music?” and “Will my dog go to heaven?” (which “hovered over my Catholic upbringing, like the Holy Ghost on so many felt Pentecost banners”). She also interviews researchers into dog behavior and genetics, reads American Pet Products Association reports, and visits Woofstock, the self-billed “largest festival for dogs in North America,” where she notes how guilty most owners feel about trying to make their pets happy: “You spend your life with this friend whom you love.... but what can you do? Guess at what flavor treat he likes.” Rather than overplaying Peter’s cuteness (though he does come across as a very good boy), she infuses the book with an offbeat sense of humor and sharp observations. Dog enthusiasts will especially delight in this book, but anyone looking for a good laugh will have a ball. Agent: Tina Pohlman, Union Literary. (Dec.)
Reviewed on : 09/21/2020
Release date: 12/08/2020
Genre: Nonfiction
Compact Disc - 978-1-5491-3677-1
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