Few images in life are more touching than rosy cheeked young children playing with preposterously cute puppies. Perhaps it’s because they invoke memories of giggling cherubs and the warm smell of puppy breath, or maybe they touch us far deeper in the soul, in an almost primal way. Mankind has an ancient affinity for all creatures canine, as do they for less-legged humans. So, when approached about reviewing a book about people and pooches, I looked forward to receiving my copy of ‘Not Your Mother’s Book On Dogs’, created by Dahlynn McKowen, Ken McKowen and Kathleene Baker.
Now, I have a sinister friend (from the dark realms) who believes that dogs are the human equivalent of Remoras (those cleaner fish attached to sharks). But, as a former cohabitant with a four paws, I can assure you that the relationship between us goes far beyond simply symbiotic. In fact, Not Your Mother’s Book On Dogs is proof that people and dogs have the deepest and most meaningful relationships of any two species on Earth. Within only a few pages, testimonies of love and appreciation began to unfold, as the book’s collective authors share their fur filled memories of canine calamities and friendships.
Page after page, chapter after chapter, Not Your Mother’s Book On Dogs is filled with stories of unwanted and undeserved loves, acts of heroism (two and four legged) and decisions that forever changed human and near-human lives.
From tales of strays on rainy nights, four legged friends ‘following’ children home, gifts to comfort, and sad-eyed soulful pups pleading in animal shelters, I was amazed by the multitude of coincidences that cause human and canine lives to intertwine. The book revealed that in many ways, the friendships that are forged between people and their pets are deeper, more profound and longer lasting than those between humans. In fact, if age did not take its toll, the love between ‘less’ and ‘more’ legs would likely last forever.
Not Your Mother’s Book On Dogs is not a sappy, yappy tear jerker. It is a compilation of marvelous memories, fabulous friendships and amazing adventures, a testament to love, respect and revelation, and is papyrus proof of our capacity to love not only ourselves, but also incredibly complex speech impaired beings that we are lucky enough to share this world with. For any other creature in this world to love us, protect us, and even save our lives, is certainly remarkable, but the love that dogs give to humans transcends species. They become ‘family’, and sadly in too many instances, their love is the only love that many know from day to day. Canine companions stick with us when nothing, and/or no one else does, sharing our lives in ways that words can simply not do justice to.
If you are thinking of sharing your life with a dog, or have ever been lucky enough to, Not Your Mother’s Book On Dogs is a book that you need to read. It is crafted by those with experience in canine/human relationships, people whose lives were transformed by love unexpectedly. It is delightfully honest, often humorous and always moving. Be forewarned though, it is not an angry book of cat bashing, porpoise put-downs or chimp cat calls, and has been known to lead to spontaneous pet adoption.
Not Your Mother’s Book On Dogs contains stories that are real, gifts from the hearts and pens of the people within its pages, stories that educate, encourage and entertain, but most importantly, remind us that our capacity to love is not restricted to ourselves. Not Your Mother’s Book On Dogs, by Dahlynn McKowen, Ken McKowen and Kathleene Baker, is available from publishingsyndicate.com.
Book Review By: W. Lewis, Publisher at The Northern Star