As Cole notes in his ""forepause,"" ""people can get pretty silly about dogs and write awful poems about them."" He claims to have weeded out the ""very sentimental and cute"" among them--and having waded through ""Old Blue,"" ""Old Dog Tray,"" and a few other classics in this collection, you'll be thankful for that. But there is little to praise here despite the obligatory snippet of Shakespeare. For humor, predictably even to those who don't remember the same selections from Cole's 1967 Man's Funniest Friend, we have lines by E. B. White and Ogden Nash as well as a criminal takeoff by H. A. C. Evans on T. S. Eliot's ""Macavity."" This last only serves to remind us that cats, however cloying the book-glut they've occasioned, do seem to inspire a classier breed of verse. Which of course is not Cole's fault, nor will it deter the lovers of flea jokes and damp but loyal noses.