Schroeder's reliance on stale clichâ€šs, drab metaphors, and feeble witticisms to describe ""the human horde"" (her family) and ""the pile"" (their five basset hounds) only detracts from an already tedious story. ""The horde's"" mundane suburban doings include dance lessons for the girls (and one of the dogs), car-ride squabbles, and breakfast conversations behind newspapers. The dogs--Beaucoup Bon Bones and her offspring (stately Apollo, stolid Walter, amorous Aphrodite, and Stanley the flower-child)--lead somewhat more exciting lives. They watch cartoons, eat dog chewies, wait for the refrigerator door to open, and lift their heads when the door bell rings. Meanwhile Schroeder concentrates--hard--on transforming one of her pampered hounds into a champion by entering dog shows and winning blue ribbons. Whatever her real love for the dogs, it's obscured by her obsession with the show circuit, her numerous reports of consultations with the vet, and her discussions of doggy odors, drool, and 5 a.m. baths. Going to the Dogs is the most apt clichâ€š of all.