THE DOGS WHO CAME TO STAY by George Pitcher

THE DOGS WHO CAME TO STAY

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A four-hankie story about two Princeton University bachelor professors and the dogs who adopt them. When a forlorn-looking, scrawny female takes up residence under an old shed in Pitcher's backyard and then proceeds to deliver seven bouncing puppies, the philosophy professor (since retired) falls instantly in love, though it takes tremendous effort and patience on his part to both win the trust of the terrified stray and to convince his housemate, music professor Ed Cone, that the benefits of dog ownership outweigh the inconveniences. After finding homes for six of the pups, the professors adopt the mother, dubbed Lupa, and her son Remus and spend the next 17 years as a close-knit family. Slowly but surely, the dogs become an intrinsic part of their lives--accompanying them on visits to friends and traveling with them wherever they go. Pitcher and Cone are so devoted to their charges that, in deference to Lupa's delicate nature, they even opt to sail to France on the QE II for a vacation rather than expose the nervous dog to the rigors of airplane flight. Perhaps what's most touching in this memoir is Pitcher's candidness about his past psychological problems (he spent nine years in therapy partly because of his ""crippling inability to feel and express genuine affection and tenderness"" and his difficulty confronting death) and the resolution of those problems through the almost transcendent love, compassion, and respect he has for his canine companions. The final chapters of the book, relating the old-age infirmities and, finally, the passing of Lupa and Remus, are at times almost unbearably moving. With a touch of Cleveland Armory and Peter Gethers, this work, charmingly illustrated by Tom George, surely deserves its own place in the pet literature spotlight.

Pub Date: Oct. 5th, 1995
Page count: 112pp
Publisher: Dutton