OUR BEST FRIENDS: Wagging Tales to Warm the Heart by Michael & Teresa Banik Capuzzo Capuzzo

OUR BEST FRIENDS: Wagging Tales to Warm the Heart

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This companion volume to the Capuzzos' Cat Caught My Heart (p. 31) follows the same format: songs in praise of pet ownership, culled from material sent to Michael Capuzzo's syndicated ""Wild Things"" column, only this time the adored object is Rover. Dogs of every rank and radius are profiled here: dogs rescued from abuse and dogs who rescue others from abuse, dogs who are mentors and dogs with diabetes, a dog who went to meet his master at the train station each day for ten years after the master had died (found under the chapter heading ""Loyalty""), a dog on Valium because he attacks and destroys ringing telephones (found under ""Perseverance""), and, of course, a mention of Balto, the dog who saved Nome, Alaska, from a diphtheria outbreak and inspired the Iditarod sled race (found under ""Heroism""). Most of the contributions are short and submitted by the common citizenry, though a number of celebs make appearances: Ann Landers weighs in with some dreadful, heavy moralizing, Dave Barry goes for the yuks with a stab at fecal humor, and James Herriot chronicles the woes of a boxer with terminal flatulence. A mere handful of the stories reach for high drama (""Dragging her crushed hips along the ground, whimpering in pain, the dog struggled to Ray's side and nudged his face to keep it out of the water"")--and they aren't the pick of this litter. The best are those that wish only to briefly serenade a much-loved pooch, let the mutt stand up and take a bow, or bask in an elegy, as in this epitaph to a coon dog in Colbert County, Ala.: ""He wasn't the best, but he was the best I ever had."" Just so.

Pub Date: March 9th, 1998
ISBN: 0553762311
Page count: 288pp
Publisher: Bantam