Lynn’s debut offers a collection of anecdotes, as told from the perspective of a troublemaking dog.
This book is a tribute to the author’s departed dog Bentley, a cute, lovable Airedale who also had his possum-killing and flower-bed-destroying moments over the course of his life. Bentley tells his side of the story in a series of short vignettes from his new home in heaven. In a separate chapter, the cats who lived with Bentley provide their perspectives. The dog describes his different adventures with his human “Mama” and offers advice to other canines, such as, “Jump willingly into the car when your human is taking you to the dog doctor.” Most of his stories involve him getting into some kind of trouble. As they’re told from his point of view, he always attempts to justify his behavior: Although he did bite his Mama’s friend on the head, he admits, he didn’t do so with the intention of hurting him; also, he doesn’t think he should be blamed for once eating his Mama’s eyeglasses, because she was the one who didn’t put them on the shelf, out of his reach. Occasional illustrations, including color photos of Bentley and simple line drawings of an Airedale, accompany the text. The book seems aimed at an adult audience, but its brevity and subject matter would also make it appropriate for younger readers. The overall lighthearted tone, and Bentley’s upbeat attitude in particular, keeps the book from becoming a tear-jerker, as is often the case with books about a deceased pet. In fact, it would likely be enjoyed by those grieving the loss of an animal companion. The book lacks an overarching plot or storyline, but it’s still enjoyable as short, simple descriptions of Bentley’s different activities, told in his own, overconfident style.
An homage to a beloved canine that will bring readers more laughter than tears.