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The True Story of the Luckiest Dog in the World

by Paul Chutkow

Pub Date: Oct. 4th, 2011
ISBN: 978-0-7627-7147-9
Publisher: Lyons Press

A heartwarming tale of a street dog from India and her faithful human companions.

Journalist Chutkow (VISA: The Power of an Idea, 2001, etc.) opens a door into his personal life as he narrates the charming story of Zelda, the Indian scavenger dog. Befriending a scruffy street dog was one of the last things on the author’s mind while working as an AP journalist in India under Indira Gandhi’s rule. However, this ragamuffin “monster” and “trollop” of a dog wheedled her way into the Chutkow’s life. She became a steadfast companion to the author, his wife and newborn son through her “boundless courage, humor and high spirits.” When Chutkow was reassigned to Paris, Zelda followed. Parisians turned their nose up at the little urchin, but the author leaned on Zelda’s friendship when his son had several medical emergencies. Interspersed among trips to the hospital are amusing stories of Zelda growing addicted to Camembert cheese, warm croissants and homemade borscht. Eventually, Zelda gained renown in Paris when she helped police apprehend a burglar. Suddenly, she was the “Queen of Paris” and “the very picture of European refinement.” And yet, writes the author, “she remained the high-spirited, impulsive Indian street girl, charming, capricious, and totally untamed, just as she had been born to be. After more than a decade in Paris with luxurious vacations in Sardinia, Chutkow returned to America with his family and Zelda.

Chutkow weaves a tender, detail-rich story of how kindness and faith in the inherent goodness of an animal can turn a vagabond into a loving member of the family.