This was one of my favorite books as a child and has remained so in my adult years. It is the longest of Sendak's works, perhaps because it covers so...moreThis was one of my favorite books as a child and has remained so in my adult years. It is the longest of Sendak's works, perhaps because it covers so many themes: the meaninglessness of materialism, dissatisfaction with one's lifestyle, the value of unusual experiences, the cunning necessary to survive, the true "having it all."
5/8/12 - I reread it today, after learning Sendak had died. Jennie is based on Sendak's own dog, Jennie, and the book was written as her memorial. Even as a child, I read this as a version of Doggie Heaven, and it offered me great comfort when my best dog friend died, and it offers me comfort now with the passing of a great author.(less)
A great read! I laughed, I cried, and I looked at my dog just a little bit differently after reading this book. A few of the poems are especially good...moreA great read! I laughed, I cried, and I looked at my dog just a little bit differently after reading this book. A few of the poems are especially good; "The Odyssey" and "Shelter" are two of these, as is the "story" about a dog that eats a bowl of dough and goes to sit in the sun. Also, dogs are Buddhists, and I'm glad the authors in the "theology" (perhaps it should be called dogma?) section realized this fact. (less)
I enjoyed all of McDonnell's cartoons and the premise behind the collection, but I wish the stories about the adopted animals were a bit longer. Howev...moreI enjoyed all of McDonnell's cartoons and the premise behind the collection, but I wish the stories about the adopted animals were a bit longer. However, any literature that promotes animal adoption deserves many accolades, and I'm glad McDonnell has devoted himself to assisting the HSUS in this cause.
If you're interested, the following is the story of my dog, Otis, a former pound puppy.
I waited a long time to replace my childhood dog, Maggie--seven years, in fact. Throughout college I wanted a dog so badly it sometimes hurt, but financial and time restraints kept me from being able to adopt. After graduating and finding a good job, my boyfriend and I decided now was time for a dog. We considered our living arrangements--medium sized apartment, good neighborhood for walking--and decided a female, three-or-more-year-old, Schnauzer or terrier mix would be right for us.
We knew we wanted to adopt a pup from a shelter, and set out first for the Mobile County Animal Shelter. We sat outside while the shelter opened, and once allowed inside, we were informed we'd have to wait another hour until we could go back to the kennels. We patiently waited until we were let inside, and once we did, it was love at first sight.
I knew when I saw Otis, all fifteen pounds of scruffy Schnauzer mix, that he was the one for me. While the other dogs howled and barked, Otis calmly dashed back and forth in his kennel, quietly leaping up and down. Energetic, but quiet--just what we wanted. But I knew not to pick the first dog I saw, choosing instead to go by every single kennel in the pound, petting the pups and discussing them with my boyfriend. We almost selected two other dogs before settling, at last, on the one who first stole my heart. Never mind that he was only a year old, or male. He was ours.
We've had Otis since October 6, 2008. He's gained weight and is kept well-groomed. We don't have a lot of money, but what we do we spend on our pup. He is well-fed, sees the vet, attends events put on by local animal groups, has more toys than we do, and goes on at least three walks a day. We spend all our free time with Otis, and I spend my time away from him obsessing about his well-being. It took him a while to get over the 'shelter mentality,' but he's bonded with us and with my loved ones' pets. To be honest, I don't know what I'd do without him.
We are all three grateful to Maddie's Fund for keeping Otis alive and adoptable until he and I could find one another. We are also grateful to the staff at the Mobile County Animal Shelter for taking good care of Otis while he was in their care. Without the help of these organizations, I never would have found the missing piece to my life.(less)
A good story and a quick read, though it takes a little bit to begin the action. Heartwarming, very honest, while not tear-jerking, emotionally rousin...moreA good story and a quick read, though it takes a little bit to begin the action. Heartwarming, very honest, while not tear-jerking, emotionally rousing. However, I would caution dog owners to not use electric fences. They don't work, they're expensive, and (most importantly) they've harmful to your dog.
Growing up, I had a Golden Retriever named Maggie. She was, like Cormac, afraid of thunderstorms and, again like Cormac, adept at escaping. Thankfully, we were able to find her every time, and for the majority of her life I was too young or self-absorbed to truly worry about what would happen if she disappeared forever. (I've since learned this lesson; Maggie died when I was sixteen and she was about fourteen. I still pine for her, though I have a dog whom I love very much.) Today, I'm convinced that every dog (or cat, for that matter) should be micro-chipped. People like Ruth Baxter exist, and people are incompetent in every workplace, and not many of us have the time or resources Brewer did to recover our pets when they disappear. The simple, relatively inexpensive procedure of microchipping is well worth the peace of mind it brings. That said, I'm still terrified of my dog, Otis, disappearing one day, and I can only hope my loved ones and community would behave as helpfully as Sonny Brewer's did.(less)