The setting is Russia. The time is 1914. The place is a count’s estate. From the time she was young, Lara has spent most of her time in the kennels with the famed borzoi dogs. For centuries these dogs were bred by aristocrats for hunting. To Lara, they are her life and her future. She has a special bond with the dogs that goes beyond the normal relationship between animals and their humans.
What seems so obvious to Lara, that she belongs in the kennel with the Borzoi, is not as clear-cut to her father. And in 1914, the decision is her father’s to make.
In the days before Hurricane Katrina is to hit Bois Savage, Mississippi, families are preparing their homes for the event as they’ve always done. Young Esch and her brothers have been left to their own devices since their mother’s death as their father is usually too drunk to care for them. One brother struggles to win a coveted scholarship to basketball camp, one dotes on his Pit Bull who has just birthed a liter of valuable puppies, Esch reaches a startling and unwelcome epiphany, and the youngest just gets in everyone’s way.
Life was good for Bad Kitty when it was just her at home with her human parents. Then one day they adopt a stupid, disgusting dog. Bad Kitty eventually learns to tolerate the dog. Then, Bad Kitty’s human parents bring home another horrible, retched creature. Bad Kitty assumes it’s another dog, but the neighborhood cats think it’s another cat. They decide to enter this new creature into The Kitty Olympics to see how she competes. Bad Kitty finally learns that this creature is not a cat or a dog: it’s a human baby. Now what's she supposed to do?
I do not own a pit bull, although I’ve known one or two. I do not know anyone who has ever been bitten by a pit bull, but I do know a lot of people who have been bitten by other breeds of dogs (myself included). Thus, as an opponent of Breed Specific Banning, I knew going in that I would appreciate this film. I did not, however, understand the extent of BSB legislation across the country.
In my reviews I often write such things as “not just for dog-lovers” and “you don’t have to own a dog to enjoy this book”. In the case of NPR’s Dog Tales, however, I suspect you probably do have to belong to a dog to appreciate these stories.
In one of my usual somewhat harebrained moments I adopted Newman, a beautiful mini Australian Shepherd, from a dog rescue group in Stanley, KS. Within 24 hours, I realized that I had a severely neurotic dog on my hands. Although my mother-in-law insists he is psychotic, I don’t think he would try to kill us in our beds—he’s more worried we will try to kill him in his.
The Art of Racing in the Rain is the story of a dog named Enzo, who has a very old soul. Enzo believes that if he tries hard enough to think like a man, he will eventually be reincarnated as a man.
He tries his best to help his family stay together despite a custody battle between the grandparents and Denny, Enzo's owner, over Denny's daughter Zoe.
In one of my somewhat harebrained moments I adopted a beautiful mini Australian Shepherd from a dog rescue group in Stanley, KS. Within 24 hours, I realized that I had a severely neurotic dog on my hands.
“If I only I opposable thumbs,” says Enzo, the narrator of this metaphor of life. Full of snippets of wisdom and insight, this is also the endearing story of a family in crisis. Enzo, a terrier-lab mix, is the soul-mate of Denny, an aspiring race car driver. Enzo and Denny became a pair when Denny is a bachelor, then a husband and father, a widower and accused felon.
I almost stopped reading The Art of Racing in the Rain right after I picked it up and read the first three pages. As the human attached to a beloved, elderly dog whose days are numbered, I found the protagonist's take on four-legged aging and decline heartbreaking.