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For the Love of Dog Tales: "Life Stories" told through the experiences of our closest companion. Paperback – December 22, 2011
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Of course, I didn't have the pretense that the stories are going to be happy and full of playful innocence. I prepared myself for heartbreak, and heartbreak I got. First the main "protagonist" in each story is lovable.
Brick is an adorable black American Staffordshire terrier trained as a dog fighter. Helena is a beautiful two-year-old German Shepherd. Ramrod is a six-month old baby Greyhound, 11736 is a Siberian Husky that's been through a lot as a laboratory dog. Robbie is a faithful mutt, whose breed is a mixture of German Shepherd, Irish Wolfhound, and who-knows-what-else. Each of the dogs come from different backgrounds and they go through a lot of pain and suffering in their respective worlds, and it's an eye-opener to anyone to read something as stark and real as their stories.
Sure, it may seem a little absurd to readers at first to read a story told from the dog's point of view, but readers won't be able to deny the truth in the stories, the pure, unparalleled love that these dogs show humans and the often unfair treatment we give back to them. For instance, the first story is about the pit bull Brick. His story starts opens in a dog-fighting kennel, which I admit made me cringe, especially the descriptive accounts of the dog fights, and their struggle to fight for their survival.
Overall, the stories are both heartwarming and heartbreaking. For the Love of Dog Tales will certainly touch anyone's hearts.
The cruel reality of the lives depicted for these dogs was enlightening. I've never actually considered the dark cruel world that some dogs are forced to endure. Through these stories you are brought face to face with these atrocities.
The experience was like that of the war movies you "love" where they pull you in, make you care for the characters, and then unveil the cruel reality of war and you feel like you are helplessly losing your best friends.
But ultimately, they are true love stories at the core. The joy I got from getting to know the characters, and the "warm fuzzy" from knowing their ultimate destiny are the feelings I remember when I think about the book.
My favorite has to be Helena a story of a young naive female trying to prove her self in a male dominated profession..and the author takes you along for her journey of discovery to friendship, faith and true love.
With each story you experience intrigue, drama, sadness, hope and above all compassion for the characters as the author intended. also if you are an animal lover I recommend a box of kleenex be at the ready...
I found Cannon’s book right after I finished reading Garth Stein’s ‘The Art of Racing in the Rain’, and I was in that frame of mind in which I need to read more books about dogs, written by a skilful author who has the uncanny ability to get under their skin. And if you’re like me who read and loved Stein’s book, then perhaps it’s fair to say that you will love ‘For the Love of Dog Tales’ even better—even at the risk of comparing apples to oranges, I’d still say Cannon has that rare power to make you cry—and I mean that in the most positive sense—as Cannon weaves each of these stories like they were a giant hand that sweeps you away and throws you into your emotional depths.
It’s not easy to review a book like this because the emotions get in the way, but let me point out a few important aspects. One, author Cannon has successfully captured the essence of being a dog—you almost see and “feel” each individual, from Brisk to Robbie, their personalities distinct, their respective issues fleshed out carefully, meticulously, and with more than enough emotional gravitas to leave you teary-eyed. Brisk’s story, for instance, is enough to compel or move you to keep reading and is simply the perfect opener for the book—it is a tragic-heroic tale that dropped my jaws and helped me recall the many times I observed a similar behaviour in my own dogs. But that’s just for starters—this is a full-length book, not a hastily written thing you commonly find these days, and you’ll soon discover that each of the story will touch your heart in its own way—from German Shepherd Helena’s story of struggle amid a male-dominated world to Robbie the mutt’s story of love and compassion.
Overall, ‘For the Love of Dog Tales’ is a book that is simply unforgettable and unputdownable for its depth and scope and the uncanny way the author has given our canine loved ones their voice. If you love dogs, or if you know anyone who loves dogs, read this book or send this as a gift—truly an astonishing literary treat. One caveat: if you easily get teary-eyed, better read this somewhere private. Five solid stars for this one.