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Shepherd Girl: A Dog Story Paperback – February 11, 2012
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From Kirkus Reviews
A cat-loving neurotic struggles to raise an unruly German shepherd pup in Needham’s debut “dogoir.”
Needham, a single woman with a steady job, a house and a fenced-in yard, is ready to own a dog. But the ideal dog she imagines is a far cry from the “fluffy terror” of a puppy she ends up buying from a breeder. Smart and slyly disobedient, Athena loves biting fingers, tearing apart household objects and pooping indoors, especially in crowded stores and cafes. Overwhelmed at first, Needham, with the help of a trainer, learns to control and then to adore her energetic, big-hearted goofball of a dog. In caring for Athena, Needham becomes more mature herself. The fact that this story is predictable doesn’t mean it isn’t engaging, although its primary appeal will be to dog lovers and German shepherd aficionados. Needham devotes several chapters to training methods, medical issues that can beset German Shepherds and the raw food doggie diet. There are also tales of Athena’s crowd-pleasing antics at dog shows, an account of the time she saved her owner from a would-be assailant and the running question of whether the author’s elderly cat will ever acquiesce sharing his home with a rambunctious dog. A few sections—such as the one describing four of Athena’s canine pals and analyzing her relationships with them—could have been trimmed. However, the amount of detailed information about what actually goes into raising a dog like Athena makes this a useful book for anyone thinking of getting a German shepherd or other large, energetic dog.
Lively writing and flashes of wit make it easy to accompany Needham along the predictable narrative path from new dog owner coping with a crazy pup to proud owner of an obedient dog.
About the Author
Cat L Needham is a native of Washington, D.C., and has published articles in "The Gazette Newspaper" and "The Journal of the National Cancer Institute". "Shepherd Girl: A Dog Story" is her first book.
Top customer reviews
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Mixed treats with me in my pocket when I go out with my dog. He gets a sample before going out. As a result, he looks like a kangaroo beside me rather than a German Shepherd. But it works! He's totally zoned in on me during our walks. I loved reading about Athena. The story is so genuine, filled with so much love and humor. Yes, you have to have a big sense of humor when you have a German Shepherd. And you develop a lot of extra strength and sense of balance thanks to your dog. I am almost 70yrs old and I am grateful to my dog for this. No gym ... just my dog. And the cat, Kashi ... I have just read about his passing. A beautiful description of a proud and very special being. The tears were rolling down my face. We are considering to get a rescue cat for our dog and for us. My husband has had cats before. Your dog and your cat are so blessed to have you as their family member. Your insight and honesty and great love for them has a place in my heart always. I will cherish my time with you all through your book. If you want to laugh, cry, feel all fuzzy and warm inside and find respect for dogs and cats, please take the time to read this book. You will have moments of happiness and love ... And deep respect for living beings be they human, canine or cats. I know there is a better term for cats too. But bear with me, it's late at night here now in Sweden and I have 3 languages rattling around in my tired brain!!! Thank you so much for your Dog Story, Cat :-)
For anyone who has ever shared their life with a German Shepherd,or with any pet - this book is a must read.