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The Dog Rules (Damn Near Everything)

james hörner

accompanying this little hand-sized book are a Milk Bone dog biscuit and a pooper-scooper bag. In the end the bone was crunchy, tasty, and mildly unpredictable. The book, unfortunately, is not.

Dog Rules book cover However, I don't want to be entirely unfair to this book. It's just that for some reason this kind of humour leaves me flat. A real pet enthusiast will find The Dog Rules a leg-slapping titillator. For those of us without the comfort of a four legged friend, some of the obsessive behavior illustrated here will come across as arcane or bizarre.

Perhaps what Thomas is poking fun at is exactly that - the near disturbing obsessiveness of pet owners. Maybe pet owners are supposed to pick this book up and have a good laugh at themselves and the way we deify pets and twist ourselves in knots in order to make them happy.

Regardless of his intentions, what Thomas has come up with is a great gift book. Know someone whose dog is king of the hill? Give them this book.

Thomas winds his way through a myriad of pet/owner related topics, beginning with a declaration of his love for dogs, and continuing with chapter after chapter of anecdotal tales for dog owners. Scattered throughout, of course, are lists of theme-based rules about owning a dog; most of which center around the superiority of canines over humans.

The Dog Rules is trying to hit a general audience, and sometimes the humour is a little far on the "tee hee hee, aren't I naughty" side, when it could be a little more blunt. This silliness is probably what turned me off most from this book. As I said, though, I'm probably not a great barometer for this book seeing how I haven't been in a pet owning household for over a decade.

Dog lovers will likely find that Thomas' comments strike a chord with their own trials and tribulations of having their house run by a furry companion. I repeat, this book was clearly marketed as a gift book, and should be used as such. Receivers of the aforementioned gift will invariably bask in dog humour whilst sipping a glass of Merlot and snuggling with their favourite canine friend. For some reason I clearly see this image set to the soundtrack of CBC Radio 2.

published by key porter books
ISBN 1-55263-175-3

james hörner edits canadian content.

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