Lezli Rees has lived with dogs all her life and is a keen walker and rambler. Together with her husband, David Rees and their rescue dog, Jem, the couple have created the UK’s best resource of tried and tested dog walks, and own the popular Driving with Dogs website. When they are not out exploring hidden byways of the countryside, Lezli teaches English at a university in the Midlands.
Imagine if Annie Dillard had taken a dog along with her to Tinker Creek. Now imagine Tinker Creek was a New Jersey suburb, and you have an idea of the surprises that await in John Zeaman's book. Humorous, thought-provoking, and playful, Dog Walks Man might also be called Zen and the Art of Dog Walking. Zeaman takes us on a journey from a 'round-the-block fraternity of “dog-walking dupes”—suburban fathers who indulged their children's wish for a dog—to a strange and forbidden wonderland at the edge of town: the New Jersey Meadowlands. Along the way he rediscovers childhood's forgotten “fringe places,” investigates the mysteries of the natural world, and experiences moments of inexplicable joy.
Each chapter of Dog Walks Man is a bite-size meditation on the wisdom derived from dogs and dog walking. Woven into the narrative are musings on such familiar dog-walking issues as the war of nerves that precedes each walk (or “w-a-l-k” if your dog is in earshot), the problem of dog-walking monotony, and why dog walkers are always the ones to discover dead bodies. This is also the story of Pete, the prescient standard poodle who begins as the “family glue” and evolves into Zeaman's partner on a journey through an abandoned landscape as alive as any jungle.
Above all, Dog Walks Man is about a search for wholeness in an increasingly artificial world. It is about discovering what Thoreau meant when he wrote, in his seminal essay “Walking,” “Life consists with wildness.” Because the truth is, something as simple as walking the dog can open up unexpected worlds.
In the beginning, I walked around the block. Or a couple of blocks. It didn't seem to matter. That it didn't matter was in itself novel. It had been a long time since I had gone out without any particular destination or direction, without knowing whether I was going to turn left or turn right at the end of the front walk. . . .
The simple aimlessness of it made me feel like a kid again. . . .
Pete, with his boundless enthusiasm for the outside world, was like the reincarnation of that juvenile self. We'd hit the sidewalk and, like two kids with nothing special to do, spend a half-hour meandering about. We were suburban vagabonds. In the mornings, with the whole world rushing to get somewhere, there was something almost subversive about roaming around with a companion who had no responsibilities.
We walked the irregular streets of our hilly town. We each had our compulsions. I revived the childhood aversion to stepping on cracks. Pete made sure that every tree was marked with his scent. . . .
At night, Pete and I would escape the sometimes-suffocating sweetness of family life—the pajamas and stories, the smell of toothpaste and sheets, the damp goodnight kisses and prolonged hugs. We'd slip out into the silky night like a pair of teenage boys with high hopes for a Saturday night. We'd walk beneath the streetlights from one pool of light to the next. The people in the houses would drift past the windows like aquarium fish. Pete, with his black coat, was practically invisible in the dark stretches and I would let him off the leash.
Tia Torres, beloved underdog advocate and star of Animal Planet's hit show Pit Bulls & Parolees, chronicles her roller-coaster life in this heartwarming memoir featuring some of her best-loved dogs. With inimitable honesty and characteristic brashness, Tia captures the spirit and heart of these intelligent and loving canines, while carrying us behind the scenes of her TV show, into the heart of post-Katrina New Orleans, onto the soundstages of Hollywood films, and even to the jungles of Sri Lanka.
Tia has devoted her life to shattering the stereotype that pit bulls are dangerous, vicious predators. As the top dog at the Villalobos Rescue Center in New Orleans, the largest pit bull rescue in the United States, she and her team have rescued, rehabilitated, and rehomed hundreds of animals that might otherwise have been destroyed. As she puts it, "Most of the stories in this book are about animals (and a few humans) that needed someone to believe in them and a purpose in order to show their true nobility."
Each dog Tia writes about here has overcome abuse, trauma, neglect, or just bad luck to become a stalwart, loving companion to Tia and her family. You'll meet Duke, whose intelligence and matinee-idol looks made him a star in movies and music videos; Junkyard Joe, whose single-minded passion for tennis balls was channeled into expertise as a drug-sniffing dog; Bluie, the unswerving protector of Tia's daughter Tania; and a host of other unforgettable canines.
My Life Among the Underdogs is above all a love story--one that is sure to grip the heart of anyone who has ever loved a dog.
From the editors of the UK's No 1 travel guide, the much loved Good Pub Guide, comes the latest edition of the Good Guide to Dog Friendly Pubs, Hotels and B&Bs. Featuring fully updated information, the guide provides you with hundreds of wonderful places in the UK to drink, eat and stay with your pet.
With this book to hand, there's no need to leave your dog at home. Faithful friends deserve a break too!
John and Jenny were just beginning their life together. They were young and in love, with not a care in the world. Then they brought home Marley, a wiggly yellow furball of a puppy. Life would never be the same.
Marley grew into a barreling, ninety-seven-pound streamroller of a Labrador retriever. He crashed through screen doors, gouged through drywall, and stole women's undergarments. Obedience school did no good -- Marley was expelled.
But just as Marley joyfully refused any limits on his behavior, his love and loyalty were boundless, too. Marley remained a model of devotion, even when his family was at its wit's end. Unconditional love, they would learn, comes in many forms.
Marley & Me is John Grogan's funny, unforgettable tribute to this wonderful, wildly neurotic Lab and the meaning he brought to their lives.