Book Review: Paw Prints by Morgan J Muir

Title: Paw Prints
Author: Morgan J Muir, Illustrated by Sava Andreea
Release: April 10th 2019

Description: “They say that pets will leave paw prints on my heart. But I don’t think I believe them.”

Review: 5 out of 5 Stars

This was a touching book about a woman’s grief over the loss of her young dog. Something any dog owner can relate to, no matter the age of the animal they’ve lost. I loved the beautiful illustrations, which tell a story on their own. It gave me pause to think about the “dogs leave paw prints on your heart” saying. I like the way it was addressed here.

I received an advance copy from NetGalley for an honest review

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Episode 56: 101 Dalmatians (Live Action)

A good live action remake of an old classic or only good value for nostalgia? Tune in as Kate is joined by Mo from the Targeted podcast to discuss the 1996 Disney movie 101 Dalmatians. Was this another disturbing but fun romp through a 90s kids movie, or was it even too horrifying for Kate? Both the ladies loved Glenn Close but Mo raised an important question, do the main actors even like each other? Plus there’s dogs, lots and lots and lots and lots of dogs.

Also, don’t miss hearing about Mo’s two precious fur babies and their story!

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Book Review: Space Dogs by Martin Parr

Title: Space Dogs: The Story of the Celebrated Canine Cosmonauts
Author: Martin Parr
Release: June 11th 2019

Description: This fascinating book tells the story of the soviet space dogs, illustrated with legendary photographer Martin Parr’s vintage space-dog memorabilia.

Review: 5 out of 5 Stars

This is a wonderful book for those fans of space and dogs, something to have in your dog book collection.

This story of the dogs the soviet union used to test their space ships is well written, and well presented on the pages. It doesn’t completely gloss over all the facts – such as the unnecessary medical procedures the dogs were put through and their deaths – and I even learned a thing or two.

It was also great seeing photos of the dogs and the memorabilia / merchandise created for those canines, and it was interesting to me how they were, and still are, celebrated as heroes.

I think my main issue with this book is that it feels like it excuses the testing of the dogs for the space missions for “the good of mankind”. Certainly this is how it was justified by the scientists and everyone else, too.

While it may be true that the dogs were cared for, the fact is the testing was completely barbaric and it only takes a quick internet search to see why. The dogs that died in space (or crashed to earth) would no doubt have been completely petrified on all stages of their missions. So was this really a better life for them than being street dogs?

These are just my personal thoughts of course, and doesn’t make this a bad book by any means. I just would have liked to have seen this side of the facts considered a little more than with a quote from one of the scientists sharing their regret some years later.

Overall this is a great book if space dogs are your thing

I received an advance copy from NetGalley for an honest review

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Book Review: Think Like A Dog by Scott MacDonald & Sadie

Title: Think Like a Dog: How Dogs Teach Us to Be Happy in Life and Successful at Work
Author: Scott MacDonald, Sadie
Release: June 11th 2019

Description: They’re loyal, loving, and big-hearted–dogs are our best friends for a good reason. Yet they have much more to offer than just love and friendship. Let CEO Scott MacDonald and rescue dog Sadie show you how to have a more rewarding life and a more successful career in Think Like a Dog.

Review: 3 out of 5 Stars

I was expecting this book to be more of a humorous take on how to live your life like your dog. You know the meme, “if you cant eat it or play with it, pee on it and walk away.” And some of the book was like this. I definitely enjoyed the parts that were in Sadie’s point of view and the anecdotes about other dogs.

The rest of the book was part memoir, part self help – with advice from real life experiences of Sadie’s co-author, along with quotes from history or psychologists. It felt a little bit like a lecture at times. And that doesn’t necessarily make this a bad book, its just not for me.

The cartoons and pictures of Sadie are also wonderful.

I received an advance copy from NetGalley for an honest review

Book Review: In The Doghouse by Teri Case

Title: In The Doghouse
Author: Teri Case
Release: April 16th 2019

Description: Skip is a rescued dog who wants to matter. He loves living in a blissful pack with his human couple, John and Lucy, and he has bow-vowed never to lose them. But when John walks out after seven happy years, Skip and Lucy’s world is turned upside down. Skip is determined to guide Lucy through her identity crisis, but he’s guarding a secret: he’s to blame for the breakup and her broken heart.

Review: 5 out of 5 Stars

I wasn’t sure what to expect from a novel written primarily in a dogs point of view but I wasn’t disappointed. Skip is a lovable, loyal Wolf/labrador mix who sometimes is written a little too human, but it works. Dogs understand more than we give them credit for, which this novel plays on, and elevates that.

I loved reading Skip and Lucy’s journey together after John, and the wonderful array of secondary characters that join them.

I often discuss on my podcast about what our dogs might be thinking and this novel is great for those who might wonder the same. Heart-warming and funny, a must for dog lovers.

I received an advance copy from NetGalley for an honest review

Also posted on Good Reads.

Book Review: Life on the Leash by Victoria Schade

Title: Life on the Leash
Author: Victoria Schade
Release: September 18th 2018

Description: Must Love Dogs meets My Not So Perfect Life in this hilarious romantic comedy about a dog trainer who’s a master at managing her four-legged friends, but when it comes to her love life…let’s just say she still has a lot to learn.

Review: 1 out of 5 Stars

I was hoping to read a cute piece of chick-lit with some interesting doggy counterparts but I got a hot-mess of stereotypes, uninteresting characters that lacked real diversity, and a plot that went nowhere.

For a dog trainer, Cora Bellamy has the right idea, no force or aggression and lots of positive reinforcement. However, in her very first dog training session in the book, she tethers a dog to a closet door to stop it from jumping on house guests. I really should have stopped reading there. And ok, her training methods don’t get worse, but her personality does.

I felt like I was reading a YA novel a lot of the time, Cora was very immature and her biggest flaw for me was pursuing a client in a relationship simply because he was hot and she was horny. On the flip side, her other love interest is so dull and lacked chemistry, I’ve already forgotten him.

While I could go in to greater detail about how she annoyed me, the french speaking, the slut-shaming, the cutesy antics that were supposed to endear me, there’s plenty of reviews covering those.

My other main gripe with this book is the very obvious “evil dog trainer” a Russian caricature of someone very famous. It could not have been more obvious if the author beat me over the head with it and most of the time I felt like I was. Look, all of us that know better, hate that trainer. And Victoria Schade, as a trainer herself, no doubt has many issues with him also. But I did not need his likeness recreated as the most stereotypical villain (Russian, really??) who was apparently too sexy to hate? Please.

Very disappointed as I had heard lots of praise for this one.

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Episode 55: Beethoven

Beethoven is perhaps one of of the most iconic dog movies of the early 90s and marked as a favourite by many, but does it still hold up? Val is back with Kate to discuss one of their favourite love to hate topics – questionable dog handling! Is it any worse or better than other 90s movies? They discuss the numerous actors that were up for the role of the Dad – and how strong his patriarchal reign is! – as well as the famous secondary actors. Most importantly they talk about Chris the Saint Bernard, his popularity, his beauty, his drool and so much more!

Plus what has Val been up to these last few weeks? Its dog related and its good!

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Episode 54: Downward Dog (part 3)

Could these next episodes of Downward Dog be the most relatable yet? Find out why when you tune in to hear Kate and Stephanie talk about the show for the second last time. What does Martin’s perfect nap look like? And are puppies really that bad?

Curious about what the ladies dogs have been up to? There is plenty of dog chatter including your scoop on Jazz’s Tasting Table. Find out where you can watch it, and the most expensive treat the dogs have ever eaten.

Plus we read reviews and find out where else you can hear Kate talk movies!

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Book Review: Please Don’t Feed The Mayor by Sue Pethick

Title: Please Don’t Feed the Mayor
Author: Sue Pethick
Release: February 26th 2019

Description: When the lumber mill closes, laying off most everyone in Fossett, Oregon, Melanie MacDonald plans to revitalize her beloved but beleaguered homestead by running her border collie Shep in Fossett’s mayoral race . . .

Shep wins by a landslide.

Review: 3 out of 5 Stars

A cute story with a simplistic writing style that makes for an easy, quick read.

I was instantly drawn to this book by the cover and the idea of a dog becoming mayor. I know its happened for real in some towns in America, so I was definitely looking forward to the concept.

The blurb suggests that I would be reading about the dog Shep and his owner Melanie’s adventures as he wins the election and they become media darlings. Unfortunately, the only part of this book that matches the blurb is that there is a dog running for mayor.

It was slightly off-putting when a huge chunk of the story focused on the main characters ex-husband (a lawyer, who seemed rather controlling) and the escaped criminal who was seeking revenge on him.

The other things mentioned, such as the rival reporter, the vengeful loser of the election and the dog napping were barely existent and not even in the context the blurb suggests. While the personal appearances on game shows etc by Shep and Melanie, were not even in this novel and those are the things I would have like to have read about.

Shep was by far the most interesting character in this book. The author gives him a real personality, and perhaps intelligence even beyond what I dog can have. It works. I chuckled at Shep and his antics, but I wanted more. I would have liked more focus on the actual campaigning too. Not just a few mentions of Melanie and her ex canvasing a few houses and making love heart eyes at each other. I didn’t even like either of them to care about their romantic status.

Despite this, and even though the novel was nothing like the blurb, I enjoyed it. Its a fun read and would recommend it to people who like these kind of stories.

I received an advance copy from NetGalley for an honest review

Also posted on Good Reads

Episode 53: Dog Days

Carrie from the Sip and Shine podcast joins the show this week to talk about how she went from not having a dog for nearly 20 years, to completely obsessed with her rescue dog Layla. Is it weird to skype your dog? Is sleeping in the bed with them normal? You won’t be shocked to hear Kate’s answers.

Plus the ladies chat about the 2018 movie Dog Days, a rather obscure release that not many people heard about. But does that mean its bad or is it actually a sweet sentimental dog movie that shows the impact they can have on our lives in various ways?

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