Blogger: Etta Wilson
Location: Books & Such Nashville Office
As summer winds down, we’re feeling the drag of “dog days.” Wikipedia says the Greeks and Romans coined that term after Sirius, the “Dog Star” and the brightest star in the heavens besides the sun, at least during ancient times. Dog days were thought to be filled with evil “when the seas boiled, wine turned sour, dogs grew mad, and all creatures became languid . . . .” I can imagine that dogs, at least those with long hair, did grow mad in the heat with no air conditioning.
Because we have recently lost our longtime, devoted, intelligent, and brave German shepherd, I did some investigating about the relationship between humans and dogs. Let me confess up front that this animal was my husband’s choice, and it was only fairly recently that I came to love and rely on our dog Andy. Now I’m realizing how incredibly integrated dogs are with humans. Dogs appear in TV and magazine ads that are totally unrelated to the animal, as well as in all sorts of books for children and adults.
I’m seeing several manuscripts about dogs at this point and thought I’d check what’s out there. Amazon lists 13,365 entries about dogs alone! Some of the more interesting–Knitting with Dog Hair: Better a Sweater from a Dog You Know and Love Than from a Sheep You’ll Never Meet by Kendall Crolius, and Organic Dog Biscuit Cookbook: Over 100 “Tailwagging” Recipes by J.O. Talley and Eric Talley. In short, the field, both fiction and nonfiction, is pretty well covered; yet the desire for a good dog story remains constant. In fact, it may be growing as more strong authors enter the field, e.g., Marley and Me and Good Dog, Stay (Anna Quindlen’s ’07 book).
I’d like to hear what your favorite published dog story is and why. I’ll write more on “man’s best friend” tomorrow.