Thursday, March 22, 2007

Dog Bless America: Tails from the Road

I don't remember when I signed up to receive this book, but I'm sure I thought I would receive a simple novelty/cutesy/feel-good read. I definitely didn't expect to find inspiration in Selis's introduction: "...thank you for helping me find my ball," (the ball representing happiness, of course). This wasn't simply a photoshoot of the country's canines, Selis touched on the many areas in which dogs have become part of our culture: the Iditarod, church blessings of animals, police and service dogs, fox hunting, dog beaches and parks, and monuments.

Having the roaming urge myself, Selis's inclusion of his route made me consider which way I would traverse the country should I ever get the opportuity: West, then North, East, and South (does keeping things clockwise make it go smoother?)? Or would I have more fun with a wave pattern, say TX ->NM ->CO ->UT ->AZ, etc.? I don't know the nation's highway routes well, but I'm sure the latter would eat up many more miles/much more time. I'd have to save that trip for retirement.

This book also brought up memories of traveling with Persephone when we moved out here from California. The benefits at the time were obvious; no one was going to mess with me and risk tangling with her, and I would have that same security right away in whatever new dwelling I could find. The drawback didn't manifest until we arrived at our destination, and it was completely my fault. Persephone hadn't been eating during our trip out, and at our last overnight before Austin, I made the executive decision to give her some canned food (which she still can't resist). After we landed in Austin, I went into Kmart to stock up on supplies I thought I'd need if we had to camp while I looked for a place to live, Persephone went--messily--all over the front seat she'd been on the entire way. Lesson learned--don't try to outthink your dog's bodily functions--you will lose.

I had to laugh a little when I read about Pahu (the Hawaiian drum dog)--Persephone has loved drum circles from the first time I was able to bring her to one. Drumming is something that I've had to let go of for now; I miss it, and I'll bet she does too.

Selis's end to the book (technically the back cover) was definitely a fitting one; filking "America the Beautiful" was just too darn cute, which is, of course, exactly what I was expecting. I hope this book has kept Otis in dog biscuits for a while.

Pictured here is our 2-year-old Great Pyrenees/Anatolean Shepherd mix Boudreaux. Yes, we're aware of what his name means in "Cajun," and we stand by our decision. Trust me.

[originally published on BookCrossing, March 22, 2007]

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