BOOKS: The Dog Next Door

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, July/August 2011:

The Dog Next Door
& Other Stories of the Dogs We Love
Edited by Callie Smith Grant
Revell (P.O. Box 6287, Grand Rapids, MI 49516), 2011.
221 pages, paperback. $12.99.

The Dog Next Door & Other Stories of the Dogs We Love
resembles Dogs & the Women Who Love Them, published in November 2010
by New World Library, presenting similar tales of hope, friendship
and loyalty. Each writer shares a unique perspective on why humans
love dogs.

Among the more memorable stories is that of an Afghan hound
who is dumped because he needs too much grooming. Chained outside in
frigid winters, the dog was a matted mess covered with grit, grime,
and mud, rescuer Sherri Gallagher found after a four hour drive–but
he was wagging his tail. Gallagher took him home.
Volunteering as Methodist missionaries, Roberta Hupprich and
her husband land in Zimbabwe, a nation afflicted with social,
political, and economic unrest. Urged to acquire a guard dog, the
Hupprich adopted a German shepherd named Rex who lost a leg to a car
accident. After protecting the Hupprichs from a home invader, Rex
returned with them to the U.S. and settled into retirement.
“No, we do not need a dog,” Dorothy Snyder told her
daughter, an animal shelter volunteer. But her daughter brought
home a “sickly scrawny female puppy” named Skippy, intended to be
company for Dorothy Snyder’s husband, who had been diagnosed with
Alzheimer’s disease. A viral infection sent Skippy to the
veterinarian’s office for a few days. In her absence, Mr. Snyder
repeatedly remembered and asked about Skippy. “The routine
established with this canine companion added a dimension to my
husband’s confused existence that neither I nor our children could
accomplish,” Dorothy Snyder writes. “I still do not especially like
dogs,” she admits. “But then Skippy was not just a dog. She became
a member of our family.”
–Debra J. White

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