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The Dangerous Book for Dogs: A Parody by Rex and Sparky    by Joe Garden & et al Amazon.com order for
Dangerous Book for Dogs
by Joe Garden
Order:  USA  Can
Villard, 2007 (2007)
Hardcover
* *   Reviewed by Theresa Ichino

Be warned: this book is subversive. It contains information that will overturn humans' comfortable assurance that THEY ARE IN CHARGE. According to canines Rex and Sparky, this is a delusion. Humans can be manipulated.

Chapters such as Escaping Fenced-In areas, How to Pick a Pill Out of Peanut Butter, or Training a New Human deal with the practical side of life. Foiling humans' inexplicable need to indulge in useless pastimes are dealt with in such chapters as Bath Time and How to Escape Humiliating Costumes. And of course, if one's owner needs a lesson in proper use of time, refer to How to Ruin the Perfect Dinner Party (formal dinner parties are different from the pleasure of welcome visitors) or How to Make Your Owner Look Like an Idiot. Sadly, however, there is no guarantee that a dog's best efforts will result in success every time.

There are words of wisdom for doggie concerns like hiding from thunderstorms, choosing and burying bones, dealing with squirrels, or treeing raccoons. Purely doggish passions incomprehensible to humans are discussed as well: foul smells to roll in, creative pee stains, poop, vomit. (Anyone who lives with a dog becomes resigned to, if not thrilled with, dogs' fascination with the smelly and the disgusting. How creatures so likeable and amiable can be so besotted with offal is a constant source of amazement to me.)

Rex and Sparky also provide a unique dog's-eye view of history and literature. For example, according to them, you are wrong if you thought Pavlov was in charge of his experiments. In short, The Dangerous Book for Dogs will entertain dog-lovers, who will recognize their pets' idiosyncrasies in its pages. Those who are not dog aficionados will either be amused or will be confirmed in their belief that dog people are crazy.

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