I Am Shiba.

Dedicated to momentary thoughts and musings of A Shiba Inu.

Friday, December 04, 2009

Books for Dog Lovers

Admittedly, not everyone is completely in love with the Shiba Inu (shocking as it may seem). Also, there are individuals who like dogs, but have other interests as well (unbelievable as that may sound). Hence, what kind of books do you buy people are not necessarily in love with the most perfect breed that survived the 6000 year test of time but yet still enjoy canines and/or other subjects?

Allow Me (via advice from The Woman) to make a few recommendations:

Good Dog. Stay. by Anna Quindlen. A well-written monologue about growing old with your dog. (Caution: Shiba picture included inside!) A box of tissues should be given as a gift as well.

First Dogs: American Presidents and Their Best Friends. by Roy Rowan and Brooke Janis. A fun easy read that combines the history of our country's executive leaders and the animals that followed them to the White House. Starting with Harry S Truman's quote, "If you want a friend in Washington, get a dog," the book entertains to include the recent arrival of Bo.

If you know a first time pet owner, I can not recommend these two books enough. Both The Woman and That Guy read these books in order to better understand Me and Why I Do Things For This Reason. Without these books, I believe that The Woman and That Guy would have been lost causes for Shibas. Mine and The Culture Clash by Jean Donaldson are most likely two of the best written books regarding using positive reinforcement and noticing the good in what has become your bad dog. It was because of these books that Belle-chan is accepted for her happy-go-lucky "I am going to bark at anything different and attempt to attack the Akita living down the street just because I can." You learn the limits of yourself and your dog. This is Important!

As wise friend once said, if you live with your dog, your dog will learn to live with you. This is the Jean Donaldson approach.

Written by a Woman who obtained a 2nd hand Shiba, Second Hand Dog by Carol Lea Benjamin is an easy to read entertaining book (with cute illustrations) for that person who felt the need to obtain an adult dog rather than purchase a puppy. As Belle-chan and I were both adult dogs moved into a house from Rural environments to the chaos of an Urban One, we can relate to the difficulties of adjusting to a new home. Again, it teaches you how to work with your dog and its quirks rather than attempt to mold the dog into what you think it should be.

Of course, with the movie Hachiko coming out, there are plenty of books that will be telling his tale. The best of these Akita books, however, does not tell the tale of Hachiko but rather, of a small man who saved the Akita breed. Using the historical and sociological perspectives of post-WWII Japan, Dog Man: An Uncommon Life on a Faraway Mountain by Martha Sherrill. This is The Woman's Pick of the Dog book of the Year (although it was written in 2008). More proof that She is never on time for anything.

Nubs: The True Story of a Mutt, a Marine & a Miracle
by Brian Dennis. Also provide a box of tissues to accompany this book. It's a story like Hachiko with a twist.

The Daily Coyote: A Story of Love, Survival, and Trust in the Wilds of Wyoming
by Shreve Stockton. If you think you were crazy for bringing a Shiba into your life, try a Coyote!

Nicolas You are . . . Ridiculous! by Olena Kassian is a favorite among the Shiba Peoples and perfect for anyone who enjoys the antics of a puppy.

Finally, in general, there are authors of note that have books and stories that many have enjoyed:

Jon Katz and his adventures on Bedlam Farm
James Herriot and his adventures in Yorkshire, England (classics!)
Spencer Quinn and his Mystery Series of Chet and Bernie (a second one to be released in January!)
Gary Paulsen. Winterdance: The Fine Maddness of Running the Iditarod by . Ever get a hair up your butt and want to go to Alaska, or just take off on some great adventure? The Woman did and what was to be one winter in the Arctic become 15 years filled with cats, dogs, horses, mountains, and lots of berry-picking. This book is a great tale by a great author who says, "hey, I wanna do this!" and then learns what it means to do exactly that. He also wrote: My Life in Dog Years, Wintersong, and Puppies, Dogs, and Blue Northers.

There is one book and one author that The Woman does not recommend this year.

The book Marley and Me (particularly after the movie came out), in The Woman's opinion, encouraged People to make fun of their dog's misbehaving social antics. It promotes the humor of owning a misbehaving dog and people who encourage these behaviors. I think that author made enough money on the book without The Shiba world promoting it further. (Plus, we Shibas could write several novels on how to be a misbehaving dog. Marley has nothing on us!)

The author that The Woman wishes to avoid this year is Ceasar Milan. Outside of the fact that he has made oodles of money off individuals through the marketing of books, video tapes, audio cd's, training devices, etc., The Woman is not disagreeing with his idea that The People of The House need to be the Leader of the Pack. She merely disagrees with his means of reaching this goal. While She has read most of his books and seen his show many times, his techniques are not for the inexperienced individuals. We Canines need to be treated with respect, not put in our place. As result, The Woman says to enjoy Ceasar for the entertainment value that he is, but to recognize that his training program (like a guide to good living or a book on how to lose 20 pounds in 4 weeks) works only for a few and not the many. Each to their own taste but use his advice with caution, and realize that soothing encouraging words go further than an alpha roll under duress.

I Am Shiba. Happy Shopping (And Don't Forget The Dog Treats!)


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Other dog books:

From Baghdad, with Love: A Marine, the War, and a Dog Named Lava, by Jay Kopelman. The story of "Lava" and his rescue from Iraq. (Kleenex also required at times.)


Tiny Little Shibas:Dreams, by Gail Lockhart. Illustrations by Julie MacTire (of Misanthropic Shiba fame) A little book of short stories about Shibas in different roles (hunting, guarding, tracking dog, and therapy dog). The stories lend themselves to being read out loud. The author and illustrator hope that the book will be a fundraising resource for Shiba clubs and rescues. Available from Lulu.com, Barnes and Noble, and Amazon


9:15 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

HACHIKO WAITS by Lesléa Newman does tell the story of Hachiko (full disclosure: I am the author!).

5:31 AM  
Anonymous JS said...

One Nation Under Dog: Adventures in the New World of Prozac-Popping Puppies, Dog-Park Politics, and Organic Pet Food by Michael Schaffer is a fascinating read.

Merle's Door: Lessons From a Freethinking Dog by Ted Kerasote is another engrossing read. Although Merle's life is not something that most dogs can have, it's a very compelling read. You may not agree with his lifestyle for Merle, but it's a great read.

An amazing read about the Alaska serum run is The Cruelest Miles: The Heroic Story of Dogs and Men in a Race Against an Epidemic by Gary Salisbury. One of the best books I've read, period.

Happy reading!

1:55 PM  
Anonymous JS said...

I humbly present a recommendation for a cat book, if I may:

Dewey: The Small-Town Library Cat Who Touched the World by Vicky Myron. Dewey was found in the returned books drop at Myron's library (she was the director). She adopts the cat, and the cat becomes a library fixture. It's a beautiful story of how Dewey brought the library staff together, did his own version of animal therapy for the town and library patrons, and also about the struggle of a small Midwestern town and library facing obstacles. You will need the tissues!

2:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It does not approach me. There are other variants?

7:50 AM  

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