Welcome to the Dogs Monthly Book Club. Each month we review our pick of the latest releases, with an opportunity to win for 13 lucky readers! If you would like to enter the prize draw, please email firstname.lastname@example.org with the name of the book you would like to receive in the subject line. Please remember to include your name and full address. Entries close 7 April 2017.
King Tommy by Monique G Nerman
If you’re a regular reader, you may recognise the handsome dog on this book’s cover – he was the cover star of our previous issue, and has been featuring in Dogs Monthly since our December 2016 issue. If that hasn’t jogged your memory, or if you’ve missed the issues, don’t worry: this book will tell you everything about King Tommy and how he went from rags to riches.
How many Indian street dogs can make it all the way to Crufts? Tommy has, and it wasn’t even his first achievement: he was also the first Indian dog ever to achieve ‘therapy dog’ status in America.
Monique first noticed Tommy while staying inIndia in 2010, and Tommy did his best to adopt her,following her everywhere. Monique had no plans to adopt a dog – it wouldn’t fit with her travelling lifestyle – but the day she no longer saw him, she went looking for him. Upon finding him tied to a post, without food and water, she made the decision that he would never leave her side again. Now, where she goes, he goes.
While some of the events in the book are pure imagination, as Monique can only guess what occurred during Tommy’s first year of life, most of it is firmly rooted in reality. There are two journeys in this semi-autobiographical book, unfolding across different countries: Tommy’s own, and that of protagonist ‘Lauren’ – who roamed the world to seek a fresh start, saddled with crushing guilt over her sister’s struggle with depression and eventual death.
And during her stay in India, she happens to meet a young street dog with a magical ability – for healing people...
King Tommy doesn’t shy away from life’s difficulties, from the brutality on the streets and the painful process of grief. This doesn’t keep it from being an uplifting read, because at the end of the journey – through love, acceptance and letting go of self-blame – what’s in store for this unlikely pair of wanderers is healing.
The Adventures of Ziva, Journey to the Rainbow Bridge written by Dawn Fido and illustrated by Duncan Fyfe
A pet bereavement is a difficult experience for anyone, and especially hard to understand if you are a child. There is a special place, however, where our four-legged friends go: a place called Rainbow Bridge.
Registered UK charity Malamute Matters, which began as a Facebook group of Malamute owners helping dogs in need, brings the story of Rainbow Bridge to life in this colourfully illustrated children’s book.
Author and charity founder Dawn Fido turns the story of beloved dog Ziva’s passing into a moving, dream- like journey. Ziva had a terrible start in life at the hands of a back-yard breeder but finally got the life she deserved with Dawn.
Sadly, Ziva was diagnosed with cancer and although she fought hard, the news came in December 2015 that the treatment was no longer working. Dawn has reimagined Ziva’s final days in this short story, as she waves goodbye to her friends on Earth and is reacquainted with old friends at the Bridge.
Dawn Fido said, “After suffering the loss of my truly exceptional dog named Ziva, I genuinely couldn’t come to terms with how hard the loss hit me, and I’m a fully grown adult. It got me thinking how young people make sense of the loss of their fur friend.
“I came up with the idea of a book, directed at the younger age groups, to explain the loss of their dog, help them understand the theory of the Rainbow Bridge, and possibly help alleviate the worries they have when their dog passes.
“My book is intended to be read with parents, to give a child some peace with the knowledge their dog’s life was happy, they will have said goodbye and it’s OK to say goodbye too.”
All proceeds from the book will go towards canine cancer research at the Animal Health Trust.
The Kennel Club's Illustrated Breeds Standards: New Edition, published by Ebury Press
The must-have reference book for dog enthusiasts has been updated, to include the breed standards and photographs of each of the 217 dog breeds recognised by the Kennel Club.
The book itself is shorter (in height) than previous versions, but it is no less weighty – containing masses of information and beautiful photography on fabulous quality paper. There’s also an introduction to the groups, and a useful glossary of canine terms for those who don’t know their ‘point of buttock’ from their ‘turned-out elbow’.
A must for the coffee table when Crufts is on TV!