Welcome to the Dogs Monthly Book Club. Each month we review our pick of the latest releases, with an opportunity to win for 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 28 July 2017.
Gizelle’s Bucket List by Lauren Fern Watt
They say whoever thinks diamonds are a girl’s best friend has clearly never had a dog. Gizelle is exactly that – Lauren’s very best friend as she navigates the milestones of growing up, going through college, a 1,000- mile move to New York City, her first rundown apartment and lowly office job. What makes the difference is that Gizelle is a rather extraordinary companion; she’s a huge, drooling Mastiff, gladiatorial in size at 160 pounds, and turning heads among the crowds in Times Square on her morning walk.
Against the odds, the pair make it work. They are ‘the millennial and the Mastiff ’, finding themselves and figuring things out in a city of cheap pizza, Tinder dates, and a celebrated Halloween dog parade.
And then comes Gizelle’s suspicious limp... At the age of 25, Lauren’s life is just getting started, but her dog’s is arching towards the inevitable. What follows is a story of love and desperation; of trying to do our best for those we call our best friends.
Gizelle is given a ‘bucket list’ as Lauren seeks out new ways to enrich her dog’s final months while the cancer silently grows. Together, they set off across New England in search of snowy beaches and sunsets, but Lauren is wracked with guilt. How much of this adventure is really for her? How can she justify keeping Gizelle in pain?
Beautifully written, funny and poignant, Gizelle’s Bucket List is more than just a read that will have you reaching for the tissues. It’s a coming-of-age tale with a very special character: a big and beautiful dog.
Pete Subjects by Pete Wedderburn
Practising veterinary medicine has many challenges, and the main on
e is that your patient cannot speak to you. There is no ‘my stomach hurts’, and no ‘I feel a tightness in my chest’ to help with diagnosis: a vet must be able to find out what the patient’s affliction is through what’s nothing short of investigative work.
If you read the Daily Telegraph, you perhaps know author Pete Wedderburn; for the past 10 years he’s been the newspaper’s resident vet, answering readers’ questions on pet health in his weekly column. In this book he shows a knack for storytelling, and recalls some of his most perplexing cases in a series of riveting tales: a puppy who wouldn’t open his mouth, a cat with an unexplained cough, a depressed parrot, a Newfoundland who’d sit down and refuse to budge, a terrier in need of sunglasses – and many more.
After each tale there’s a collection of queries from Pete’s column, focusing on health issues related to those of his patients – and, of course, Pete’s replies and advice, which might be quite useful for your furry, feathered or scaly friends.
Some of the tales in this book have rather graphic descriptions and can be heart-breaking, such as that of a dog with an aggressive and elusive form of cancer. Some are heartwarming – have you ever seen a guide dog for a blind dog? – and some are downright hilarious. How did Pete find himself flying first-class with a swan? Why did he start spinning really fast while holding on to an unconscious cat? Read and find out!
These are different stories about different animals with a very varied range of symptoms and outcomes, but they all have one thing in common: for each and every case, Detective Pete found the right diagnosis.
Detector Dog by Pam Mackinnon
From her career as a drug detector dog handler at HM Customs and Excise, training and behaviour consultant Pam Mackinnon has developed a successful scentwork training programme – Talking Dogs Scentwork (TDS) – which is opening up a whole new world of activities for dog and owner. After introducing small searches into her adult dog training
classes, it soon became apparent that this could be a new, fun and exciting exercise for all. Now she’s showing owners how to get started in her training manual Detector Dog.
Scentwork is something all dogs can do, and shouldn’t be confined to working dogs. It involves both physical exercise and strong concentration, which over time will improve your dog’s fitness, as well as ensuring they are satisfied and snoozing on the sofa by the end of the day. Using this manual, these searches could easily be a new addition to playtime.
Scentwork puts dogs’ incredible olfactory system to the test. In the book, Pam takes us through each stage of scentwork, starting with how to introduce your dog to a specific scent, starter searches and more advanced work, complete with colourful photographs and illustrations. There are a number of search ideas to try, including indoors, outdoors, baggage and vehicle searches, and you could be left amazed at just how well your dog succeeds. Once your dog has mastered the basics, there’s advice on how to make the searches more challenging.
Even if you follow the stages carefully, you may still experience some issues, so there’s a handy little troubleshooting section at the back that can hopefully answer all your questions. If your dog works too quickly, or likes to pick up random items, the guide can help address these issues, too.
Enjoy watching your dog become a detector dog!