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Dogs Monthly Book Club

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 [email protected] 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 26 January 2018.

Hounds Who Heal: It’s a Kind of Magic! by Chris Kent

Review by Liz Laker 

Every so often, there is a book that you find so enjoyable and enthralling that you don’t want it to come to an end. This book is definitely one of those!

Chris Kent eloquently tells the story of how the K9 Project came to be. This unique venture has seen Chris and her family of rescue dogs help to turn around the lives of those struggling on life’s journey.

The story of how the K9 Project developed and its continued success is both uplifting and inspirational, told in Chris’s warm and engaging style. There are chapters devoted to the dogs themselves, as well as to the people they have helped. Canine star of the project, Cassie, has her very own chapter, and Chris’s love and admiration for each of the dogs shines through. They each have their own unique and sometimes sad stories – as do the people who have found their lives transformed thanks to the work of Chris and her amazing canine therapists! I found myself both laughing and crying at various points in the book. There are some super photos too.

For anyone who believes dogs can help people in many ways, this book is definitely an essential read. I really loved it and will certainly read it again.

The Barklife Way: Life Lessons from a Dog by Theresa Mary Anne Smith

Illustrations by Chantal Bourgonje

Review by Elizabeth Wacker

An Aesop’s Fables for the modern dog lover in all of us. The Barklife Way is a delightful and humorous look at the adventures of Cooper the dog and how he approaches everyday life and new experiences. The book allows the reader to see through Cooper’s eyes and gives us a funny glimpse into why dogs do what they do!

This is a well-written book with lovely illustrations that encapsulate each title perfectly. It isn’t written in the common ‘chapter after chapter’ storytelling style, but is written in shorter snippets of tales that give both sides to the life of dogs and humans.

And it’s not just for the dog lovers of the world: whether you are a true dog lover with a dog-shaped hole in your heart, merely on the fence, or even a cat lover, you can take something away from this book.

In one instance, Cooper the dog is with his doggie best friend and simply enjoys being in his company, just as he is. We all have that one friend that we can just ‘be ourselves’ with and not be judged, right? The parallels drawn in the book can reflect modern life in its basic symbolism, while being fun and easy to read.

This is not a ‘get tucked in’ book to sit in front of the fire and binge-read with a cuppa. However, it would be a perfect coffee-table book or one to pick up over and over just to unwind. It would also make an excellent gift.

Three Quite Very Actual Cheers for Worzel Wooface by Catherine Pickles

It seems an age ago when I first wrote a very tentative message to the editor of Dogs Monthly, asking if Worzel’s first book could get a mention in the magazine. In fact, it was only two years ago, so I suspect I am reaching that stage of life when time seems to speed up and slow down with its own free will. So much has changed for me in that time. I now work for the Dogs Monthly team and when I have to renew my passport later this year, I shall proudly state ‘author and journalist’ as my occupation.

For Worzel, life has changed too. There is always some kind of adventure happening here and as an important member of our family, no adventure would be complete without him. In his third book, the council tries to take away his favourite beach and he experiences his first foreign holiday. His unexpectedly popular poetry also features! His confidence and joy of life have increased as he matures, which is wonderful to see: he will always have his ‘issues’, but they are more predictable now.

The book starts with a bang! Deciding what to include in his blog, what to leave out and how to keep both the blog and the books fresh is always difficult, so the ‘fuge dramaticals’, as Worzel would say, at the beginning of this third adventure have been a real surprise to his Facebook friends. I’m not going to spoil it for anyone: suffice to say, I was very glad I had a year to get over it before I had to write about it!

The third Worzel volume is the most revealing and personal book so far and I’m so touched and humbled by how much his readers care – not only about Worzel but about the rest of our family as well. I really do feel that we are all living this adventure together and their involvement makes a remarkable difference to our lives. The adventure continues and everyone is welcome along for the ride!