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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 competition@dogsmonthly.co.uk 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 November 2019.

Dogs in Jumpers: 12 Practical Knitting Projects

Debbie Humphreys

Reviewed by Megan Harding

Summer is over and it’s time to dig out those jumpers yet again. If you own a small or lean dog, such as a Whippet, you may also be looking to get a coat for them, but if you’re feeling creative, this book has plenty of ideas for making a unique doggie jumper.

Inspired by her own ‘shivering Whippet’ Bruno, Debbie Humphreys rediscovered the joy of knitting and soon Redhound for Dogs, a dog attire and accessories company, was born. Debbie shares her expert advice and knowledge with 12 patterns to follow, including jolly jumpers, cosy coats and a beautiful blanket. Each dog model is also introduced with their own fact file and beautifully photographed by Kerry Jordan.

Each project is paw-rated – one paw being easy – so beginners can give it a go too, and there’s lots of advice along the way. There are designs for Greyhounds, Miniature Dachshunds, Miniature Schnauzers and more.

Each pattern includes information on the equipment needed and the steps to take, many of which are written as abbreviations. You can find a glossary at the very back of the book along with more tips, including how to measure your dog.

If you start now, you might even have a Christmas jumper ready in time!


A Boy and His Dog at the End of the World

C A Fletcher

Reviewed by Sian Kelly

“The world has ended. At least we still have dogs.”

When I saw that this book is set in a post-apocalyptic world, my heart sank just a little bit, so instead I focused on the fact that it follows our hero, Griz, as he undertakes a journey to save his stolen dog.

This story is quite moralistic, focusing on survival, courage, hope, love, humanity, family and, most importantly, the importance of being grateful. Fletcher shows that even though the world has pretty much ended, it doesn’t mean that we have to lose sight of what truly matters. Quite the opposite, maybe somewhere along the way we have lost sight of these things due to our hectic lifestyles. A Boy and His Dog at the End of the World teaches us to pay more attention to our surroundings. Don’t wait until the end of the world to appreciate things.

A Boy and His Dog at the End of the World is a powerful story that shows how incredible loyalty and friendship can be. Displaying humanity at its best and worst, the message ‘simplicity taken for granted’ was absolutely well delivered and this wonderful tale of survival and friendship in a bleak setting shouldn’t be missed. If you love a post-apocalyptic story that gives a feeling of joy, calmness and well-placed tension, you can’t go wrong with giving this book a go.

I’ll finish with saying that reading this book did leave a smile upon my face several times and I consider it to be a must for anyone who loves reading about the friendship between humans and dogs.


 

Confessions of a Veterinary Nurse: Paws, Claws and Puppy Dog Tails

Tracey Ison

Reviewed by Maria Laken

As a young girl, it was Tracey’s dream to become a veterinary nurse, but making it a reality wouldn’t be easy, as this would be no ordinary job. Fresh-faced and eager to learn, she became a trainee in 1986 and embarked on a 30-year journey – the majority of which she spent at Greenfields Veterinary Practice.

As a result, Tracey has made life-long friends and incredible memories, and has lots of adventurous tales to tell. No two days were the same for Tracey and her colleagues, and she has an array of bittersweet accounts that will make you laugh, cringe and cry. From cow Caesareans to doggie rescues, Tracey put her heart and soul into every emergency case that came her way.

Tracey and her colleagues didn’t have the pleasure of working with modern equipment that vets use today. Instead, they had to rely on their knowledge, training and practical skills – often against the clock – which makes for an intense and gripping read.

Tracey looks back on her journey with a huge sense of pride. She uncovers what it truly means to be a veterinary nurse: through all the sleepless nights, blood, sweat and tears, there is always lots of love and licks as a reminder of why it is all worth it.


 

Rebel Dogs! Heroic Tales of Trusty Hounds

Kimberlie Hamilton

Reviewed by Megan Harding

Dogs are pretty incredible, aren’t they? In this book, we read just some of the amazing real-life stories of dogs and their heroic deeds. From four-legged wartime heroes, to adventurous hitchhiking hounds who’ve trekked treacherous terrain in parts of the world that many humans would never go.

We learn about the service animals who have given thousands of humans their independence and the lifesavers, whose unbelievable skills – whether bomb sniffing or protection – have helped save human and animal lives.

There are the superstars who’ve stolen nations’ hearts, such as Ashley Whippet – the phenomenal Frisbee dog – whose skills during a televised baseball game in the 70s earned him crowd approval. There are also film stars, such as the legendary Rin Tin Tin, social media pups and the dogs who’ve been instrumental in scientific discoveries.

We also read the tear-jerking tales of lost dogs finding their own way home, including Bobbie, who retraced his owner’s steps 3,000 miles to be reunited!

Some stories you may have already heard, such as Hachiko, who patiently waited for his late owner’s return for many years, and there are many more stories you won’t believe you hadn’t heard of until now, thanks to this jam-packed read.

Each story is accompanied by an illustration, making this a fun, colourful read for all ages.

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