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@example.com 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 3 January 2019.
Reviewed by Jo Hicks
Feed me – those unspoken words said regularly by dogs all over the world!
We all want the best for our four-legged friends and the role of diet in helping keep them happy and healthy is one that regularly crops up in consumer and social media. With so many differing opinions and information sources, this topic can seem a minefield. Do you subscribe to the feeding recommendations of the brand or regime that shouts loudest, the one that seems to have the most ‘science’ or veterinary support behind it, the one that best matches your lifestyle and budget, or perhaps the one that currently appears the most popular?
In Feed Me, Liviana Prola discusses a home-cooked diet and takes you through 50 different recipes, including options for puppies, senior dogs, active dogs and those who may need to shed a few pounds. However, it is far more than a ‘doggie cookbook’ – you will find a wealth of information discussing areas such as dietary requirements and the contributions of various food groups, canine preferences and foods you must avoid.
The recipes themselves are easy to follow. Each one includes a guide size, a handy tip (such as a slightly different preparation routine if you plan to freeze), a ‘twist’ (which might be an appropriate substitution for a highly active or senior dog) and a note relevant to the recipe that relates to doggie health. There is a huge variety of recipes and generally, the ingredients can be sourced quite easily – spleen was the only thing that would have been a challenge for me, and while I hadn’t heard of several of the supplements that are mentioned, they were easily found online.
As for a doggie perspective, my collies tried the soft-boiled egg with squash and chicken also the cod and potato casserole. They both seemed to get the ‘paws up’ and we had empty bowls (and Kongs) with both recipes, although their preference was ever so slightly for the cod.
Overall, Feed Me was a really interesting read. Liviana Prola is clearly extremely knowledgeable, passionate and highly qualified. She provides you with an absolute wealth of information, yet it’s very accessible and you don’t feel bombarded by science. For those wanting to learn more about a home-cooked diet, or if you already feed one and would like to broaden your dog’s menu, then this is an absolute must-have reference book.
I would have been interested in her take on treats and what options she suggests – perhaps that will be the next book. A final mention must go to the illustrations, a fantastic and quirky selection that complement the recipes beautifully.
Mojo Make-Believe (The Mojo Tales)
Reviewed by Julie Farrington
You may remember Mojo from last year’s Britain’s Got Talent series and from our August 2018 front cover. Now he’s the lead character in his own children’s book series, written by his PA, Lynne Land.
Mojo Make-Believe tells the story of a day in the life of Mojo, a black Toy Poodle. It is a book that would possibly appeal to preschool or primary school children, especially those with a love of dogs.
The book contains lots of pictures of Mojo and his friends and also speech bubbles to indicate what Mojo is thinking.
Maybe a book that can be read to a child at bedtime, as it ends with Mojo also going to bed after his busy day.
For the Quite Very Actual Love of Worzel
Reviewed by Sian Kelly
This is a fabumazing book! Worzel Wooface is a luffly boykin rescue Lurcher and this is his daily diary telling us all about his fourth year of living in his forever home. His adoptive family are Mum, Dad and their children – a fuge ginge boyman and a small previously ginger one. He also lives with five cats.
I hadn’t read any of Worzel’s previous books, but very soon felt as if I had known him forever. He tells his story in his own very unique was and his own inimitable language.
I found myself laughing out loud at the daily adventures of this ever so slightly eccentric (in the nicest possible way!) family. When Mum rescued Fred the fish (times 67!) from the muddy swamp that used to be a pond, I nearly choked on my coffee. I could just envisage Worzel taking a swim in the swamp that used to be a pond.
Being the owner of rescue dogs myself, I can totally empathise with Worzel’s Mum. My dogs have also dun realising that mud is good for the complexion, smells fabumazing and have dun swimming in lovely pooey coloured water!
Even the sad parts of the book were written in a very sensitive way. His rescue background and some of his issues have made him scared of a lot of things, and he is very thoughtful and perceptive to other people’s feelings.
I absolutely love the photos in the book – they make the diary seem so much more personal.
I was telling a work colleague about this book. She desperately wants to buy a Lurcher puppy, so I was able to spread the ‘adopt don’t shop’ message on her and passed on the contact details for Hounds First Sighthound Rescue – the fabumazing rescue that Worzel came from (www.houndsfirst.co.uk).
To sum up this book – Hugh-Stan, we don’t have a problem, not at actual all. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book all about life, love and Lurchers. I will quite very actually be buying the three books that precede it.
The Evil Secret of Chestnut Farm
Reviewed by Martha Cornish
This book informs people, including children, about the dreadfulness of dog fighting and puppy farming. Before reading this book, I didn’t know anything about puppy farming and I hadn’t even heard of dog fighting.
The story is fiction but is based on real life, with advice from Cariad and the League Against Cruel Sports. It begins when Dorothea Sowerbutt is in a clothes shop called Elegant Gowns and is spending a small fortune on a blue dress. We then find out that she gets her money from puppy farming. This is when puppies are bred without love and care.
A Pug puppy called Walter, who has a patch of black shaped like a heart on his chest, gets taken away to a home. The people had bought him for their spoilt daughter, who only wanted a Pug because they were fashionable. When he pooped on the floor and the daughter stepped in it, she no longer wanted him. They tried to sell him, but no one was interested, so he was given away for free to someone who turned out to be a dog fighter.
The book is aimed at children over nine years old, but adults would also enjoy it. I thought it was brilliant and a good read.
Cruelty to dogs cannot be tolerated any longer. The Evil Secret of Chestnut Farm shows how humans have lost respect for dogs and their lives. I hope this book will help people to realise what they have done wrong and change it.