THE WHIS­PERER

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - PETS - Anne Box­hall Email abox­hall@big­pond.com

I HAVE A DOG ( AN IN­CON­VE­NIENT DOG ) By Char­lotte Lance Pub­lished by Allen & Un­win, 2014

WHEN Mel­bourne au­thor and il­lus­tra­tor Char­lotte Lance was at home with a tod­dler and an­other baby on the way, her hus­band sur­prised her with a three- month- old puppy.

In her words, this “hairier, more hy­per­ac­tive, smellier, drib­blier, hun­grier non- hu­man re­quired far more clean up than any baby, any­where” and was an in­con­ve­nient ad­di­tion to the fam­ily.

As the puppy grew to the size of a small horse and con­tin­ued to eat, shed hair and bark, the au­thor’s re­sis­tance was coun­tered by her two boys, who adored the good- na­tured, fun- lov­ing dog. De­spite the noise, mess and gen­eral shenani­gans, Char­lotte used the ex­pe­ri­ence as in­spi­ra­tion to write a beau­ti­ful chil­dren’s pic­ture book ti­tled

I Have a Dog ( an in­con­ve­nient dog).

Adults and chil­dren alike will ap­pre­ci­ate the sim­ple text and il­lus­tra­tions which tell the laugh- out- loud story of day- to- day life with a dog. We’re re­minded that dogs sneak into our lives to be­come some­thing we don’t want to live with­out.

Pub­lished in May by Allen & Un­win, the book is a per­fect read- aloud bed­time story for younger chil­dren.

QUAKE DOGS

By Laura Ses­sions Pub­lished by Ran­dom House NZ, 2013

AN­OTHER good read is Quake Dogs, by Laura Ses­sions, a collection of true sto­ries about Christchurch dogs and the earthquakes, which pre­sents dogs as a source of com­fort and strength in an in­tensely mov­ing way.

For adult read­ers, the sto­ries bring home the earthquake ex­pe­ri­ence, the vi­tal bond be­tween people and their dogs, and the ca­nine he­roes and vic­tims.

Pub­lished by Ran­dom House, part of the pro­ceeds go to sup­port a New Zealand an­i­mal char­ity which worked to res­cue and re­lo­cate more than 70 Christchurch dogs.

There’s tri­umph, sur­prise, laugh­ter, tragedy and an over­rid­ing sense that dogs were sav­ing people as much as people were sav­ing them.

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