Thursday, October 10, 2013

Dog Days by Elsa Watson


Dog Days
by Elsa Watson
2012
****
4 stars - a delightful, happy making read

ALR Green - Folks like me, who tend to be totally besotted with dogs, might have a few yellow moments and shed those happy sad tears, but it's all good.


Jessica Sheldon, co-owner of the Glimmerglass cafe is preparing for the big Woofinstock canine festival. Too bad she just plain doesn't like dogs. In fact she is terrified of them and even spotting one across at a distance sends images of carnage through her brain.

But she's trying and she knows being a good dog lover is part and parcel of being a member of the Madrona community, so when she sees a lost and frightened dog about to be scooped up by the evil dog catcher, she surprises herself by stepping in and pretending the dog is hers.

How is her good deed repaid? A bolt of lightening causes Jessica and white dog Zoe to switch bodies. Yup, BANG, and then Jessica is a dog and Zoe is a human. 

Each retains, what I'll call the "hard wired" aspects of their new hosts. That's a good thing because it enables dog, now human, Zoe to use speech to communicate and human Jessica, now dog, to smell and hear things with ultra keen awareness.

This could have gone downhill fast, but I was delighted that Ms. Watson avoided overly anthropomorphizing things and before long she really had me convinced that these two were existing in each other's bodies. 

What's so cool about the book is that it's light and entertaining, but there is also a lot of stuff snuck in there about how humans can be their own worst enemies when it comes to over analyzing things and being generally up tight. It also highlights dogs as loving, sentient beings who enjoy the moment and just want to be part of a family. In fact I kind of did that happy sad cry thing, almost, well maybe a little, at parts.

In the interest of full disclosure, nutty dog ladies are going to get anxious during the opening scene when Zoe is lost and scared as well as some other points in the story. Stick with it. If you think things are getting too dark, just look at the cover art. You get my drift? No book with a cover like that is going to have anything super icky in it. 

Note that the publisher has classified this book as a "romance." Huh? Yeah, well there is Hot Max and there is a lot of patting and rubbing going on, but I wouldn't put it in the romance section. I'd put it in the "damn I love dogs and this book is for me" section.

Oh, and one last thing. I had to actually (gasp) buy this book because after waiting a year for my library network to produce a copy, I just couldn't wait any longer. Members of the Minuteman Library Network take heart. There will soon be a copy in circulation for your reading pleasure.

3 comments:

  1. Kind of like that Freaky Friday movie - which I never saw - but with dogs? Much better. I do like the cover art; it made me smile when I saw your picture.

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  2. Oh I might need to read that right away!

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  3. This one has been on my wishlist for a while. I may have to really start looking for it!

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