you read "My Old Dog: Rescued Pets With Remarkable
Second Acts" (New World Library) and don’t want
to run out to a shelter and rescue a senior pet, you
have a heart of flint.
book, written by Laura T. Coffey and photographed by
Lori Fusaro, champions a sometimes-forgotten segment of
the animal shelter population.
sad fact is, a lot of shelters consider dogs over age 3
difficult to place, so they don’t make a great effort
to find them homes. By the time they’re 7, they’ve
been written off and often meet an early demise.
"My Old Dog" goes a long way toward debunking
the idea that senior shelter dogs don’t have much to
book started as a photo project by Fusaro. Coffey wrote
about it for the "Today" show website, and it
generated so much interest that they decided to do the
features 19 dogs, ages 7 to 18. There’s Remy, a
9-year-old pit bull adopted by three nuns who walked
into a shelter and announced they were after a dog that
no one else wanted; there’s Akita, a fierce-looking
15-year-old who came to her new home not allowing anyone
to touch her but who now is family; and Rocky, a
15-year-old golden retriever who lives in a nursing home
and comforts women with dementia.
Old Dog" will make readers rethink their attitudes
toward senior shelter dogs. And who knows, maybe even
a friendly tip: November is Adopt a Senior Pet Month.
Beat the crowds and get yours now.
other books worth a nuzzle:
Galore: A Compendium of Cultured Cats" by Susan
Herbert (Thames & Hudson): Artist Herbert has been
re-imagining famous events with cats for a while now. In
the delightful "Cultured Cats," she reproduces
some of her more popular works and adds a bundle of new
ones. Cat lovers will find much to like, but even a
noncat person will be amused by her renderings. (The
re-creation of the chariot race from the 1959 version of
"Ben Hur" is especially fun.)
Heartwarming Photos of GIs and Their Dogs in World War
II" by L. Douglas Keeney (Zenith Press): Military
historian and researcher Keeney presents wonderful
vintage photos and stories of soldiers and the animals
that went to war with them. And he doesn’t stop at
dogs — monkeys, cats and even a pelican are included.
Cats" by Carli Davidson (Harper Design): Following
in the paw prints of "Shake Dogs" and
"Shake Puppies," "Shake Cats"
features more than 60 cats of all ages, almost all
rescues, shaking — and generally not looking too
pleased. Cat lovers will shake with excitement at this
& Coach: Diabetes, the Fight for My Daughter’s
Life, and the Dog Who Changed Everything" by
Stefany Shaheen with Mark Dagostino (Hachette Books):
After her 8-year-old daughter, Elle, was diagnosed with
Type 1 diabetes, Shaheen learned and did as much as she
could to combat Elle’s condition. It wasn’t until
the family adopted a lifesaving medic-alert dog named
Coach that things changed for the better.
and a Dog" by Natsuko Kuwahara (Phaidon Press):
Through 100 photographs, food stylist Kuwahara documents
her morning meals — and the reaction by her
ever-present mixed-breed dog, Kipple. Each photo —
colorful, elegant, simple and enticing — includes
comments from Kipple. ("Onions. Please don’t take
this the wrong way, but it’s not your finest
on the Job: 50 Fabulous Felines Who Purr, Mouse, &
Even Sing for Their Supper" by Lisa Rogak (St.
Martin’s Press): Let Fido and Rover work security and
sniff out criminals. Cats such as Ickle and Heisenberg
have other methods of contributing to society — they’re
furniture testers at a cat-furniture factory in
Michigan. Rogak introduces readers to cats that are
mousers, circus performers and foster moms (for a litter
of puppies, no less). Mostly, the featured creatures are
warm companions to humans, not a bad lot in life.
Road: One Man, Thirty Thousand Dogs, and a Million Miles
on the Last Hope Highway" by Peter Zheutlin
(Sourcebooks): Over the last 18 years, Greg Mahle has
rescued more than 30,000 dogs, loading up his truck with
as many as 90 dogs and bringing them from Gulf Coast
shelters to new homes in the Northeast. Zheutlin tells
the story of this dog savior and the others who help
him, and in the process, educates readers about issues
such as kill shelters and pet overpopulation.