Book Review: Romancing the Dog, The struggle to make a pound dog happy in Beverly Hills by Marion Zola

February is the month of love and it is appropriate that in the month of February we celebrate our love of dogs. Our dogs. The dogs of people we know. Dogs who are in shelters, their pleading innocent eyes gazing back at ours with the hopes that we just might become their  forever homes. The  “owners”, “parents”, whatever you wish to call them, who hold these beautiful beings close to their hearts, should also be celebrated.

romancing the dog cover

Yes this book is about DOGS, but the love and dedication that is clear in this touching book applies to EVERYONE who has ever loved an animal. Dog or not.

In celebration of this love, I am thrilled to present to you the book: Romancing the Dog by Marion Zola.

From the publisher: Romancing the Dog, a humorous memoir, reminds the reader just how much one dog can transform human lives. It will take you on a romp of unique adventures laced with poignant moments. When Chips, a rescue dog, enters the neat routines of a middle-aged couple and messes them up in the most delectable ways, the new guardians are led from one challenging situation to another. A Tibetan Terrier who always seems to have the upper paw, he sends Marion’s and Sam’s stress levels off the charts. Readers will smile, laugh and cry as they follow this trio through the journey of angst and joy.

I felt an instant sense of familiarity when I read that Author Marion Zola once loved a dog named Chips in her childhood who belonged to someone else. My love of Shetland Sheepdogs began with a dog named Dandy, a  feisty Shetland Sheepdog who also “belonged to someone else”, our neighbors across the street. Truth be told, I was 5 yrs old at the time and ONLY played with the 3 children who lived with Dandy because I was madly in love with their dog. That is when my love of Shetland Sheepdogs began. I was determined that one day I would own my own Shetland Sheepdog. Now I do, my precious Dakota.

When Dakota came into mine and my husband’s life, our “neat routines” were also “messed up.”  Dakota also has the “upper paw” and often, sends OUR stress levels “off the charts” as well. It is just those things that make us love him that much more, it was the same with Chips, it is the same with all of us who love, have loved, and are loved by animals.

We all know that moment of looking into a beloved animal’s eyes for the first time and knowing in our guts that “THIS is the ONE.” Author Zola and her husband, Sam, spend their years with Chips making him the center of their universe. Their lives are dedicated to making sure that Chips is happy, that all of his needs, and then some, are being met. Certain that Chips had been abused before he ended up in a Shelter, Marion and Sam were determined to make Chips  feel secure, confident and always LOVED. Through illnesses, allergies, attempts to find a “job” for Chips, separation anxiety, there are countless moments of sacrifice, worrying,  and loving to the nth degree that we all can relate to.

Before Dakota, my only other pet as an adult was my “soul kitty” named Bobo. He came into my life as a stray and lived with me for 18 wonderful years. Yes dog lovers,  because I have shared my life with a dog for only 6 years, I relate to this book more as a cat mother. Romancing the Dog reminded me of the lengths I went to throughout Bobo’s 18 years to make sure that he had the most marvelous life ever, and that the end was as peaceful and full of love as it could be. This book brought back joyous as well as painful memories of Bobo and as a   new and rather inexperienced dog mother, let me know that some of my fixations and obsessions are indeed, NORMAL.  They are normal to all of us who have made the life-long emotional, financial and physical commitment to care for one who depends on US for everything of value in their world.

From Romancing the Dog: “More than many other areas of our lives, pets and our treatment of them demonstrate our values, both as a nation and as individuals. Our dominion over these creatures thrusts a responsibility on us that is not unlike that for our children.” 

Romancing the Dog is a must-read for dog lovers,  ANIMAL lovers. You will recognize yourselves described on the pages, and you will  fall in love,  with Chips, Marion and Sam, just as I did.

 

To purchase Romancing the Dog click here

About the Author: Marion Zola is also the author of All the Good Ones Are Married. Recently, Marion co-produced Shelter Me a PBS show about the rewards of adopting shelter pets that has also appeared on this blog. Visit the Shelter Me TV website here

 

 

In full disclosure: I was not compensated for this review. I was mailed a copy of the book by the author for review purposes. All opinions are my own.