Dog Tales: Timeless and Compelling Stories About Man’s and Woman’s Best Friend and Companion

Lyons: Globe Pequot. Nov. 2022. 374p. ed. by Lamar Underwood. ISBN 9781493066988. $27.95. PETS
Underwood (The Greatest Hunting Stories Ever Told) has written and edited many books about dogs and outdoor adventures. In this latest one about dogs, he’s assembled stories that are provocative, melancholy, and sometimes brutal. Before every selection, he’s included an introduction about the writers, all deceased. Contributors include some lesser-known writers, and some who’ve authored classics—Rudyard Kipling, Mark Twain, and O. Henry, to name a few—who’ve owned or written about dogs or both. A memorable, moving story is “The Road to Tinkhamtown” by Corey Ford. It’s introspective and about a man longing for his deceased dog, Shadow, who wore a silver bell when they hunted. But then there is “A Dark-Brown Dog” by Stephen Crane, which is a sorrowful story of animal abuse at its worst. Librarians should be aware that some of these stories contain outdated attitudes about dogs and descriptions of animal abuse.
VERDICT There are a few tales that are quite charming and sensitive regarding the relationship between dogs and humans, and it would have been better to have more of those.
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