What I like…

Happy Dogs on Thursday!   If that’s why you’re here, there are several funny photos in the previous post, but today’s post is about a book with dogs in it, and generalized stuff that makes me happy.  I think if you’ve been to my blog more than once, you know the fur-girls are my anti-depressants!

September 2009, photo by Anita

I love good dog literature, don’t you?  Sadly, I’m not sure I can call The Story of Edgar Sawtelle good dog literature.   Unrealistic expectations might be to blame, but I was really thinking I was going to get sucked in a fall in love with this book, and it never happened.   Dogs as key characters and a ghost story?  What’s not to love, right?


Wrong.  The only character I fell in love with was Almondine, the matriarch of the Sawtelle pack I guess, definitely the canine nanny to tot Edgar.  And when Edgar lashed out at her for falling under his uncle’s charm and THEN wouldn’t even let the dog apologize, I nearly put the book down for good. 

Spring 2009, just to break things up

It was slow-going, but once Gar died, the plot did gain speed and become interesting enough that I wanted to keep going.   However, NOTHING was fully developed to my satisfaction.  The Sawtelle dogs were legendary for their intellect, and I thoroughly enjoyed the glimpse of that we got.  As a local friend noted though, the writer did clearly research a lot about dog training methods and wrote superbly on that subject. 

I never did get the ghost story.  Did whatever made Edgar a mute cause hallucinations, or did his dad really visit, or did his dad possess him or…  ???  I consider myself above average in reading comprehension, and while I’ll confess I didn’t try too hard to figure it out, didn’t re-read a single passage, I still can’t tell you what the author was trying to get at with the supernatural scenes.

Spring 2009 eye candy

Mostly this book reaffirmed that I like a happy ending.   As I wrote on Facebook, ending the book with a fire and a whole kennel/breed of dogs set loose into the woods did NOT make me happy on any level.  Maybe fire and dogs in the woods are just too personal for me, but even if I’d loved the book prior to that…

I can’t recommend this book to other dog lovers.  Yes, there are snatches of great dog lit within, but overall, it’s far too dark and the dogs just aren’t given enough ink to make up for the unlikeable human characters.  The idea of breeding for intellect alone is lovely, and I would have liked to have seen more about the ficticious breed’s ability to reason earlier in the book.

For Thankful Thursday, I have to include a photo of something that makes me smile.  The Knight is lurking in there, and he does make me smile more often than not, and while the shed-mahal is now finally under roof, what makes me smile is driving the big green tractor.  I’ve been driving tractors since my single-digit years, and for some reason, I find real joy in sitting behind the wheel of a tractor.

Last, but hardly least, I owe Ruth my eight Desert Island Disc selections.  This would change on any given day, but here’s what I’d take today, in no particular order:

  1. Sugarland Love on the Inside
  2. Billy Joel’s Greatest Hits
  3. The Sound of Music Soundtrack
  4. Camelot Soundtrack
  5. Fiddler on the Roof Soundtrack
  6. Meatloaf Bat Out of Hell (don’t judge)
  7. Tina Turner Simply the Best
  8. Dirty Dancing Soundtrack

How ’bout you?  What songs can’t you do without?

If you didn’t get enough dogs today, Sissy has a post going up on her blog

16 comments on “What I like…

  1. Sue says:

    Very interesting post. Most of the people I’ve talked to about the book didn’t like it. Most hated the ending, but I liked the book and thought the ending was the only way it could end. I loved Almondine, too. Maybe coming from a highly disfunctional family helped me appreciate the story.

    PS I like Bat Out Of Hell, too. Rob is amazed.

  2. gaylen says:

    I would never pass judgment over the Bat Out Of Hell CD that’s classic high school music – how can you not love it?

    Was wondering about that book – will not bother at this point. Thank you 🙂 g

  3. Nichole says:

    Love the pics… and love your #2… always a must!

  4. Kathy says:

    Enjoyed the read of the post today. SNOL…..love the tutu pics. Sissy just loves her tutu, doesn’t she?
    Beethoven or Louis Armstrong are two of my favorites and yes they are worlds apart but it just depends on my mood:)

  5. Grace says:

    Again we are in sync, your soundtrack list and mine so similar, I would add Phantom of the opera and Les Miserable to round it out, and some Moody BLues–possibly Bread I really am dating myself aren’t I?

  6. km says:

    I’ve got one song right now…I hope this link works.


    And your green photo from last year is what inspired me to knit a green sweater. I didn’t make it to wear it this St Paddy’s, but I did knit on it some.

  7. Barbara says:

    Loved the photos in the previous post, Chan. All of you wearing the green!
    But the pink tutus? Weren’t they embarrassed?

    Well, I consider myself a dog lover and I liked the book. And haven’t talked to anyone that didn’t….until I read your blog! I could tell you didn’t like the book ’cause you were trying so hard to explain the unexplainable (seeing his father); I just accepted it. As my daughter always says to me: don’t overthink this…it’s FICTION.

  8. Laughing at your list….only because it is sooo not what I expected! I never pegged your for movie soundtracks over your 80’s music. Love the choices, including Meatloaf. No judgement here on that score, and I’m sure it would endear you to Jim…

  9. AlisonH says:

    Shed-mahal. Too funny. And I can just picture your Gretchen driving that truck into place to put that roof on.

  10. Marjie says:

    Well, enjoy the dogs and the tractor! And I’ll skip the book.

  11. AllyB says:

    I just love those pink tutu’s.

  12. Dianne says:

    Isn’t driving tractors fun? I love it!

  13. Anita says:

    Your girls are my anti-depressants too. 🙂

    Hey, I love Meatloaf Bat Out of Hell!! SNOL

  14. Samantha says:

    Interesting about the book. I haven’t read it, but knew I heard of it somewhere – then, I remembered it being listed on the Internet Movie Database (IMDb) as a project that my favorite actor, Tom Hanks, might be involved in in the future. I hate when books are disappointing!

    Thanks for your good thoughts about Marge. I’m really hoping it’s nothing more than a muscle strain.

  15. Alicia says:

    Love the tractor (country girl as well)

  16. […] said once I wasn’t going to finish it, but I’m still turning pages.  As with my take on Edgar Sawtelle, it’s not them, it’s me.  I mean, for pete’s sake, one of my favorite books […]

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