A Dictionary of Interesting and Important Dogs

Reviewed By  Janet Mawdesley       March 28, 2020


Author  Peter J Conradi

Distributor:      Allen and Unwin
ISBN:                 9781780724041
Publisher:         Faber/Short Books
Release Date:   February 2020  

Website:    https://www.allenandunwin.com 

As any lover of dogs will know, there is far, far more to their canine companions than they ever let you know, after all they need to have a few secrets as they set out to make sure their beloved humans get what life is about from a dog’s perspective.

In this wonderful collection of trivia, compiled by Peter J Conradi, many of the other lives of dogs and humans is revealed, making this the perfect book to dip into during stressful times, such as we are currently experiencing.

Who would have though Shakespeare really, really disliked dogs: it seems he did, while the American humourist Ogden Nash penned a collection titled ‘A Introduction to Dogs’ which contains the very telling lines, ‘ A door is what a dog is perpetually on the wrong side of.’: oh so very true.

The Titanic is well known as perhaps the greatest maritime tragedy in modern history. Less is known about the twelve dogs who were also on board this fateful ship, all beloved of their owners and kept in kennels on F Deck. All perished as did their owners; all but one, Rigel, a Newfoundland who swam in front of one lonely lifeboat and barked to prevent the rescue ship Carpathia, running over the top of it in the dark icy waters. This folkloric tale has never been verified.

Bluey, officially the world’s oldest dog lived to be almost 30 years old, and Byron wrote and Epitaph to a Dog in honour of his Newfoundland, Boatswain who died of rabies in 1808. Byron buried him in fitting style with a tomb larger, as it turned out, than his.

Underdogs receive a mention along with their interesting history and of course there is Toto made famous in The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, and beloved of children and adults alike.

So much amazing, informative and intriguing history has been gathered in the pages of A Dictionary of Interesting and Important Dogs which will help while away the hours, as once again reading allows us to discover so many wonderful things from the comfort of our favourite armchairs.

Enjoy some levity as you discover so many things you never, ever knew about dogs.