Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Book Review: I'm not the Biggest Bitch in this Relationship

By Amy Bromberg

If Jen Lancaster is talking about a book on her Facebook page, you know it has to be good, especially if she contributed to it. But wait it gets better. Among the other twenty contributors to this dog-themed anthology, "I'm not the Biggest Bitch in this Relationship," include Sarah Pekkanen, Jenny Gardiner, Jane Green, Caprice Crane, and Allie Larkin...does our blog name say it all? YES! This book is full of chick lit!

Summary: An anthology of bark-out-loud original essays about dogs from some of today's most popular writers.

Critically acclaimed memoirist Wade Rouse has gathered some of America's best known humorists- authors, comedians, and actors-to offer biting commentary on what it means to share a life, and a heart, with a dog. From battling for bed space to trying to transform a pampered NYC pup into a Texas rawhide, and from helping a shelter rescue navigate through her new life to interpreting dog run dynamics (and politics), being a canine companion has challenges as tough as any agility course, but laughter is just a tail-wag away. This collection features uncanny insight and witty prose from...
• Jen Lancaster
• Rita Mae Brown
• Laurie Notaro
• Jane Green
• Beth Harbison
• W. Bruce Cameron
• and many others, including a Foreword by Chelsea Handler's dog, Chunk

I am a huge dog lover so I knew I would devour this book. I would love to share my thoughts on each of the essays, but that would make this a VERY long review. Hence I will highlight a few, starting with Chelsea Handler’s dog Chunk. I read this essay several times and shared it with my husband and mom, who is also a dog lover. Having Chelsea Handler write the forward as Chunk, brings a comedic approach to how dogs view people and things in the world.

Bruce Cameron’s essay is also quite comical. Bruce is talking to his dog, and at the same time sharing with the reader what he believes his dog is thinking and saying, per his facial expressions and barks. Bruce’s dog salivates every time he hears the word “bacon.” If he doesn’t get his daily dose with breakfast, the rest of his day is all downhill.

Caprice Crane mentions in her essay how every time she passes a dog, she ALWAYS has to play and say hi to the dog. When I read this I immediately posted messages to Caprice on Twitter and Facebook, saying I do the exact same thing.

It was wonderful reading Wade’s essay, and how both of his dogs, Marge and Mabel, helped him grow as a person. Marge taught Wade “to appreciate the beauty of each day, to not think about time or the future, only to sigh, and kiss and play, and love and laugh without limit.” If you think about it dogs don’t stress about every little thing like humans do. Hence they have less complicated and more carefree lives. Besides this, there are a few other things we can learn from dogs including loving unconditionally, not holding a grudge (if you step on their paw, they yelp and move on) and being utterly content with someone loving and taking care of them. After all, besides food and water, that’s all they really want.

If you are a dog lover or not, you will laugh out loud and maybe sniffle a little too. Pets make our world complete, and so much more fulfilling. If you purchase this book (which I highly recommend) it will make you feel good, because a portion of the book’s proceeds go towards The Humane Society of the United States. Wade is “giving back” just like dogs give us SO much.

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Anonymous said...

No secret here, I'm a dog fanatic! SASSY makes my life whole! I can't wait to read this book. Thanks for the review, Amy!

Becky said...

me too! It'll be on my Christmas list now