Thursday, March 4, 2021

Book Review: The Particulars of Peter: Dance Lessons, DNA Tests, and Other Excuses to Hang Out with My Perfect Dog

By Cindy Roesel

Is it possible to be too obsessed with your dog? To love your dog so much that it hurts? Author Kelly Conaboy shares in her memoir, THE PARTICULARS OF PETER (Grand Central Publishing), that she can’t remember what life was like before she adopted her dog, Peter. He is the center of her existence. And she isn’t alone. My shih tzu, Sunshine is the love of my life, as I often share in my posts.

Once Kelly adopted Peter (which was a headache and too long to write about here), she decided to write her memoir focusing on him. The first thing she did was buy Peter a bunch of stuff he didn’t need. That’s one of the facts of being a dog owner; you’re constantly purchasing items your dog will either ignore or destroy. Kelly tried giving Peter puzzle toys, large noisy balls, a fancy bed, clothes and booties for walking in cold weather. FORGET ABOUT IT! But Kelly purchased a fleece blanket for herself, which quickly became Peter’s.

In THE PARTICULARS OF PETER, Kelly interviews experts about almost all there is to know about having a pet. Do you know you can get your dog’s DNA? That became possible in 2005 and it allows you to find out what kind of breed your dog REALLY is. It can also help you fine tune her diet or predict health problems. German folklore has it that dogs can speak on Christmas Eve. There’s a huge business in pet psychics. Try Googling “pet psychics” and you’ll be overwhelmed; it’s quite the lucrative business. You can also teach your pet how to become a ghost hunter. Peter didn’t take to that or dance lessons. He did well with competitive canine agility contests, as long as he was allowed to do what he wanted to do.

Here are some statistics Kelly shares to prove her point. Eighty-seven million, that’s 67% of families, all own pets. We dog owners spent about $75 billion, with a B on our furry friends. Of that, $480-million is spent on Halloween costumes. Peter doesn’t like to dress up.

The main thing we learn in Kelly’s book is that the love we receive from our dog is unconditional and all of us can use that.

Thanks to Grand Central Publishing for the book in exchange for an honest review.

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