This is a blog inspired by the acquisition of a new puppy (Simon, a Dobermann, born 15/11/2010). However, since even I don't really believe the emotional life of a puppy can sustain a blog indefinitely, I'm combining such reflections as Simon's progress gives rise to with my other indulgence, books. So this will be about books and dogs, in particular books about dogs, and dogs in books. There'll also be plenty of photos of Simon.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Starting out

This is something of a maiden effort, prompted in part by my agent, Isobel Dixon, who has for some time now been tactfully nudging me to Get Out There. She has used the occasion of my acquiring a new dog to suggest that I could tell the world about the dog -- which, after all, is what most dog owners want to do -- as opposed to writers, who are not always all  that eager to tell the world about their books. So the dog is the sweetener here, and I'll filter in comments about books -- my own and those of others -- as they seem relevant or even sometimes when not.
The new dog, then, is called Simon, and will be arriving tomorrow. He is an eight-week old Dobermann of dizzying pedigree, but hell, he doesn't know that. That's him in the light-blue collar, cavorting with his siblings. (Or some of them: there were ten pups.)
Of course, we'd all like to write another Marley and Me or Jock of the Bushveld or White Fang, but I'm not really banking on that. This will just be a chronicle of an ordinary dog, and time alone will tell how he will turn out. I'm not sure that I want another Marley, even if he does get to to star in a movie with Owen Wilson. Marley's owners, I'm told, were on the Dog Whisperer show the other day with Marley's successor, another problem dog. It would seem that in this case, too, the problem was not the dog but the owners, and the Dog Whisperer sorted them and him out. Result: no sequel to Marley and Me. Moral: no problem, no best-seller. Who wants a book about a perfectly-behaved dog behaving perfectly?


  1. Don't forget "Flush" in yout list of Dog Books.

  2. Thanks, Rob, I did give it a thought, but I haven't actually read "Flush" -- though it clearly is a major Dog Text. I mean, the bloody dog WROTE the thing.