Thursday, July 11, 2013
Book Review - It's Just A Dog by Russ Ryan
About the Author
Aside from being a dog lover and a dog widower, RUSS RYAN has written and developed screenplays with the Hollywood producers of American Pie, Final Destination, and Fireflies in the Garden. He was also a writer on a really bad teen comedy, National Lampoon’s Repli-kate, starring Eugene Levy. This is his first novel.
What if your dog died and then came back as a ghost…that could talk? Would you welcome him back with open arms or run away scared to death?
This is the premise of IT’S JUST A DOG, a new novel about love, loss, and one man’s dog who rises up yapping from the grave.
Charlie Keefe is not just your typical dog lover –– he’s a world famous dog painter, a.k.a. “The Picasso of Pooch Portraits”. Unfortunately, Charlie’s beloved muse, Pete, his lovable Jack Russell terrier, has just died. And he’s totally devastated by the loss of his furry best friend.
So, after months of grieving over his dearly departed soulmate, Charlie reluctantly agrees to foster a new puppy –– a cute Cavalier King Charles spaniel named Brownie from the local animal shelter. Soon after, Charlie is surprised to find himself falling head over heels with this new puppy girl, his ‘Rebound Dog’, as he calls her –– as well as being romantically attracted to Janelle Jordan, the head hound at the dog rescue.
But then complications arise when the ghost of his old dog, Pete, mysteriously reappears one night and comes back to haunt him and the new puppy –– setting off a bizarre chain of events that throw Charlie’s life, career, and entire belief system into chaos!
If you’ve enjoyed such classic dog books as The Art of Racing in the Rain and A Dog’s Purpose, then you are bound to find a place in your heart for IT’S JUST A DOG - Part Book, Part Blog, ALL DOG, (Okay, there may be a few cat videos, too, to show some love for the other team!)
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Our Book Review
This book will be adored not only by dog lovers but any animal lover who knows just how much owning a pet can change our lives. For me what sets this book apart from other dog stories is the author's witty light humour that expertly balances out the emotional side of the story, taking away the sadness as you find yourself laughing out loud.
Pete isn't your normal dog, he's a celebrity with his own personal painter/owner in tow, he even has his own Facebook and Twitter accounts and when he's no longer on this planet they have a doggy memorial party for him so his old pals could show their respect, which really did make me giggle. There is just one problem Pete can't move on until he knows that Charlie, his owner, has come to terms with the loss, so Pete has to return, bringing some great fun into the story. Without giving too much away the story introduces Brownie, a loveable King Charles Cavalier, fostered by Charlie from a dog farm owned by a rather clever and beautiful owner.
The writing of the author's true love, happiness and sadness in the story is fully appreciated and you can totally connect with the sheer joy, frustrations and sadness of owning a pet. Describing the loss of Pete, the emotions felt by not only Charlie but Pete himself and all the little things that you start to notice when a pet dies is absolutely spot on. I loved how Charlie tries to battle against how a man should feel yet knowing that he just can't hide from his true emotions.
There are parts of the book that really gave me a huge lump in my throat as it brought back memories of when we lost our first dog, Bess a Border Collie. She sadly fell asleep in the company of hubbie and the vet in her favourite room of our home, what we didn't expect apart from the obvious loss and sadness was just how much my hubbie would be affected by letting her go. We immediately left the house and went for a lonely walk without her and stumbled on a house for sale, which we actually bought and still live in now, the thought of staying in the same home was just too much for him to bear.
A lovely, light, easy read that flows really well that I thoroughly enjoyed. It will have you feeling sad one minute and laughing the next as you follow Charlie's roller-coaster ride of emotions and events after loosing Pete 'the cutest, crankiest Jack Russell Terrier' and his new found love Brownie. A must for a film, I can already hear Pete's gruff voice in it.