Barking Blondes: Oh no! Not another dog book!
Have you ever picked up a box of 100 books? This week has found the two of us lugging around the equivalent of our combined weight, including the dogs, from boot of the car to one canine venue after another.
Yes, the annual dog show season is upon us, which coincides nicely with the publication of our long awaited biography, Barking Blondes. For any regular readers to this blog, who may be scratching their head each Sunday in bewilderment at two such canine obsessed broadcasters, our story is now in the public domain.
To our publisher’s delight and amusement we have said yes to every dog show opening or judging event this summer, with a proviso that a gazebo is supplied in order to flog the book.
Our first gig was last week and, unfortunately, two hours in we ran out of stock (due not to our popularity but more down to our low expectations) and meant whilst one of us stood guard with the dogs and few remaining copies, the other drove home for supplies. Without assistance, a box of 100 books, cannot be lifted by a 5 ft, middle-aged woman, so only an armful of copies was fetched back to the gazebo. We are determined to find a trolley for this weekend.
It’s fascinating to watch who buys dog books. A lot of people just wanted to pat our dogs whist others read the first line and the last line and then put it down. Ouch! Then there were others, juggling shopping, their own dogs on leads whilst looking simply at the pictures, before purchasing. Most interest came from women as men assumed, given the title, it’s a tale of male bashing. It isn’t. It’s a story of our relationship and the role of our dogs within it.
Does the world need another dog book? Look on your shelves and tell us the well-thumbed, loved works of fiction that stand the test of time such as Rin Tin Tin, Lassie or The Call of the Wild. Then tell us the non-fiction self-help books that have won you over?
Our book case is groaning with encyclopaedias of dog breeds such as the 1970s famous The Observer’s Book of Dogs, along with editions of How to Train Your Dog. It’s interesting to read the historical methods of training from Barbara Woodhouse through to Cesar Millan to the art of performing dogs with the brilliant Mary Ray.
For those wanting to learn about the dogs extraordinary intelligence, The Genius of Dogs is a good place to start or why not to delve further and discover the telepathic ability in Rupert Sheldrake’s landmark Dogs That Know When Their Owners Are Coming Home, which looks at the many unexplained powers of dogs such as their in built “sat nav” or sense of direction.
We also have our guilty pleasures, such as a book on how to knit your own dog (we did, and they are great if a little tight) or a fascinating album of famous dogs in sunglasses. As far as canine publishing is concerned, there is very little unexplored territory… so why have we decided to add to the already groaning bookcases?
Maybe we would have done better to follow Lord Montdore’s words in Nancy Mitford’s novel Love in a Cold Climate. When asked about his choice of reading he replied: “I’ve only ever read one book, White Fang, it was so good I’ve never read another.”
White Fang explores the world of wild animals and the equally violent world of humans… so maybe he was right. It’s all been said.
The Barking Hour, every Thursday, 3-4PM, BBC London 94.9FM
www.barkingblondes.netTagged in: barking blondes, dog books, pet care, white fang
Latest from Independent journalists on Twitter