Thursday, February 25, 2010

Flawed Dogs

Flawed Dogs is a book by Berkeley Breathed, the Pulitzer-prize-winning creator of the comic strip Opus. I read it yesterday afternoon. (Yes, you can read it in an afternoon -- and it has some really quirky artwork.)
As with the Super Bowl ad I liked, I may get some flak for saying this, but I loved the book. It takes a decidedly twisted view on purebreds versus "flawed dogs," but it's one that equates well with how I feel about dogs.
I will admit that Mr. Breathed either doesn't know all that much about dog shows or doesn't feel a need to portray them accurately (Westminster figures large in the plot), but he gets some of the flavor right. And choosing a show-groomed Poodle as one of the villains of the piece allows him to focus on some of the more over-the-top aspects of dog shows. (Okay - may as well dive completely in. I mean, if dog shows are supposed to determine the best of the breeding stock, then what does how you trim the coat have to do with it? Or crop the ears? And that's not even getting into the hairspray and chalk!)
Anyway, a Dachshund with the Duuglitz tuft (a mythical sign of Dachshund perfection) is the protagonist, and because of the Poodle and other events, he becomes a "flawed dog." And he leads other flawed dogs in a scheme of revenge that, at the end, turns into an act of redemption.
Anyway, if you aren't too easily offended by some downgrading of the dog fancy, it's a quick and bright and entertaining little book.
Now it's back to Junk Science and my continued dismay at the state of affairs, particularly in the U.S., regarding scientific literacy.

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