Monday, September 12, 2011

Ivan! A Pound Dog’s View on Life, Love, and Leashes

By Tim McHugh

From the back of the book:

With wry wit, deep insight, and vivid anecdotes, Tim McHugh gives voice to the family pet and delves into the place where the canine and human hearts become one. In his own voice, Ivan, a mixed-breed dog-philosopher with an extreme underbite and various other deformities, chronicles his life story with keen observations about his adopted family and the people he loves, covering the life events that touch us all.

Just my opinion:

This book was completely different from what I expected. Written in the first person by the main character – Ivan – it is a story I think most people will enjoy.

Ivan was born to a stray. Shortly after his birth, the father attacked the litter … taking Ivan first. As he brutally ravaged him, the mother dog became enraged and saved Ivan’s life. The dogs were later found and transferred to the pound where Ivan was adopted by a very loving family of humans.

The story tells how he was able to fit in and become a very important part of the family group. It’s entertaining, yet not cheesy – something I often find in books about animals who talk and interact almost like their human counterparts.

I very much enjoyed this story and I think you will, too.

Some favorite passages from the book:

Never underestimate the power of a mother.

Tolstoy insisted that everything a person says and believes must agree with human reason lest we be led astray.

I learned that you can win the fight, but victory often has a bitter price.

If people wait around to ask for permission to try things they’ve never done, nobody would ever do anything worthwhile.

Fasting may encourage long-term enlightenment, but I’d trade enlightenment for a good meal any day.

Every rational creature knows that there is a delicate balance of life that is meant to be honored and maintained by those with the ability to reason, but most often this is not the case.

I wish others could know how good a dog’s life could feel.

We are born to love whether we know it or not, and the level of our happiness is found in our service to others.

Being smart doesn’t mean you’ll be happy, but being good at least gives you a chance.

1 comment:

Suko said...

Terrific review, LuAnn! I think I'd also enjoy Ivan!, judging by the quotes you present here.