Review: Things Your Dog Doesn’t Want You to Know (Book)

Review: Things Your Dog Doesn’t Want You to Know: Eleven Courageous Canines Tell All

Authors: Hy Conrad and Jeff Johnson, art direction by Dean Stefanides

Publisher: Sourcebooks, Inc., Napierville, IL

DogTipper Review: One of our favorite quotations about canines is credited to Andy Rooney and appears in our book My Dog Says I’m a Great Cook. The quote goes like this: “If dogs could talk it would take a lot of the fun out of owning one.”

It’s that kind of sentiment that infuses this charming paperback volume, and it mines the ironic humor to the fullest. Authors Hy Conrad (mystery author and writer for popular TV series Monk)¬†and Jeff Johnson (author and former advertising executive) have produced a gem of a book which will keep you laughing with its whimsical musings by a panel of eleven dogs who weigh in on some of their favorite subjects and pet peeves.

Example: Border Collie Bandana is pretty sure that he keeps the his whole household running smoothly. Bandana confides to his owner that “Sometimes when we get to the park or the dog run, you let yourself off the leash and just roam around on your own. This is a little reckless.” A later entry records his unappreciated role in raising the family’s children: “I was also in charge of babysitting when you were in another room. And herding them. You never herded the kids at all, which seems to me like a parenting failure. How can you raise children without herding them around the house and backyard?”

Another canine spokesperson, Tinkerbell the Chihuahua, takes her human to task for imitating her voice and “saying idiotic things in this high-pitched squeal. You think it’s funny…Hilarious…But it’s not…Not to mention going in and out of a bad Mexican accent whenever it suits you. You know perfectly well I was born in Boston.”

And so it goes, through the remainder of the book with the eleven pooches airing their grievances and offering their best advice to help their owners get a clue about what dogs actually think. Each entry runs about 1-1/2 pages and is accompanied by color photos of each “spokesdog.” It’s a perfect book to read in bits and snatches, but we’ll bet you will be hooked as we were and are compelled to devour the entire book at one sitting. Really, we were reading sections to each other and laughing all evening.

In addition to keeping readers entertained, the dogs’ sly humor also questions some of the prevailing myths about dog behavior. According to Moonbeam, a mixed breed pooch who “hates her name,” dogs who eat grass may not be self-medicating for an already upset stomach. “What if the truth is just the opposite? Go with me here. What if we eat grass out of sheer stupidity and it gives us an upset tummy, and then we throw up? Pretty interesting, huh?…there could [also] be other reasons I eat grass…maybe I discovered some cat urine on that particular patch, like a tasty dressing.” Moonbeam also has some pointed comments concerning a pet psychic who “laid her eight scratchy rings and the fingers inside them on my head and made a lot of moans. I moaned back. It seemed polite.”

Any dog lover will love this book, including comedian Steve Martin whose accolade is quoted on the front cover. The Wild and Crazy Guy Himself summed it up perfectly: “I laughed, my dog howled.”

Be sure to hop in the Event Barkers #SuperDogPics Twitter party on Jan. 20 for a chance to win this book!


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Disclosure: We received a copy of the above book for review; all opinions are entirely our own. We are working with the authors to promote their book through our upcoming #SuperDogPics Twitter party.
Image courtesy of the publisher.

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About Paris Permenter & John Bigley

Paris Permenter and John Bigley are the award-winning authors of over 30 pet and travel books as well as the founders and publishers of CatTipper and DogTipper.