Thursday, April 14, 2011

Started Early, Took My Dog

Novels are influential.  I often find myself wanting something that I have just read a character in a book doing or wanting.  Or eating.  An example - recently we were trying to plan a vacation and as I had just read Richard Stark's The Green Eagle Score, I suggested we go to Puerto Rico - mainly because Parker seemed to enjoy the place.  Or when I read Sunday by Georges Simenon - a character had his morning coffee in a bowl - that, for some reason, made me long for coffee bowls.  Took me a long time to get a set, but I did.  And they are wonderful.  I realize these examples are of things of no great importance but that is probably a good thing as one would not want major life decisions unduly governed by incidental details in a novel.

I recently read Kate Atkinson's newest novel, Started Early, Took My Dog.  Early on, Jackson Brodie, the PI who anchors four of Atkinson's books, gets a dog.  He witnesses someone abusing a small dog and decides to hit the dog's abuser and take his dog.  The dog, a border terrier, is with Brodie the rest of the book.  And him having this dog really made me want a dog.  (I had a Beagle puppy for five days when I was five years old but haven't been around any since.)  I started researching dogs on the internet.  And thinking about taking dogs on walks.  Then, last week at work, I learned of a situation where someone had to give up her dog because it snapped at her granddaughter.  So I called my wife, asked her what she thought, and now we have one.  And its just a great as I thought it would be.


Louis XIV, 'The Sun King' (Nick Jones) said...

Aww, now THAT is a cute dog. I never used to like dogs - more of a cat person really - but having moved out of London to the country I'm starting to think a dog might be a good idea. Walking a dog on the South Downs might be rather nice.

OlmanFeelyus said...

I love genre stories where an awesome dog gets a role and I love people who adopt dogs, so doubleplus good post on you, Book Glutton!

We've got two cats ourselves, but if we ever move to a place with real space for a dog to run around, we'd consider it. In the meantime, I've got the best set up which is the neighbour family, with a single mom and three kids and a big golden retriever that I take out for walks. I get the pleasure of the long, thoughtful walk (though sadly not on the South Downs which sounds excellent), none of the responsibility or bills and everybody treats me like a big hero.

Book Glutton said...

Life is still pretty wonderful with our new dog.

The South Downs was the cover story in a recent issue of Country Life and I would kill to be able to have and walk a dog there. If I were there, you wouldn't be able to stop me. (New converts are always the most zealous, aren't they?)

O.F.- We almost got a cat first but the adoption process we encountered was more difficult than getting a top secret security clearance. You're so lucky to have two cats and your neighbor's dog.