Thursday, 11 July 2013

BTT: Pets

Booking Through Thursday question from Deb

… how do you feel about books about dogs or pets? Fluffy stories of fluffy family members? Solid books on training them or taking care of them? Touching reminiscences of trouble and the way a person’s dog (or pet) has helped get them through? - Any favorite books to recommend?

I have to confess I’m not really a “pet person” myself. For one thing I’m allergic – to both cats and dogs it seems, and probably other fluffy furry pets too (and smelly ones!)  But even before various allergies set in (which was not in my early childhood but in my teens) I was never really crazy about animals. I can’t recall ever craving a pet of my own, nor being seriously envious of those who had them.

Familjefoto m Zepp-001

My paternal grandparents had dogs (one at a time). The one which they had when I was little was a big collie, and a often repeated story in the family was that once upon a time someone asked me what I thought of him, and my reply was: “He’s nice but he’s in the way.” Everyone always laughed at that, but it is still my honest opinion… The thing is, he was in the habit of lying across thresholds and I could not get past him! (See photo for proportions!) 

Their next dog was smaller, but he was also in the way in that he had the bad habit of jumping up on you (uninvited).

My brother’s dog is small, cute and well-behaved; the trouble is that with the years my allergies have got worse.

But I digress; the question was about books! However, as I was never pet-crazy in real life, I guess it’s only logical that I was never overly so when it comes to books either. Talking/magical animals in children’s books and fairy tales etc is one thing (if it talks, I regard it as a character rather than a pet). But generally speaking, in an ordinary novel I’m more interested in the human characters than in their pets. What I mean is, I don’t usually choose to read (or not to read) a book because there are dogs or cats or horses in it. If there are pets in the book, that’s okay as long as they don’t get in the way of the story!


  1. you are already know if it has four legs i love it, not matter what it is.. i don't read books about pets, i only read fiction, but i have picked a book off the library shelf just because it had a dog on the cover and my two most favorite books that i have read half dozen times in the past 30 years, the heroes in the books are dogs... I love a book that has a dog in it...

  2. I am with you on the allergies. Mine didn't start until I was older either. I do want to get tested so I know exactly what I am allergic to in case there is an animal we can get....although I am picky about what pets we could have. Here's my post.

  3. This is hilarious! And YES, he is a HUGE dog. They must ALL do the threshold thing...our cats ALWAYS stop at thresholds to sit down and groom and scratch. I think they like to be in as many rooms at once as possible and what better way? I am very allergic too, BUT there are great allergy medicines that they didn't used to have so now I can have cats, yeah!!! I have two words for you "Watership Down" It is about rabbits, but they are characters and they talk. It is considered a classic here now and that is where we find it. We read it twice, I think the author is Richard Adams? PLEASE at least try a chapter or two!! It is one of our favorite books ever. What is the deal with your other blog?

    1. Ginny, nothing is "up" with my other blog, as far as I know. I've just had less time at the computer lately (nice summer weather going on outdoors most days!).

      I have read Watership Down at least two or three times - and like it - I have a well worn and yellowed paperback copy of it in my bookshelf. Talking rabbits are not "pets" by my definition ;) Neither are the wild rabbits I see around here even if I never heard them talk!

  4. I'm allergic to cats but I have two. I think because I grew up with them it never occurred to me not to have them. Here's my post Backchatting Books BTT

  5. My daughter has allergies toward cats, but loves all animals.

  6. "He’s nice but he’s in the way".....loved your child-like point of very true.
    I've always had both cats and dogs growing up, and I think my life would be incomplete without some kind of pet around.
    Believe it or not, I am allergic to cats, but I love them anyway. I find that Brownie's hair does not affect me if I keep the house clean.
    My dear, have you ever tried having a fish in an aquarium?
    Oh, wow, we were talking about books......yes, I am more inclined to read a book if it includes animals for sure..

  7. While I am quite the pet person (we've always had cats) even though I don't have one right now (my old cat died last year) and love most animals, I don't particularly look for stories involving pets. Like you, if a pet is part of the story, that's fine, but that's about it for me. Just like I don't care to read about sports - even though I love running (but I never watch sports on telly, either; it bores me).


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