Picks and Pans Review: The Urban Dog
by Patricia Curtis
In 1982, Curtis published a book called The Indoor Cat, and it became a kind of Dr. Spock for cat lovers. Now the author of several books on pets and veterinarians has a new book that offers the same kind of advice for people who live in cities and want to keep a dog. Everything anyone would want to know about the subject is here: purebred vs. mixed breed, costs, training, feeding the obese dog, neutering, introducing a cat to a resident dog, pets and the elderly, and dozens of other indexed items. The book covers such particularly urban topics as scoop laws and no-pet clauses in apartment leases but also provides basic information that transcends demographics. Curtis is particularly good on aging dogs. "When we ourselves grow old," Curtis writes, "at least we have some understanding of what's going on with our bodies, but aging can be confusing and stressful to a dog." Curtis cites the work of a counselor and a psychotherapist for suggestions on how to help a child deal with the euthanasia of a pet. If the child becomes angry with the parents or the veterinarian, his feelings should be treated with respect and patience. "And they should be permitted," Curtis says further, "to see the dead pet afterward and kiss it goodbye if they want to." The author's book is thorough and sensitive, packed with personal anecdotes and insights from experts in the field. (Bantam, $8.95)
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