Picks and Pans Review: Dogs and Their Women

updated 05/29/1989 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 05/29/1989 AT 01:00 AM EDT

by Barbara Cohen and Louise Taylor

Cohen and Taylor both live in Cambridge, Mass. (Cohen counsels Alzheimer's patients, and Taylor is an administrator at Lesley College.) Lifelong dog fanciers, they collaborated on the ingenious idea of collecting pictures of ordinary women with their canine companions and included 68 such photographs-some casual snapshots, some more serious portraits—in this book. The pictures are visual confirmation of the cliché about how often people seem to resemble their pets. The book is not to be gazed upon, however, by any man who may be suffering passing moments of insecurity.

For the implicit message of the book is that women are better off in the company of dogs than they are with men. Each photograph is accompanied by a comment from the woman in it, and Jo Giese, posing with her Yorkie, Framboise, addresses the issue head-on: "I replaced a 6-ft. Swedish husband with a 5-lb. dog." Another woman, Karen Krider, says, "I wasn't looking for a dog when I got Jake, I was looking for a friend." Cathy Haskell comments, "Oh, my Wally, my little Liebchen, my little toadster, my little best boy. He is a hard-working farm boy, loves the beach, and loves his mummy as much as she loves him. That's my Wally, my little lipster man."

Cohen and Taylor didn't include the notorious LIFE shot of Debra Winger cozying up to her German shepherd. (The only celebrity shown is Helen Keller.) But they do include a lot of nuzzling and kissing, and Christy Fajkowski is wearing a wedding dress as she gets a peck on the cheek from Oboe. Not to worry; Oboe was in the wedding party, Fajkowski explains, but just as "best man." (Little, Brown, paper, $9.95)

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