Here, at last, is a true story about our breed - the "biography" of a wonderful, smart, brave Norfolk that reads like a novel. Yet this is a true-to-life account, narrated by our canine hero's owner. This book - the story of McDuff - cannot fail to make you laugh with joy and amusement. But be forewarned: It will also tug at your heart.
I absolutely refuse, of course, to give away the "plot" of the mischievous Duff's adventures and misadventures, except to say that you will remember him long after you've put the book away, and you'll think of him, as I do, in the present tense - indelible, indefatigable. For Duff lives life to the limit, and then some. A great risk-taker, he pushes the envelope (along with the patience of his owners Meg and Tom) to the nth degree and beyond. Duff's adventures are further enhanced and complicated by his great bond with young Chad, his owners' grandson, and with the all-abiding, ladylike Ginger, his Corgi companion.
For all its joie de vivre, this tale admirably displays its author's sound knowledge of the health, habits, and temperament of our "lovable demons." Beyond being a skillful writer, author Gigi Smithers possesses a keen scientific intuition, and, like so many of us, is willing to go all the way to preserve and protect her canine family. She is a wise and compassionate realist who generously shares her insights as well as her lively prose. Here is someone who really understands. And you will feel, as I did, that it is no accident that the Powers That Be have entrusted her with dogs throughout her life.
All Heart is paperback; 124 pages. It is generously illustrated with more than 70 excellent black-and-white candid photographs by the author.
Nat R. LaMar
ANTIC, March, 2001
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