Sunday, March 9, 2014

Book Review: The Journal of Ted Terrier

The Journal of Ted Terrier by Pawthor Ted Terrier and his scribe (also a Pawthor) Emma Knight just has to be one of the funniest books I have read on humans and their behaviour, from a dog’s point of view.  People often say, “If only the dog could talk…” but maybe they wouldn’t be happy with what the dog might say!  Ted Terrier, who is such a clever (and handsome) Jack Russell, tells us all about his family and the many silly human things that silly humans do. His journal spares no one and from six-foot-something head of the family Peter, to depressed mum Jane, to sibling Emma (who struggles to hold onto her creativity, hence this book to help her get it back), to the various visitors (so few…), Ted gives readers the benefit of his observations. He is honest, fair, and if you are a human reading this book, you will recognise some of your (ahem) failings as a member of the two-pawed species.

Pawthor Ted Terrier
Ted starts right off by confessing his obsession with feet, and gives us a description of his family’s feet. The smells of his family’s feet, to be exact. Interesting. That gives readers an idea of how dogs see humans: as smells, not as looks and height. Anyone taller than a human child is very big to a small dog—of course. Well, I wish I had thought of explaining it that way. In fact, let me say right off, I love the way Ted explains things about humans and dogs. It just makes such perfect sense. On the philosophical side, Ted says even cleverer things as he explains the difference between human and dog thinking. Humans’ problem is they think too much and they end up confusing themselves and making their own lives difficult. From there he touches on the benefits of Sunday walks (and everyone knows every day should be Sunday); the problem with religion; how bad it is to get upset; what exactly is black comedy (something I have always wondered); and what really matters in life (a nice warm bed, yummy treats, fresh water, lots of toys, and lots of cuddles in my humble opinion). On a practical side, he observes that dogs have it much easier because they wear their clothes (fur) all the time, and how communication with humans can be difficult (i.e. what not to do to visitors’ legs).
The absolutely fantastic illustrations give readers a very clear picture of what happens in Ted’s household and I had many laugh-out-loud moments. I could just see all those people and all the funny things they did. The Journal of Ted Terrier will make you see your dog in a very different light. Have you ever said or thought, “If only the dog could talk…” Don’t think that. The dog might surprise you! Five Stars!
Keep up with Ted’s observations on life by visiting his Facebook page and his blog.

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