squeeze into a nook,
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Out: September 21, 2021
Like Watership Down, this story is told about animals through the eyes of animals, but – in this case – it’s a house full of dogs. The story begins on a placid enough note. The one human character has a lot of dogs, but it’s not a crazy-cat-lady situation, the animals seem well cared for and the reader has a brief moment to see the man admiringly, as a dog-lover who cares for strays. But those feelings are short-lived. The newest dog, Sophie, begins to get memory flashes about her life before she moved into the house, and she faces an intense challenge in convincing the other dogs that all is not as it seems. The dogs like the man. He feeds them, and – as long as they behave – they have a pretty comfortable existence. Only gradually are we shown the man’s nefarious side, what happens when the dogs don’t behave.
This graphic novel has a simple but taught story arc, and is a visceral read. It does get dark, so one shouldn’t be lured by the cuteness factor into thinking that it’s some sort of lighthearted romp – it’s definitely not. If you’re alright with tragic scenes woven into what otherwise might seem Disney-like, you’ll probably find this book engrossing, but sensitive readers may find it a bit revolting.
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pile of puppies, wrestling playfully - savage cute
Eyes weary and watery.
A roadside dog.
A part pulls it to the edge,
seeking to shoot into the street.
Amid the roaring chaos machines
that rumble and surge
–shrill or silent.
A part pulls it back,
claiming the comfortably known.
A stretch of sidewalk free of danger,
free of metal monsters,
devoid of food.
Sitting at the roadside,
fear fades as its hunger heightens.
Until the dog is compelled to propel
itself in among the hurried humans
& their rolling death boxes.
I watched this little dog carry this stick across Budapest’s City Park. He set it down once, or maybe twice, to regrip it in its teeth, but otherwise it kept trotting along. The stick was about 1.5 times the dog’s length and about the diameter of a woman’s wrist.
The expression goes, “Don’t bite off more than you can chew,” but I applaud that this puppy was willing to shoot for the stars.
Bat black skies above
Jinking, rolling, and dipping
Dog-fighting for food
The Morning Glory
After dark is monotone
But remains shapely
A pack of street dogs
Bursts into barking, relief
Their mark? Lunchbox man,
Man flails his arms overhead
Walking behind me
India has a lot of street dogs. While there are many that are in a tragic state, others look like they’re someone’s pet. They tend to cluster together in places like parks where they have prospects for both food and to not be run over by rampaging autorickshaw drivers.