Title: Inubaka: Crazy for Dogs Vol 12
Author: Yukiya Sakuragi
May Contain Spoilers
From the back cover:
All alone except for her loyal mutt Lupin, 18-year-old Suguri moves from the countryside to the big city to find a career and a new life!In her first job at a pet store, she meets an assortment of quirky dogs and even stranger owners!
Dance, Doggy! Dance!The Friendly Dog Festival has rolled into town, and it features a dance competition with owners and their pets. Suguri goes up against an employee from the rival pet shop as well as a young blind girl. Suguri and Lupin pull out all the stops, but is it enough to beat these tough opponents?
I am a few volumes behind on Inubaka, so it was the first title I grabbed for my Mini Manga Marathon. Probably not a wise choice, as there is a death of one of the dogs to deal with. I don’t handle doggy demises very well, and this story arc brought back very unpleasant memories of going through this heartbreaking experience with my Doberman, KC.
Just to head off on a tangent here, I’ll share some background about my experience: 60% of Dobermans have heart defects, which can lead to congestive heart failure. Discovering the cause of her illness was devastating. The hardest part of loving any animal is having the strength to let it go. I was very selfish with KC and kept trying new treatment options instead of ending her suffering, and I will regret that for the rest of my life. I still can’t talk about her without crying, and she’s been gone almost 10 years now. She was such a good dog, and I will miss her forever. One of the things about the series that I like is how often it elicits an emotional response from me; sometimes it even makes me cry.
The beginning of the book was much more lighthearted, and it wrapped up the dog dance competition. This section of the book was breezy and fun, and proved that even though Lupin has come a long way in terms of obedience training, he will always remain true to himself. His stomach will always be his biggest motivation, and Suguri doesn’t have a strong enough will to overcome Lupin’s major weakness. This story arc had a perfect ending, and I thought it was a lot of fun.
The next story arc sets up the Doggie Death. While I understand that you can’t have an animal series without some of the critters getting hurt, I still don’t like it when it happens. It brings home how fragile life can be. I don’t want to give away any spoilers, so I’ll only add that the end of the book made me cry. A lot. Yukiya Sakuragi captures some intense moments here, which felt very real for me. A little too real, maybe. Go hug your dog if you have one. I did.
Review copy provided by publisher