Title: Shelter Puppies
Author: Michael Kloth
What could tug at the heartstrings more than a puppy looking for a home? Whether he’s exploring eagerly with his littermates or winning you over with his doleful stare, a puppy is quite irresistible. Dog ownership is a responsibility not to be taken lightly, however, and every year growing numbers of newborn or abandoned puppies enter shelters. In this delightful new book, photographer Michael Kloth captures the canine spirit at its floppy-eared, tail-wagging best with over 60 endearing portraits of shelter puppies. From chihuahuas and poodles to pit bulls and Labradors, and all kinds of mixes in-between, the puppies enchant with their curiosity, playfulness and all-round lust for life. By documenting the unique characters and stories of some of the puppies he has encountered in his volunteer work, Kloth raises awareness of animal rescue causes, and especially the need for more adoptive homes.
Since I am totally biased towards puppies, this isn’t a review so much as a discussion about a cause that I feel very strongly about. If flipping through very, very cute pictures of puppies helps prompt you to go out and adopt a dog, then please grab a copy of Shelter Puppies right now. Open the book, and you can’t help but smile as one adorable photograph after another holds you captive. In addition to the glossy photos, there are success stories about adopted puppies and how much their presence in their forever homes have enriched the lives of their new families.
I don’t need to look through a book to know how true this is – my dog, Buu, was rescued from a breed specific private shelter, after he was saved from a city shelter. Because he was an older dog, and because he is a large breed, his chances of adoption through the city shelter were slim. When we decided it was time to add another member to our family, Buu was not a likely candidate for our home. I wanted to adopt a female, but there wasn’t one available. Instead, we took home a very underweight 18 month old male who was still recovering from pneumonia, which he caught at the city shelter. He almost didn’t make the trip home with us – after agreeing to adopt him, he had to be rushed to the animal hospital, and they didn’t think he would make it. That was a devastating phone call. Why did I cry for a dog I hadn’t even met yet?
We decided to adopt a dog instead of purchasing a puppy from a breeder after we failed to save our Doberman. KC died of congestive heart failure, an affliction that is common for Dobermans. It was hard for me to decide to bring a new life into our home, because there is always that fear of loss. Could I go through that again? It is an inevitable end when you love a pet and agree to care for it for its entire life. That is what pet ownership is really about, though, isn’t it? Making a promise to your pet to take care of it and to love it forever. It is a sacred trust that you agree to accept when you bring an animal into your house. The joy and love that you receive in return is priceless, though. How can you resist that happy greeting every time you walk through the front door?
Shelter Puppies is a beautiful book full of beautiful photographs of adorable puppies. The glossy, full-color pages will delight even the most hard-hearted of readers. Michael Kloth’s introduction should be required reading for all potential dog owners. There is more to having a dog than feeding it and letting it outside. The statistics included in the book are sobering – millions of dogs and cats are euthanatized every year in the United States alone. In our throw away society, when did these vulnerable lives come to mean so little?
Grade: A – How can a book full of puppy pictures NOT get an A?
(25 cents from every copy sold in the US will benefit the ASPCA)
Review copy provided by publisher