Kristen Bakis

I had never read a book quite like this. Dogs are the main characters, or perhaps not, perhaps the human narrator is the main character. She goes from having a passing interest in the dogs, to being fascinated by them, to writing about them, to being so closely involved in their lives she can no longer write objectively, to setting forth their history after their tragedy.

A whole history of canine monsters (but they're not really "monsters," they're sentient and mostly loveable) is created here, from descriptions of the life of the madman who first started the strain, through their live s in rural western Canada, to their arrival in New York dressed in Prussian military outfits, through their terrible demise.

Favorites: The first introduction of Lydia -- "She was wearing a long, narrow gown of pale yellow silk, low-cut so that her big mane of fur fluffed up in the front." Ludwig's poignant description of living beings almost making contact with dead loved ones, sometimes you think you have and then you realize not and that's so utterly painful for all involved. But my very favorites is the description of the canine opera, with some parts played by dogs and some parts played by humans dressed up as dogs!