Reviews - What do customers think about The Canine Condition?
Dingus et al. and the Canine Condition Feb 27, 2007
If you have had the pleasure of coming across Alex Vardamis' previous canine novel, Dingus Dreaming, you will be delighted to continue reading about the intrepid hero in The Canine Condition or Journal of a Runaway Dog. Dingus, a physically nondescript puppy from the Monterey SPCA, moves to Carmel and learns some very sharp lessons through interacting with people and fellow canines. Dingus is a deeply feeling and thinking dog. Trying hard to make sense of the world, he experiences spiritual interaction with other canines - who once belonged to famous writers - and absorbs their owners' wisdom by nibbling his way through their books.
However, as the author remarks: "Often difficult to digest, literature always nourishes. Be aware, though, that it can sit in your gut for a long, long time."
Grown up, and continuing his exploration of the human and the canine condition, in this, the second chronicle of his adventures, he takes himself away from the Monterey Peninsula. Together with his friend Paula, the two canines undertake a perilous and occasionally hilarious journey that eventually leads them to the North-West, to where Lewis and Clark had forged ahead on their expedition to discover the waterways linking Eastern and Western America.
The original theme of a canine searching for his place in the world is expanded in this story to a highly amusing romp through American history, geography, and literature. Once again, the long-gone dogs of famous American writers and explorers appear from the past at crucial moments to guide the travelers. The fictitious comments of these dogs about their owners and their own contributions to (if not ownership of) their exploits and writings are a joy to read. From Seaman, the Lewis-and-Clark Expedition dog, to Gertrude Stein's poodle, their appearances in this book are utterly delightful. The author catches the mannerisms of the dogs' owners to a tee. A poodle is a poodle, is a poodle. (Sorry, Gertrude! ;-)
I am looking forward to reading the next installment in he adventures of Dingus, as he continues to chew his way through life and literature.