Has your view of life been changed by a dog? If so, then you might enjoy reading Dog, the short novel by Michelle Herman.
Dog is about a female writing professor who moves away from New York to take a job in the upper Midwest at a college. She is a published poet but she finds herself at odds with the world around her (even though she’s been there for about a decade). Jill is lonely, standoffish, even unsure of how to interpret other humans’ motives. So what does she do? She adopts a rescue dog, named by rescuer Bill, “Dog.” That name lasts about as long as it takes to get the newly named “Phil” home. And thus begins Jill’s renewal of life.
And after reading through much of Jill’s old life, I think you’ll agree hers was a life badly in need of being “taken over” as the first two paragraphs of the novel open up the question:
The dog, the dog, the dog– the dog had taken over her life.
But that was not necessarily a bad thing. Perhaps she had needed to have her life taken over.
Oh, yeah! Jill is a woman in massive need of having her life taken over and rewritten by Phil the Dog! In fact, the one message that comes through is that if Phil were not in Jill’s life, the ultimate eulogy for her would be, “a life of quiet desperation.”
Dog is a fast read (especially when Herman is talking about the interactions between Jill and Phil). My only wish for this book is that there had been more coverage of the interactions between Jill and Phil. Phil is a tantalizing character! He’s that rescue dog we’ve all known at some time who seems to know what to do or not do to get us caught!