Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Bad Dog (A Love Story) by Martin Kihn

This is a funny, suspenseful, edge-of-your-seat drama that's equal parts heart-warming and heart-breaking book about recovery and self-discovery. And dog training.

When his marriage crumbled - mainly due to alcohol and an uncontrollable dog - Kihn joins AA and decides to train his Bernese Mountain Dog, Hola, to be a certified AKC Good Citizen. Individually, either of those pursuits seems unlikely to succeed and piled together they're practically guaranteed to fail. But it's the road to the goal that's ultimately an enlightening process.

The book's well-written, and the levity Kihn introduces certainly lightens what could have been a depressing and dark book. The whole way you're on an emotional rollercoaster: rooting for Hola, despite the sinking suspicion things won't go well. But yet, they could be OK! Or, not.

If you've ever loved a dog, you'll enjoy this book (and especially, if you've known a Berner). And if you've ever taken on a challenge despite the fact you knew you couldn't win, you'll root for Kihn and Hola on their epic adventure.

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