The Dog Who Would Be King: Tales and Surprising Lessons From a Pet Psychologist, by John C. Wright, PhD, with Judi Wright Lashnits (Rodale Press, $18.95).
Synopsis: The authors of Is Your Cat Crazy? help disturbed canines–and their owners–lead richer, more fulfilling lives.
Representative quote: “After four months of constant effort, King was safer to be around and had relinquished his stranglehold on the household. The Farleys began to have people over to visit again.”
Noteworthy flaw: Sometimes skittish around his patients, Wright says things like “Would you mind getting your dog away from me?”
For the Life of Your Dog: A Complete Guide to Having a Dog in Your Life, From Adoption and Birth Through Sickness and Health, by Greg Louganis and Betsy Sikora Siino (Pocket Books, $24).
Synopsis: The former Olympic diver and current pedigreed-dog breeder takes you through the various stages of a dog’s life, including death, when writing a letter to the departed can help.
Representative quote: “Dear Donna: My baby. I’m so sorry. I feel so lost
. . . . My thoughts are flooded with the feel of your paw on my lap.”
Noteworthy flaw: Though the book is supposedly about dogs, Louganis manages to slip into the photographs 34 times.
Animals as Guides for the Soul, by Susan Chernak McElroy (Ballantine Wellspring, $23.95).
Synopsis: Animals are deeply spiritual and can transform your life. Except moles. And wasps. And especially mice. Mice you can kill, if you justify it.
Representative quote: “I have nothing against mice, nor do I think they have any less right to life in the divine scheme of things. I am not in favor of eradicating mice from the face of the planet or even from the face of our property. But any animal will protect its immediate den space, and I am no exception.”
Noteworthy flaw: Author admits that despite nurturing of nonrodent animals her “midlife has been marked with bouts of mild to severe depression. . . protracted periods of emotional deadness that have required medication to alleviate.”
Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): book covers.