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The Dog Stays in the Picture: How My Rescued…

The Dog Stays in the Picture: How My Rescued Greyhound Helped Me Cope with…

by Susan Morse

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Susan's book is a great example of how dogs quietly lace up our lives before we realize it. The book isn't about the dog, as the author notes on a page prefacing the story, but the dog makes a difference in the lives of this family. I didn't know much about greyhounds and learned much reading this account.

The book is lighthearted throughout with plenty of humor. The author is married to actor. The story follows a segment of their lives, with children and greyhound, and cat. It's entirely human and down to earth. The dog weaves throughout their lives and changes everything in subtle ways, that many of us wouldn't think were so subtle. This family rolls along in their own different lifestyle that is nonetheless relatable at some level for many readers. The author suffers a debilitating illness of little-known origin and overcomes it. The children grow and depart, in fits and starts as many children do. This is a funny, funny lady. I'd love to meet her.

Readers who enjoy this kind of story should relish this delightful book. I received the book from GR giveaways.

( )
  Rascalstar | Jan 21, 2017 |
The Dog Stays in the Picture was just a bit of a disappointment, mostly because the dog - a rescue greyhound called Lilly - wasn't the focus for so much of it. Okay, I should have read the sub-title. I was expecting a book about a recue greyhound and instead it's a book about the author. They do tie in from time to time, such as when author Susan Morse talks about her family origins, before going on to Lilly's - and of course, greyhound owners do that, because their lineage is so carefully recorded. They all trace back to a very few dogs, and many have distinguished doggy forbears (fordogs?) I've been through it all with the rescue in our family, Milly: it's easy when you have the dog's kennel name and ID to look her up online and even see her racing history. Even if you don't approve of racing there's something about knowing your about own dog's life, and like Morse, I also got interested in, and researched in a desultory - but for a day or two obsessive - way. And I'm glad that Morse takes time to make clear some of the horrors of racing, which make our survivor dogs so much more precious and admirable - you went through all that, and you can find so much love and warmth for us? Of course you can have the sofa to yourself, darling, and let me get you some cheese.

I suppose, too, that Susan Morse and I have more in common than a rescue grey - much of the book centres on the disabling condition she develops, eventually diagnosed as anaplasmosis, a tick-born disease. While looking for a diagnosis she inevitably went down other routes with a nod to hypermobility syndromes and similar, but I must admit to having lost my evangelical interest in chronic conditions, and I wanted more about the dog, dammit!

If you're thinking of adopting a rescue greyhound, this might be a good place to start, especially if you are interested in recent American television series (Morse's husband is an actor). I don't think you'd emerge with any illusions about just how demanding a grey can be, especially when they haven't had much socialisation, or a proper puppyhood. But you might also get just an inkling of how rewarding and lovable they can be. Here's Morse on one of my favourite characteristics:

"I can't get enough of Lilly's glorious thirty-second speed demonstrations. have to catch her in the right mood, usually sometime in the late afternoon, when she rouses from her nap and starts hinting about dinner... she gets this goofy grin on her face, spinning madly in place for a while sort of winding herself up, and then she's off for a few gleeful laps around the yard, just for the joy of it."

Yup, recognise that - Milly even chooses the same time of day.

My copy was courtesy of NetGalley. ( )
  GeraniumCat | Jan 8, 2016 |
A chatty writing style, filled with digressions, filled with fun, and somehow always getting back to the point because Susan Morse is a mother and mothers by definition cope really well with distractions, and dogs, it seems... but where was I? A chatty fun-filled writing style characterizes this tale of an emptying next, a worrying mother, and a dog.

Actually, it’s also the story of a good wholesome family with photos where Dad looks like an ex-con, terror tales are told in school, college applications devour the household, and a well-packed earthquake kit lurks with the cat in the basement. But Lilly the greyhound’s the star, and I’m bound to be hooked since my brother and sister-in-law have greyhounds. Did you know...? No, let the author tell the tale. Greyhounds are cool, they’re not like other dogs, but you’ll have to find out for yourselves.

There are detours through alternative medicine, genealogy and more, fascinating visits to the world of movies and TV (via husband David Morse) and to Japan, strange flushing toilets and a wealth of good friends and good dialog, all making this a thoroughly enjoyable short read, especially for anyone who’s ever been a mother, wife, daughter or dog-lover. Guys might like it too. In fact, guys might learn a thing or two about their wives... but I’m digressing. I love this book.

Disclosure: I was asked if I’d like to review it and I said yes please. ( )
  SheilaDeeth | Oct 15, 2014 |
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This is not a book about a dog. I really do prefer my husband & mdash;honest. But it & rsquo;s hard to tell the story of our journey into the empty nest, and leave out one particular animal. Which kind of illustrates the problem. It is November 2009, and after mourning the loss of Arrow, their beloved Australian shepherd mutt, Susan and David Morse and family are finally ready to adopt a new dog. David & rsquo;s acting jobs keep him away from home for long stretches of time, the last two teenagers are on their way to college, and this time it & rsquo;s Susan & rsquo;s turn to pick the dog. She probably should have thought a little more carefully before falling for a retired racing greyhound. Enter Lilly, who lands like a disoriented neutron bomb in Susan & rsquo;s comfortable suburban home after living the first three years of her life in the rugged and ruthless world of the racetrack. Instantly lovable but hopelessly inept at domesticity, Lilly turns out to be more than Susan bargained for, throwing all Susan and David & rsquo;s plans for their long-anticipated, footloose empty-nest years into complete disarray. In The Dog Stays in the Picture, Susan Morse tells the hilarious and moving story of how an anxious dog and a high-strung woman find tranquility together.… (more)

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