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Flawed Dogs by Berkeley Breathed
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Flawed Dogs (edition 2009)

by Berkeley Breathed (Author)

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2531146,085 (3.81)17
Member:MikeBriggs
Title:Flawed Dogs
Authors:Berkeley Breathed (Author)
Info:
Collections:Library book, Read in One Day, Read, Read in 2010, Read in December, Read but unowned, TIoLI Challenege, Young Adult
Rating:*****
Tags:Fiction, Dogs, Westminster Dog Show, Read, Read in 2010

Work details

Flawed Dogs: The Novel: The Shocking Raid on Westminster by Berkeley Breathed

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I love just about anything Berkeley Breathed writes or illustrates. This is no exception. Funny, fast, a little sad. For those that see rescue dogs as perfect, you will love this whimsical, quirky tale. ( )
  lesmel | Jan 5, 2014 |
Not "meh," actually. Started but couldn't handle it emotionally, really. No sad dog books for me!
  amaraduende | Mar 30, 2013 |
Flawed Dogs is by far the best new book I’ve read all year.

On a recent trip from one U.S. coast to the other, I spent all six take-offs and all six landings with my nose buried in the pages of one book or another, trying to concentrate on the words instead of the terror. Thanks to inclement weather that caused me to miss my last connecting flight, I had to stay over in Denver. On standby the next day, I found Flawed Dogs in the airport bookstore. It was the only one of the books I read during that trip to successfully distract me from my fear of flying.

I grew up reading Bloom County. Berkeley Breathed’s books sat side-by-side with Bill Watterson’s in the many family bookcases. Billy and the Boingers Bootleg, Babylon, Tales Too Tall to Tell—all were loved to the battered and splattered-upon stage. Somewhere in the back of my mind I knew Breathed had written some stuff for the younger crowd, but I’d never checked it out.

My loss.

This book is written for middle-grade readers and illustrated in the author’s unique comic style, with both black and white pictures and full-page color inserts. But even though the illustrations give us insight into Breathed’s vision for his characters, I have to say the story is so well-written it could have stood on its own.

Sam doesn’t know it, but he’s a Dachshund so purely bred he’s got the ‘holy grail of Dachshundom,’ on his head, the Duuglitz Tuft. He belongs to the large, hairy (in chinchilla) Mrs. Nutbush, but through a series of hilarious hijinks, changes his own destiny. Fourteen-year-old Heidy is his true love, and after she leaves boarding school to come live with her emotionally distant uncle, she needs Sam as much as he needs her. Life settles down into peaceful, happy routine in Uncle Hamish’s big house with his assistant, Mrs. Beaglehole, and her fancy poodle Cassius. But Cassius is a jealous, vicious dog who sets Sam up for an unthinkable crime. Uncle Hamish is forced to put him down, but can’t finish the job. Instead, he calls some men to come pick Sam up, but before they show, Cassius tricks Sam into stepping on a spring-loaded animal trap. Sam loses a leg and spends the next three years at a research facility enduring unspeakable horrors. He escapes, and is rescued by the Rough-Handed Man, who straps a soup ladle onto Sam as a substitute leg. Unfortunately, the Rough-Handed Man’s kindness is short-lived. He’s got money trouble and needs Sam to bail him out—in the dog-fighting ring. While waiting to die in the ring, Sam sees a poster advertising the Westminster Dog Show, and the pampered pooch featured on the poster is none other than the traitorous Cassius. This gives Sam a new purpose: Sabotage the show! And he sets out to do just that with the help of a group of oddball dogs (and one disguised cat) from the National Last-Ditch Dog Depository. There’s Wee Willy, so small he has no problem indulging his favorite past-time, nose diving; Pooft, with the inflammatory rear end; Fabio the two-legged dog, ‘Ol Blue, who’s actually blue; Tusk, often mistaken for a ‘furry rhinoceros,’ Bug, ‘with a face overwhelmed with wrinkles, piano-wire hair, and bulging eyeballs;’ and Madam, the Great Dane who’s really a cat with remarkable sewing skills.

I cried by page eight and laughed like a loon only a few pages later. That’s the way it went. I was packed in like a sardine on an airplane, probably annoying the hey out of my seatmates by snorting, chuckling and outright guffawing, followed closely by sniffles and surreptitious eye swipes. Several times I had to close the book and blink up at the ceiling to stop the tears.

Really, truly good read.

(Review originally posted to Booksquawk) ( )
  melissaconway | Sep 7, 2011 |
I like this book. It showed that "flawed dogs" need love too as do "flawed people." ( )
  phh333 | Jan 28, 2011 |
This is a sophisticated YA novel with a rather sarcastic tone. It's rather worrisome for dog lovers, painful incidents are referred to but not detailed, fortunately. However this is one of the rare dog novels in which the dog doesn't die. The world needs more of those. ( )
  Citizenjoyce | Jan 15, 2011 |
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All animals dream. But only dogs dream of us.
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The Rough-Handed Man carried him through crowded rooms empty of heat and kindness.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0399252185, Hardcover)

Pulitzer Prize-winning Berkeley Breathed's first illustrated novel!

Sam the Lion is actually a priceless dachshund, bred to be a show dog. More important, he is Heidy's best friend—and she needs one like never before. Living with her reclusive uncle is hard, but Sam has a way of making her feel soft and whole. Until the day Sam is framed by the jealous poodle Cassius, and is cast out by Heidy's uncle, alone on the wild streets, where he is roughed up by a world he was not bred for. Sporting a soup ladle for a leg, Sam befriends other abandoned dogs and journeys all the way to the Westminster Dog Show, where his plan for revenge on Cassius takes an unexpected turn when he and Heidy spot each other after years of being apart.

Pulitzer Prize winner and New York Times bestselling author Berkeley Breathed's first illustrated novel is a heartwarming and humorous ode to the unconditional and lasting love we and our pets share.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:44:47 -0400)

After being framed by a jealous poodle, a dachshund is left for dead, but comes back with a group of mutts from the National Last Ditch Dog Depository to disrupt the prestigious Westminster Kennel Club dog show and exact revenge on Cassius the poodle.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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