Friday, October 07, 2011

Weekend reading: a mystery for dog lovers and a powerful piece on puppy mills

A rainy day and a slow work week allowed me to catch up on my reading for pleasure on Wednesday. I picked up First Degree, by David Rosenfelt, which has been sitting in the "to read" pile for at least a couple of months now. Jerry had already read it and gave it thumbs up--and it featured a dog lover--so I was eager to get started.

New Jersey lawyer Andy Carpenter has come into a large inheritance so he can pick and choose among the cases that come his way. (We should all be so lucky.) Nothing of interest has presented itself, so he and his Golden Retriever, Tara, are at a dog park, where Andy is preening among a group of women who are gushing over him because he adopted Tara from a shelter, where she was on "death row." Unfortunately for Andy's ego, his girlfriend, Laurie, shows up and announces that her nemesis, a corrupt police officer, has been murdered.

An arrest is made and Andy is manipulated into defending the accused killer, much to Laurie's annoyance. Then new evidence comes along, and the stakes become much higher.

Tara and the other dog in the book, Cash (rescued from the streets by one of Andy's former clients (who has also come into millions), don't talk and don't help to solve the mystery--although they do find a damning piece of evidence--but their pasts contribute to a decision at the end that will have no-kill advocates smiling.

Luck and coincidence are major characters in this book. Two multimillion-dollar windfalls? An employee who just happens to have a connection who can and will provide the answers they need? But it's still a fun read, and when it comes to dogs, Andy's--and Rosenfelt's--hearts are clearly in the right place.

I was about to post this just as soon as I wrote the headline when I ran across Lucy Postin's response to a Pet Age editorial that advocated puppy sales in pet stores. It's well worth a read, and I hope you'll share it far and wide.

In other news, the New York Times reports that Pet Airways and PetJets make flying safer for brachycephalic pets, who are banned from many airlines. Read the story here.

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