A Dog Named Jimmy, a photobook by Rafael Mantesso
Rating: 4 paws
Cat lovers have Grumpy Cat, and dog lovers have Jimmy Choo the Bull Terrier.
Jimmy’s dad, Brazilian author Rafael Mantesso brings dog lovers the canine answer to Grumpy Cat. His clever and creative picture book, A Dog Named Jimmy is a laugh-out- loud collection of staged photographs. Mantesso was inspired by the blank emptiness of his walls after his wife left him and took everything except the dog. He began to draw imaginary worlds around Jimmy as he slept, creating hilarious compositions of the Bull Terrier in a multitude of poses. The simple black magic marker drawings make Jimmy Super Dog, flying over a city; a Bull Terrier Jaws, ready to snack on an unsuspecting swimmer; a weight lifter; and a mermaid, among many other things. Mantesso shared the images to Instagram, and they became an instant social media sensation.
The photos are in color, but since Mantesso draws in black marker, and Jimmy is mostly white, the compositions take on the appearance of black and white illustrations. The book, published by Avery, contains 100 charming photos of Jimmy that will delight any dog lover.
Hardcover: 160 pages
Publisher: Avery (September 29, 2015)
Cesar’s Way; The Natural, Everyday Guide to Understanding & Correcting Common Dog Problems
Rating: 3 paws
Cesar’s Way is not an “Everyday Guide to Understanding and Correcting Common Dog Problems” as the subtitle claims. It is, however, a treatise that explains Cesar’s “way”; Millan’s philosophy about why dogs have problems that need to be corrected in the first place.
Cesar believes that dogs are pack members driven only by instinct, not family members – reducing the human/canine bond to leader and follower. It’s a philosophy at odds with the current culture of pet owners who see dogs as part of the family; sometimes even surrogate children. According to Millan, this “warped” view of the human/canine relationship lays the groundwork for failure.
Millan’s guide to understanding and correcting a dog’s “issues” seems simultaneously simplistic and impossible. His answer to everything is to first walk your dog for four hours a day – a task that the majority of dog owners would find impossible to work into their daily routine, rendering the “solution” neither helpful nor realistic.
Cesar’s steps for a successful relationship with a dog are exercise, discipline, and affection – in that order. It makes his techniques come across as cold and clinical, taking only instinct into consideration, which does a great disservice to dogs. The coevolution of dogs with humans has provided a foundation for developing richly emotional bonds with our dogs, well beyond the boundaries of instinct.
This book is fine if you are looking for an explanation of Cesar’s philosophy and the experiences that led him to embrace it. It is not a helpful guide for the average pet owner, and I do not recommend his methods.
Paperback: 298 pages
Publisher: Three Rivers Press; 1st edition (September 18, 2007)