Books: Underwater Puppies & A Dog’s Journey


Rating: 2 paws

Seth Casteel obtained fame with his best selling underwaterphotography book Underwater Dogs in 2012. His photos of dogs diving for balls and toys took social media by storm. They offered a perspective on dogs that we rarely see. His book Underwater Puppies (Little Brown and Company 2014) is an attempt to expand on his initial success.

It’s a photography book of puppies. Underwater. What’s not to love about puppies? The dogs in the book are adorable, many of them are rescue dogs. But I had a bit of a problem with Underwater Puppies. While a portion of the photos are reminiscent of the photos in Underwater Dogs, with puppies diving after toys, a great many of the photos are not. Many of them are just puppies submerged in water. . . for no apparent reason. And that’s what I had a problem with. Casteel is a member of the rescue community, so I cannot imagine that he put any of the puppies into danger for his photos, but it’s hard to remember that when you see some with wide fearful eyes, or the bubbly underwater splash of them being dropped into the water. I found those photos uncomfortable to look at. Maybe they weren’t in danger, but some of them look under duress. I want to reach in and fish them out and tell them it’s going to be OK. Maybe that’s just me. Certainly, your mileage may vary.

  • Hardcover: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Little, Brown and Company (September 16, 2014)
  • ISBN-10: 0316254894
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316254892

Seth Casteel is an award-winning photographer and an established member of the animal rescue community. Casteel’s work has been featured in The New York Times, National Geographic Magazine, The Washington Post, among other print media.


A DOG’S JOURNEY by W. Bruce Cameron

Rating: 5 Paws

journeyNew York Times and USA Today best selling author, W. Bruce Cameron, delights readers again in this sequel to A Dog’s Purpose. Bailey is back: as Buddy, Molly, Max, and Toby. Like its predecessor, this is a moving and heartwarming book. In A Dog’s Journey, Buddy finds that his purpose is to take care of Ethan’s granddaughter, C.J, which he does through several different lives with unwavering devotion. Once again, Cameron leads the reader through the ups and downs of the human condition as seen through the eyes of a dog, and gives us some insight as to why dogs are so loving and loyal. If you loved A Dog’s Purpose, you will love A Dog’s Journey.


  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Forge Books; Reprint edition (May 7, 2013)
  • ISBN-10: 0765330547
  • ISBN-13: 978-0765330543

W. Bruce Cameron is the New York Times bestselling author of 8 Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter, The Dog Master, and the A Dog’s Purpose series. In 2011 he was named Columnist of the Year by the National Society of Newspaper Columnists. He lives in California.

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What Does it Mean to Love a Dog?

This is Jeb. He is a senior hound who belongs to a friend’s adult granddaughter. I’ve been told that she loves him.


These are Jeb’s feet.
jebs feet
Jeb’s been struggling for awhile now. The family has considered putting him down because he can barely walk and he has trouble getting to his feet. Oddly, no one had considered having his nails clipped, or taking him to a vet.
When D and I were made aware of Jeb’s situation, and it was clear that no one was going to do anything, we put our dogs in daycare for the day and drove the 40 miles to Jeb’s house. We knew that he could barely walk because his overgrown toenails were making it painful to walk. We were told we’d need a muzzle for him, but we clipped on his leash, refused his “pinch” collar, and helped him into our van. Then we drove the half mile up the street to the nearest groomer, and had a talk with the owner.
Really. A vet and a groomer, only a half mile away from Jeb’s house. The cost of a nail clipping about the same as a twelve pack of beer.
We took Jeb inside the groomer’s and spent the next twenty minutes holding him still, encouraging him, and supporting him, while he endured the horror of the groomer cutting his neglected nails back. Almost every one of his nails bled. He howled when the quicks were cut. He never tried to bite any of us. When the groomer was finished, she charged us double.
Jeb walked out of the spa. He jumped into the van on his own. We gave him a bunch of biscuits and told him how brave he was, and we took him home.
Maybe we shouldn’t have done that last thing. But, they say they “love” him.
My friend, Colin, once imparted this bit of wisdom to me: “The opposite of love isn’t hate, it’s indifference.”
What does it mean to love? Doesn’t it mean that you care about what happens to the object of your affection? If it’s a living thing that you love, whether it be a potted plant,  a goldfish, or your child, doesn’t it mean that you provide the necessities to not only keep it alive, but also keep it healthy? Doesn’t it mean that you want it to do well? To not just survive, but to thrive?

So why is it different when it comes to a dog?

What does it mean to love a dog? I’ve heard people say they love their dog, then keep him chained alone and ignored in the backyard. I’ve heard people say they love their dog, but keep her penned and unsocialized in the basement. I’ve heard people say they love their dog, but never vet him — not once. These are not examples of love, they are examples of indifference; the opposite of love.

You don’t have to take your dog to daycare.
You don’t have to feed him the most expensive food.
You don’t have to let him sleep in bed with you, or buy him a kuranda bed.
But the deal is that if you say you love your dog, you should know what that means — and it means that you have to take care of him.

rocket dog
You have to see to his medical needs.
You have to provide his necessities for survival: food, water, shelter, affection, companionship, mental stimulation – those are the basics. If you were missing any of those things in your own life, you’d find it unacceptable, and if you love your dog, then anything less is unacceptable for him, too.
You have to keep him safe.
If you say you love your dog, love your dog.
It’s not rocket science.


thanksWould you like to offer us a helping hand here Up on the Woof? We are always looking for coupons for certain items we purchase for our dogs on a regular basis. If you have Rachael Ray Nutrish coupons (we are still trusting Ainsworth foods),  Cesar coupons, Bil Jac Frozen coupons, or milkbone coupons that you will not be using, please save them for us. Contact me if you have some to send.

And if you come across an errant box of Purina Busy HeartyHides for sale on amazon or ebay, for God’s sake, send them to us!I also have a wishlist of items that we just can’t afford, but would make life a whole lot easier. It has recently been updated. Click the link below to view.

Things we need Up on the Woof

You can also donate to help us buy the stuff we need, if you are so inclined. (Donations can be sent via Paypal to:

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