Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Robert Rodi "Dogged Pursuit"

One of the funniest books I’ve ever read. Robert Rodi’s “Dogged Pursuit: My Year of Competing Dusty, the World’s Least Likely Agility Dog” is a must for any dog lover, or anyone looking for a hilarious read.

It gives a fascinating insider’s view of the sport of canine agility, but the real gem is Rodi’s self-deprecating, urbanite tone. Somewhere between feeling a little superior and more sophisticated than the average dog-handler and suffering from a social inadequacy that leaves him both craving his peers friendship while being generally incapable of blending in with the guys, Rodi is the perfect guide for the close-knit, somewhat intense world of competitive agility.

“Dogged Pursuit” is also about taking a great big bite of humble pie. You see, the author had already been around the agility block with a Shetland Sheepdog who took little training to fly through the hoops (and other obstacles). But Dusty, a Sheltie rescue, comes with a lot of baggage and a host of anxieties – turning him into a champion, it turns out, is not the breezy walk Rodi was anticipating. There is a lot frustration, a lot of doubt (does Dusty even enjoy agility? – segway into a touching consultation with an animal psychic), which leads the author into discovering the joys of competition that extend beyond taking a ribbon home.

A lot of great characters, a touching story of bonding with a difficult pet, a rhythm that makes for compelling reading and some seriously laugh-out-loud episodes. I can’t imagine anyone not getting a kick out of this book.


Jeane said...

Looks fun! I always like reading books about dog training, but never read one on agility trials before.

Dusty said...

Dusty thinks his "pawthor" had some issues to sort out as well . . . *tail wags* for this sweet review!