Twelve Dogs: A Tale of Tails
Outskirts Press (2014)
Reviewed by Christine Watson for Reader Views (12/14)
“Twelve Dogs: A Tale of Tails” by Ann Spier is a conversation between God and the various dogs that are part of the life of a woman throughout her time on earth. The story begins with her childhood dogs, and moves throughout her life, with a little overlap. The book provides a fresh and new perspective that is not often thought of through the eyes of humans.
God takes on the form of many humans throughout the book. He talks to the dogs and wants to know what the dogs have learned from each experience on earth. There is always a lesson or a goal for the dogs to take on, and it usually involves taking care of the human they are assigned to. God interviews each dog during their transition, and asks them how they achieved their goals, and what their thoughts and opinions were on the subject they were sent to care for (the human).
I enjoyed the new perspective from the eyes of the dogs, and it showed me how I can change my outlook for my own pets. I think there may be some truth to the perspective of the dogs, knowing the comfort they provide to me in my own life. I was a little confused by the variety of roles “God” played. Sometimes, He was funny and lighthearted, and other times, He took on the emotions of humans (jealously, irritability, impatience). He also didn’t know some things, which I found to be a little odd. Overall, I enjoyed the book, but I can see how some people with strong religious beliefs may not like the dialogue between God and the various dogs.
I recommend “Twelve Dogs: A Tale of Tails” by Ann Spier to anyone looking for a lighthearted view of life from the perspective of a dog. It opened my eyes to the possibilities of what our pets think and feel, and I now see my pets in a new light. I will hug them a little tighter and recognize what they do to enhance my life, and that is what has made this book so worthwhile to read!