By: Bradley Trevor Greive
Publisher: Andrews McMeel Publishing
Publication Date: October 2009
Reviewed by: Ellen Feld
Review Date: November 2009
In the age-old debate of why dogs are better than cats, or conversely, why cats are better than dogs, a witty new book has entered the foray. Aptly titled, Why Dogs Are Better Than Cats, author Bradley Trevor Greive and photographer Rachel Hale have presented their side of the argument with hilarious results.
Why Dogs Are Better Than Cats has over 200 pages of amusing remarks accompanied by great photographs (note: there are plenty of cute pictures of kittens and cats, not just puppies and dogs). Many of the observations are found in numerous other books, but it is the subtle, and not-so-subtle humor that the author injects into his biased comments that keep the book roaring along. “The concept of family is vitally important to a dog…cats, on the other hand, focus on comfort. Sure, they can be social enough when it suits them, though when that will be is generally hard to say,” or, “To dogs, you are the leader of the pack, their savior and guiding light…while you are away at work, your dog is impatiently waiting for you to return. By the time your toes touch the welcome mat, your dog is exploding with joy…very few cats will even surface to acknowledge…their owner’s arrival…when you finally stumble across their path, they look up, bemused, as if to say: ‘What, are we out of salmon kibble already?” What’s really wonderful about this book is the way the photographs work in conjunction with the text. For the above referenced text, two sweet, tongues out, eager-eyed puppies look joyfully at the camera. On the next page is a hairless cat, looking wide-eyed and puzzled.
Unlike many dog or cat photo books, Why Dogs Are Better Than Cats is actually broken down into chapters with topics ranging from ‘Dogs are Social; Cats are Sociopaths,’ ‘The Best and Worst about Dogs,’ to ‘Cats are not without their Charms.’ Perhaps in an attempt to keep cat lovers at bay, the author acknowledges the positives to cat ownership, ‘Cats are cheap to feed and house, and they don’t require a lot of space’ (picture of kitten in glass), ‘…cats are attractive to look at and, when possessed by their own frisky demons, hilarious to observe’ (photo of three kittens climbing a screen). But the praise is short lived and soon reverts back to the joys of dog ownership.
The author includes notes at the end of the book to back up many of his statements. “Dogs have helped us explore our world, and our universe,” has three footnotes. Flip to the back of the book and you’ll learn about Laika, the Sputnik dog who the Russians sent up into space, knowing she’d never return alive.
Why Dogs Are Better Than Cats won’t take long to read but you’ll likely refer to it over and over when you need a good laugh. Not recommended for cat lovers!
Quill says: A witty book for the myriad of dog lovers on planet Earth.