So says the author of this book, which is a highly amusing account of his first two years as a dog owner. I can believe him, as although I've never owned a dog, I've known plenty of dogs and dog owners. Dogs, like people, have their favorites. The author quickly discovered this as his first dog showed a clear preference for his partner ahead of himself to begin with and for some considerable time thereafter.
The author's original idea was to buy a pedigree puppy but his partner objected on the basis that she'd likely end up doing the puppy training. Eventually, it was decided to go for a so-called rescue dog, picked up as a stray or from an unsuitable home, and subsequently looked after by specially trained people until it could be found a good home. The theory was that such a dog, being older and wiser, wouldn't need any puppy training. However, anybody who knows anything about rescue dogs knows that key come with a certain amount of baggage, based on their memories of the bad experiences that caused them to become rescue dogs in the first place. Being the canine equivalent of adopted children, you can never be quite sure what you're getting. You might get a dog that is really easy to look after, who appreciates that it's much better being looked after than it was before, or you might get a dog who is highly suspicious of people because of those early bad experiences.
The couple set out intending to pick up a retired greyhound but actually ended up with a lurcher (a breed that is part-greyhound) but it was still just a puppy. So they still had to train the puppy, but as they'd picked up a rescue dog, they had the additional problem of having to cope with the problems associated with such dogs. Named Ernie by the kennel, they changed the name to Ollie. Short for Oliver, it was the only name that the couple could agree on after the author suggested, among other names, Desert Orchid. Most of the book is taken up by the adventures and misadventures of Ollie and the author as they struggle to form a good relationship. To some extent, Ollie lives up to the name that he might have been given as he runs fast and jumps spectacularly, but that's where his similarity with Desert Orchid ends.
The author describes some of the other dogs that they meet regularly, as well as some of their owners. He also describes how his own life changes substantially once he becomes a dog owner and how many hours he has to spend each day with Ollie, some of which he could have used doing other things. Whatever the problems along the way, the author ends up being a committed dog lover and eventually ends up buying a second dog, this time a pedigree puppy. Note that this second dog is only mentioned in a brief postscript, added to the end of the paperback edition, but you can read all about him in the sequel, Along came Dylan.
Anybody who has ever owned a dog, or who is thinking of owning a dog, or who simply likes dogs (as I do) should enjoy this book. The author's amusing, easy to read style makes it compelling reading.