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Duffy's World: Seeing the World Through a Dog's Eyes Paperback – 1 Dec 2013

5.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 188 pages
  • Publisher: Morgan James Publishing (1 Dec. 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1614487197
  • ISBN-13: 978-1614487197
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 1.1 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,707,725 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

Review

"I think every dog owner talks to his pet, and I mean real talking, not the "oogy woogy uggams" kild of talking that just embarrasses the dog and makes him think his human is an idiot. And I think that at one time or another, every dog owner has wondered about, perhaps even speculated on what goes on behind those alert and compassionate eyes, maybe even interpreted one action or another for the benefit of human friends, but I think that few owners have actually gone as far as to speak for their dog. And if they did, I bet they got it wrong, trying to wrap canine intelligence with an ill-fitting wrapper of human sensibilities...neither accurate nor eloquent.

In "Duffy's World," author Faith McCune speaks for Duffy, her black and white Australian Shepherd. She does so by constructing parallel narratives, one in which she tells us what she and her husband Bernard did and what events happened around them; in the other narrative, Duffy tells us what really happened. No one can truly evaluate Faith's accuracy in giving voice to Duffy (dogs will forever understand us better than we do them), but her eloquence in expressing Duffy's hopes, joys and fears is undeniable.

If the author's primary goal were to shine a light on human foibles through Duffy's pithy observations we could easily call this satire, but I don't feel satirical commentary upon the human condition was the story's purpose, even though it does serve satire in equal portions. I think the main purpose of the book was to show how our lives become better when we share them with dogs, but to illustrate it by coming at it from the dog's point of view.

The story works because Faith gives Duffy a unique point of view and a very distinctive voice, and does so without being condescending to either Duffy or the reader. After a while, the reader begins to accept Duffy's viewpoints and explanations over those of the human narrator. He just seems to make more sense most of the time.

This book is the story of Duffy's life, beginning to end, and more. He is ever optimistic that he will one day teach his owners to be good dogs, even though at times they seem rather dim, if good intentioned. Much of the humor in Duffy's story derives from his inability to make total sense of human speech and manners. He is perpetually confused by homophones (Why do they take him to the vet to get his weight when he can wait anywhere?), as well as concepts of time and space (five minutes is forever, and Hawaii is really far away, probably more than ten blocks). Human vocabulary also throws Duffy for a loop -- the human call the house grass a car pet; they say there is also carpet in the Car (which Duffy names Trouble), but the Car Pet never speaks, and why does the Car need a Pet anyway? Duffy lives in a world of yard spoons, Broom Monsters, string toys, mail both bad and good, his stupid sister (a cat), big brown two-toed dogs (deer) who never come close, stinky dogs (coyotes), and a host of human and animal characters who don't seem to realize he is the king of his estate and will do anything to protect it.

"Duffy's World" is a story that grips the reader intellectually and emotionally. Though it often descends into a morass or sentimentality, there is never anything mawkish about it. It is not the author who grips our emotions, but Duffy, and the sentimentality we feel is due to our affection for this affable and lovable character, and that affection swells the more we learn about Duffy. By the time you reach the end of the book, you find yourself so emotionally invested in Duffy you don't want to let go -- be sure to have a box of tissues handy.

The book does serve a practical side to it. In taking Duffy into their home, his owners made just about every mistake possible, and the author includes numerous sidebars about the right way to choose a puppy, the best ways to raise and train a dog, as well as numerous health and safety tips. But the real reason to get this book is to meet Duffy...like all the dogs you have ever owned, he will never leave you." -Ralph E. Vaughan, goodreads.com

About the Author

Faith McCune's beloved father passed away when she was eight. Her first dog, Prince--a gift from her mother--helped her cope with the loss and brought joy into her heart again. Many years later, Duffy came into her life and reawakened her passion for dogs.


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on 4 January 2014
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5.0 out of 5 starsPerfect for any dog-lover who has ever wondered what dogs think
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