Rescue Ink, by Rescue Ink, with Denise Flaim
Remember the day you found your best friend, or was it the other way around? Did she find you? Maybe she was a Pet of the Week picture staring at you from a newspaper or TV screen. Perhaps you spied him in a shelter kennel and he threw himself at the gate to reach you. Maybe someone handed you a furry bundle and that was it: you weren’t looking for a pet, but you weren’t looking to go head-over-heels, either.
Loving your best friend as you do, you wonder how anyone can hurt a trusting animal. Ten New York tough-guys (and their “den mother”) wonder the same thing. In the new book “Rescue Ink,” by Rescue Ink, with Denise Flaim, you’ll read about them and their dogged work saving abused animals.
When confronted by a six-foot-two tattooed biker-type guy with a gruff voice and biceps the size of a small child, you almost expect to get mashed. At the very least, you hope for a chance to skitter away with your life intact. But if you’re an abused animal and the big guy is from Rescue Ink, you have nothing to fear.
If a dog, cat, rabbit or horse is in trouble, it doesn’t matter if the animal is in a suburb near Manhattan, a small apartment in Queens or a brownstone in Brooklyn, the guys from Rescue Ink don’t back down from anything.
Rescue Ink prides itself on an “in your face” manner of saving animals: confronting uncaring owners is commonplace and cross-armed stare-downs work wonders. If the situation is more delicate, members are pros at negotiation and can be very generous with supplies and information. Although Rottweilers and pit bulls are favorites with these burly guys, there are cat “experts” on the team, as well as a member who lives with a big pack of tiny dogs.
There are stories with happy endings in “Rescue Ink,” including that of Rebel, originally called Ribbon, because his ears had been so torn.
Spike, once all snarly teeth, is on his way to becoming a trustworthy pet. One “nervous-looking lab” was relinquished after an anti-puppy-mill rally.
Formerly abused pets have found new leashes on life because of Rescue Ink.
If you’re a pet lover (and really – would you be reading this review if you weren’t?), when you’re done reading this book, you’ll thank God there are people like the guys in “Rescue Ink.”
Although most of the stories here are cringe-worthy (but with happy endings), I really liked the messages that the rescuers and co-author Denise Flaim offered: take responsibility for your animals; give them training, proper care and protection; love them like they deserve to be loved; and spay and neuter.
Readers wanting more information will find tips at the end of this book and hints of a Web site that, while not included, is easy to find.
Dog and cat lovers in particular will eat this book up, but any fan of the four-legged will want it, too. “Rescue Ink” is a book to fetch.
Flawed Dogs: The Shocking Raid on Westminster, by Berkeley Breathed
It isn’t right. It’s just not right, that’s all. Don’t you hate it when you see something wrong and you think you can’t do anything about it because you’re just a kid? You spot a mistake in a textbook or a polluted pond or a social injustice, maybe something that could make a difference or change the world, and when you report it, that’s the end of it. You hate that, don’t you?
Sam the Lion was a victim, no doubt, and he waited years for revenge. But in the new book, “Flawed Dogs: The Shocking Raid on Westminster,” by celebrated cartoonist Berkeley Breathed (“Bloom County”), making things right never went so wrong. Faced with a dirty plywood enclosure, the smell of money and a set of sharp teeth, Sam the Lion rolled over on the sawdust and prepared to die. But as he did, his mind wandered back to long ago…
Once upon a time, Sam was a very rare, very expensive show dog, a Duuglitz dachshund, with the tell-tale tuft atop his head. But because his heart wasn’t ready for the ring, and thanks to a last-minute escape at the airport, he ended up living with Heidy McCloud, a young heiress who was suddenly likewise displaced.
Although life at McCloud Heavenly Acres was a little drab, Heidy and Sam brought freshness to the old place. Heidy’s elderly Uncle Hamish loved dogs – he raised rare breeds once – and he welcomed little Sam into the mansion. Heidy and Sam the Lion (her nickname for him) were very happy there. But it wouldn’t last. Cassius was the housekeeper’s champion poodle, and he hated Sam.
There would be no way he would put up with competition, and so Cassius devised a plan...
Kicked out of Heavenly Acres and injured, Sam began three years of peoplelessness, pain and fear. At the bottom of his life, he woke up at The National Last-Ditch Dog Depository. It was where dogs went when nobody wanted them anymore. But Sam wanted to make things right. With the help of a pack of new friends, he devised a plan to break into the Westminster Championship Dog Show and get revenge. Cassius would be there. And so would Sam the Lion.
As much as I love Breathed’s writing, I always struggle with the question of who his audience is. My answer with “Flawed Dogs” is any pet lover from age 11 and up.
Although you’ll probably find this book in the children’s section – with classic Breathed illustrations and a meant-for-kids story, that makes sense – this is one that no adult should miss. It’s basically a story of love and miracles, and while kid-readers might not catch that, grown-ups will and they’ll cherish this sweet and silly bring-a-tear novel.
Be aware, when you look for this book, that this is the novel (as opposed to a picture book from a few years back with the same title). If you’re looking for something to read aloud or for a gift this year, “Flawed Dogs” is exactly the right book to find.
The Bookworm is Terri Schlichenmeyer. She has been reading since she was 3 years old and never goes anywhere without a book. Terri lives on a hill in Wisconsin with two dogs and 11,000 books.