So who knew? Apparently Dean Koontz has the ability to use transference or something… Because this is the second time a Golden Retriever of his has written a fur-tastic dog book (let’s take a second to pay tribute to the first, the wonderfully funny, late Trixie Koontz).
Anna, Koontz’ latest Golden Retriever, last month released “Ask Anna” with Dad at the helm, gently guiding her, as well as writing the Introduction. And let me tell you, this rare coffee table book brings it home. It’s a true delight, 100% entertaining, and absolutely apropos if you’re a hard-core dog-lover.
“Ask Anna” follows Anna as she “psychologizes,” per se, different animals in her world who have asked for advice. Laid out in full-color and chockfull of enough cute dog pictures to keep even the
most ADD-ridden-dog-(or human-) mind focused, “Ask Anna” is a dog humor book that contains “advice for the furry and forlorn.”
I gotta admit, one of the funniest parts is right smack in the Introduction when Koontz (the hooman) says he had been skeptically observing Anna’s rendezvous with random people from the ‘hood: the mailman, the FedEx guy, the landscapers, the neighbors, etc. LMTO!!! (Laughing my tail off!) It was then that he wondered what she was really up to.
“Proof came when I discovered that Anna had secretly acquired her own computer and was engaged in the dispensing of advice online to all manner of species, but mostly to other dogs. She had kept the computer concealed in our exercise room, where she knew I would never venture…” Koontz concluded.
What’s between Dean’s Introduction and one hell of a powerfully and well-written conclusion, written by Anna, is magnificently magical. It offers insight, psychology, and education. Just imagine that you are a dog for a second. What are dog problems? What do dogs ponder? What bothers them? What do they complain about?
Anna knows. And Anna doles.
This gratuitous and gallant Golden schools us on things like how dogs feel about being short in a big dog’s world (Shrimp, page 12). Or why one shouldn’t worry if a puppy chews (Obsessed in Omaha, page 47.) Anna really had me laughing when she tells Sylvester (page 40), who laments about being cooped up with “fancy cookies… an occasional banana with peanut butter… fresh water… tummy rubs….long cuddles…” and is longing to chase small animals and “fight under the moon,” that he is acting and thinking like a cat. Bwahahaha! “Nobody wants to hear your trash talk. Stop embarrassing your species, straighten up, and start waggin’ in gratitude for being born a dog,” Anna demands.
But I’ll be honest; my very favorite part of the new Dean Koontz dog book, “Ask Anna” is the conclusion, which is also written by Mr. Koontz. “Take My Paw in Times of Trouble: A Dog Day in Koontzland” is hands-down, dead-on, no-holds-barred, 100% Dean Koontz. It’s descriptive as hell, it’s ironical (is that a word?), it subliminally points out obvious faults of humanity (cynically and quite humorously), and finally, it’s that kind of funny that you just don’t happen upon very often, the kind that you get from a very quiet, unsuspecting person with social anxiety who suddenly cracks a seriously funny joke then doesn’t even laugh. It’s that kind of descriptively funny repartee that only Mr. Koontz can provide.
It’s that good.
Koontz, in the Conclusion, after ridding himself of his normal amusing analytical banter about life and why and how the world works, gets into why it doesn’t matter.
What does matter is that you have a dog to get you through it.
“Dogs possess the innocence and many of the virtues of angels, and I suspect that most of them are more assured a place in Heaven than I am. On a bad day in Koontzland… I need only hold my dog’s paw or rub her behind the ears…and all my troubles melt away like a strawberry-flavored tab of antipsychotic medication…”
If you want to go pick up your own copy of this fantastically fun book, I encourage you to head over to the Facebook page for “Ask Anna.” There you can read more about the book, see some awesome photos, buy your own copy, interact with others and more.
I find it imperative to tell you that Koontz, a well-known southern California-devotee and all-around under-the-radar charitable type of guy, is donating all proceeds of “Ask Anna” to Canine Companions for Independence, the reputable California-based organization that trains and provides assistance dogs to those in need. The animal charity is the largest non-profit provider of assistance dogs in the U.S., and is known for both the quality and excellence of not only its dogs, but throughout its organization as well. Visit them on Facebook for more information.
Anna is getting paid in sausages. <3