Nonfiction on Raising and Loving Mushing Dogs | Xpress Reviews

Week ending August 11, 2017

Robertia, Joseph. Life with Forty Dogs: Misadventures with Runts, Rejects, Retirees, and Rescues. Alaska Northwest. Apr. 2017. 230p. photos. ISBN 9781943328918. pap. $16.99. PETS
This title recalls the many, many mushing dogs, from a variety of backgrounds, who live together with the Robertia family in Alaska. Some train for 200-plus-mile races with mushers Joseph and Colleen, while others are house pets. Some live inside, while others reside in a kennel. Most came from shelters or other difficult situations, with initial behavioral or other issues. The author, a journalist (Alaska Dispatch News), illustrates these animals’ unique personalities. There is Wolf, who despite a leg injury from a car accident became a master sled dog, and Ibn, who saved the author from a bear, while Metoo displayed intense maternal instinct for the family’s newborn daughter. Whether working through injuries or plowing through snow taller than they are, the dogs make readers feel like they are there with the racing group. Stories of Goliath, Boo, Doc, Ghost, Coolwhip, Zoom, and others successfully bring readers into the mushing world, where they learn about the rewards and challenges of raising these dogs.
Verdict For dog lovers who are curious about life in this environment.—Leigh Mihlrad, FDIC Lib., Washington, DC

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