Thursday, July 09, 2009

For Dogs and Their People: Travels with Charley

I pulled this book by John Steinbeck off the shelf in the library because it's a dog book. In this book Steinbeck chronicled his three-months-long around the country trip with Charley, a bleu standard poodle by his side. "Charley is an elderly gentleman of the French persuasion." "Charley is a born diplomat. He prefers negotiation to fighting." Wrote Steinbeck. Such elegant words for such a gentle dog. "Charley came back apologizing ..." (His ailment) "caused him embarrassment." "When a stranger addresses Charley in baby talk, Charley avoids him. For Charley is not a human; he's a dog, and he likes it that way. He feels that he is a first-rate dog and has no wish to be a second-rate human." There are many more important topics Steinbeck touched on in this book and I will leave that to you to discover. What Steinbeck to Charley was a partner, and what Charley to the great author was a friend. Steinbeck's Charley was not funny, was not cute, or even friendly; he's handsome, dignified, and demanded respect. May every dog person finds his own Charley. May every Charley finds his own fellow human.

3 comments:

Sue said...

My first PWD, Bentley, had a great deal of dignity. The ones I have now are all clowns.

Rose said...

I had a standard poodle (actually two) and he was a "gentleman" so you have made me curious about this book! I'm going to have to check out my library or try to find it elsewhere and read it! Thanks!

Charli and me said...

I have to get that book. It's sounds like it would really be a good read. I have found my Charli ♥ Happy DOT