Bill Henderson All My Dogs: A Life

ISBN 13: 9781567924350

All My Dogs: A Life

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9781567924350: All My Dogs: A Life
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It may be true that a dog is a man's best friend, but if you are a serious dog owner, you are probably a serial dog owner, having embraced not one but a succession of canine companions, each of them memorable in their own particular way, and each marking a particular epoch in your own life. We remember which dogs our children teased (and which generally suffered the abuse nobly), the ones that chewed the furniture and peed on the rugs, the ones that anticipated our every move and mood and displayed affection and loyalty in the face of neglect and indifference, the ones that died too early and the ones that lingered into old age. All of them with their own distinctive foibles and personalities, none of them with any sense of their own mortality.

Indeed, our own lives can be chronicled by the lives of the dogs we have owned, each death marking an ending, to be followed shortly by a new beginning. In this intimate, moving, and revealing memoir, Bill Henderson, the beloved founder of the Pushcart Press, divides up the stages of his life into canine epochs. There was (and there always is) the first dog. . . , the worst dog, the ones that died untimely deaths, the one who saved a marriage. "Packaging" is never openly discussed in the halls of this publishing house, but here we have tried to make as perfect a package as possible. The book contains lovely line drawings by Leslie Moore, is designed and printed in an intimate format, and is even set in Minion, which means "faithful companion." This is a book to love even if you don't love dogs.

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About the Author:

Bill Henderson is founder of Pushcart Press and editor and publisher of the annual Pushcart Prize: Best of the Small Presses, now in its thirty-fifth year. He is the author of the memoirs His Son (Norton, 1981), Her Father (Faber and Faber, 1995), Tower (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2000), and Simple Gifts (Free Press, 2006). He received the 2006 Poets & Writers/Barnes & Noble "Writers for Writers" citation and the 2006 Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Book Critics Circle.

Leslie Moore draws portraits of dogs for many owners (and breeds). She was a favorite artist of the late Senator Edward Kennedy and illustrated his last Christmas card.

Review:

Interspersed with sketches from his childhood and adult forays into romance and publishing, Henderson reveals how much his dogs taught him about enduring tragedy and enjoying the pleasures of life. Few readers will get through this slender volume of heartwarming portraits and vignettes without reaching for the tissue box. --Booklist

With dry humor and enviable honesty, this gem by Pushcart Press founder Henderson (His Son) tells his life story through 13 dogs--of different sizes, shapes, breeds, and mixes--that he and his family have owned. His first dog, Trixie (a German Spitz mix) shaped his formative years in suburban Philadelphia. After his friend's father kicked out the mutt Duke, a 10-year-old Henderson took him in. Labrador retriever Sophie saved Henderson's relationship with his future wife and witnessed the couple's daughter, Holly, grow up. Today, Franny and Sedgwick keep Henderson company. Henderson candidly discusses the deaths of his dogs, including the unexpectedly intimate depiction of the time he discovered Ellen and Rocky (a beloved Chesapeake Bay retriever and mutt) floating in a residential swimming pool in his upstate New York neighborhood. While making a solid, yet subtle, argument for why dogs remain man's best friend, Henderson also writes of his Christian upbringing and his "spiritual sojourn." The book is greatly enhanced by famed artist Leslie Moore's line drawings, and the typeface is Minion, which just happens to mean "faithful companion." --Publishers Weekly

Just when I thought it would be impossible for a dog memoir to set itself apart from the plethora of similar books on the shelves today, I read All My Dogs, a charming and moving account by Bill Henderson, founder of the Pushcart Press. Similar in scope and sensibility to Elizabeth von Arnim's 1936 classic, All the Dogs of My Life, this narrative chronicles the dogs with whom Henderson has shared his life, and the ways they informed it. . . . Henderson s way of telling an economical, well-crafted tale is similar to the manner in which he leads his life: resourcefully and creatively. His dogs have been invaluable companions, and their stories, as well as his own, make for a memorable read. --Claudia Kawczynska (Editor-in-chief), The Bark Magazine

It would be a mistake to dismiss All My Dogs by Bill Henderson as just another entry into the already inflated category of canine books, because this little memoir is masterful. . . . What makes All My Dogs extraordinary is Henderson's skill at weaving together stories about dogs with the trials and tribulations of his personal life; especially moving is the author s account of his own bout with breast cancer that coincided with his dog Lulu's cancer diagnosis. Bill Henderson's writing is simple yet eloquent, at times poetic and poignant. His descriptions of people, events, and scenes range from the humorous to the dramatic. Henderson well knows how to tell a story. He also knows he is lost without dogs. In a chapter entitled "Dogless Years," Henderson writes of his first, unsuccessful marriage, lamenting, "The idea of children, or dogs, never came up. Our lives were as empty as a bare ruined choir." Indeed, Henderson is at his best when a dog is by his side. That's what All My Dogs is really about. Happily, this story reinforces what most dog lovers already believe--that a dog is the best companion a human could ever have. --ForeWord Magazine

It's hard--no, impossible--not to get swept up in the emotions of a good dog story, hypersentimentality notwithstanding, and All My Dogs is many good dog stories told as one unified, interlaced telling of the growth of a dog lover's mind and heart. --Bloomsbury Review

Pushcart Press founder Bill Henderson had the sound idea of chronicling his life through the dogs who shared it, and All My Dogs (Godine, $19.95) handily wins Best in Show. From Trixie, who taught him "to play without ceasing,"; to tragic Ellen and Rocky, Henderson honors each one. Sophie, an adopted Labrador, saved his second marriage and watched his daughter grow up. "Opie was a rescue beagle -- rescuing not him but rather his elderly owners." Patient Lulu helped Henderson when he had cancer diagnosed. Accompanied by lovely drawings by Leslie Moore, memoirs like this don't happen along very often. --Washington Post

The sad reality is that humans outlive dogs many times over. All My Dogs is a unique memoir from Bill Henderson as he tells his own tale of the main dogs of his life, reflecting on their unique personalities and their impact on his life, empowered by touching drawings all throughout. For those seeking poignant tales of man and dog, All My Dogs is a choice and much recommended collection, a top pick. --Midwest Book Review

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Book Description David R. Godine, Boston, 2012. Hardback/Cloth. Condition: New. 1st Edition. 32pp Colour illustrations. For ages 5+ years. [In stock in Australia NOW, for immediate delivery] ’Mommy, Daddy and I made three, but we thought we might like four. And so . ‘ And so begins an intensive search for that perfect fourth family member. Maybe a dog? Naw, way too much hair. A chameleon? Naw, it disappears. A dolphin? Nooo, uses too much water. The porcupine is too prickly to hug, the rooster wakes up too early, and the octopus messes with everything! But there is, in the end, a simple and totally satisfactory solution. And it is just’perfect’. Written and illustrated by the illustrator of’The Goat-Faced Girl’, this book is funny, witty, and winsome. The words are few, but the illustrations are fast paced, full of clever visual puns and diverting imagery. Adults will be seduced by the art and children by the quest. And both will be satisfied (even gratified) by the solution. Jane Marinsky's editorial illustrations have appeared in many major publications. Just Perfect was inspired by the constant pleading of her older children for a pet. She loves all her daughters very much. Seller Inventory # 8125

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Book Description David R. Godine, Boston, 2011. Hardback/Cloth. Condition: New. 1st Edition. 144pp . [In stock in Australia, for immediate delivery] It may true that a dog is a man's best friend, but if you are a serious dog owner, you are probably a’serial’ dog owner, having embraced not one but a succession of canine companions, each of them memorable in their own particular way, and each marking a particular epoch in your own life. We remember which dogs our children teased (and which generally suffered the abuse nobly), the ones that chewed the furniture and peed on the rugs, the ones that anticipated our every move and mood and displayed affection and loyalty in the face of neglect and indifference, the ones that died too early and the ones that lingered into old age. All of them with their own distinctive foibles and personalities, none of them with any sense of their own mortality. Indeed, our own lives can be chronicled by the lives of the dogs we have owned, each death marking an ending, to be followed shortly by a new beginning. In this intimate, moving, and revealing memoir, Bill Henderson, the beloved founder of the Pushcart Press, divides up the stages of his life into canine epochs. There was (and there always is) the first dog ., the worst dog, the ones that died untimely deaths, the one who saved a marriage. ‘Packaging' is never openly discussed in the halls of this publishing house, but here we have tried to make as perfect a package as possible. The book contains lovely line drawings by Leslie Moore, is designed and printed in an intimate format, and is even set in Minion, which means’faithful' companion. This is a book to love even if you’don't’ love dogs. Seller Inventory # 8123

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