Dogs Don't Look Both Ways

A Primer on Unintended Consequences

Fiction - Animals
164 Pages
Reviewed on 03/09/2015
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

The most common comments I receive from people are, "Are you still biking?" and "You can afford to eat anything you want." The answer to the first is - sometimes, and the answer to the second is "No I can't."

Since I left my teaching ESL and remedial writing position in Brooklyn, NY, to marry Phil (here in Boston) and focused on my educational software business (teaching writing), I've spent way too many hours sitting at a computer. The upside of all this, other than being married to Phil, is that I've had my poetry and essays published in numerous print and online journals such as "Poetica Magazine," "The Persimmon Tree", "Every Writer's Resource," and others. I also met an amazing dog named Joey. My book, Dogs Don't Look Both Ways, recently received the prestigious B.R.A.G. Medallion. I am involved with many and varied local community activities, such as bicycle and pedestrian safety, feeding the hungry, and literacy.

I still spend way too much time on the computer, which I am always trying to find a way around.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite

Dogs Don’t Look Both Ways is a fictionalized memoir written by Jane Hanser. It’s Joey’s story from the time he was born, along with his eight other brothers and sisters to mother Cocoa. Joey is a Labrador retriever. His bloodlines are quite distinguished with a number of champion hunters and field labs in his ancestry. Joey lived happily with his dog family until each puppy went to their new human families. One day, there was just he and his sister left, and then him. Joey’s human family came by to visit with him, and then they took him home with them. There was Mom and Dad, and his new human sister, Vivi, whom he slept with at night. As he grew a little bigger, Dad started taking him out on morning runs, which were wonderful. Every day presents new opportunities for Joey to spend time with Mom and Dad and to explore the world around him.

There’s a reason why Labrador retrievers are the most popular dog in the US, and Jane Hanser’s entertaining and original fictionalized memoir, Dogs Don’t Look Both Ways, will have those who are lucky enough to have a Lab in their families smiling with recognition at Joey’s story, and those who aren’t, thinking about adopting a rescue Lab. Hanser’s story is charming and well-written, and, most importantly, it’s an insightful look into the thought processes of a highly intelligent and resourceful dog breed. Labs are curious and love adventures, and they need lots of human interaction.

I’m fortunate to have two wonderful Labrador retrievers in my family, and Joey’s story, both the good and the not-so-good things, resonated strongly. I especially enjoyed reading Joey’s descriptions of the runs and hikes he takes with his family and the wildlife they see along the way, and seeing the pictures that Hanser includes with the text.

Dogs Don’t Look Both Ways is highly recommended.


I am proud to announce that DOGS DON'T LOOK BOTH WAYS by Jane Hanser is a B.R.A.G. Medallion Honoree. This tells a reader that this book is well worth their time and money!

B.R.A.G. Medallion Honoree for Literary Fiction

The Kindle Book Review

I have met a lot of dogs during my journey here on earth. Short, fat dogs. Tall, fat dogs. Snappy dogs, yippy dogs, and the kind with the deep-throated “WOOF.” I like dogs. I don't mind dogs. I've only ever loved one or two, but the rest are okay and I guess they feel the same way about me. I believe dogs and I have an understanding which says, “You will not lick my face and call it a kiss,” to which the dog replies, “As if!”

I have never, however, come to know a dog as deeply and intimately as I know Joey. I will not lie: Hanser was waging an uphill battle, trying to tell the story from the dog's point of view. The book could have gone kitschy real fast, but Hanser pulled it out of “golly gee whillakers” cuteness-overload. Correction: Hanser let Joey pull it out.

Joey does not speak from the voice of the author. Joey speaks Dog, as in “People were looking at me, calling, “Joey.” They were looking at me and saying, “Joey, come” and “Joey, sit” and “Good boy, Joey!” So Joey I suddenly was.” Is this the best example of Joey's voice? No. The book is full of good examples and better examples and you will just have to read it. I can't sit here and quote all the good parts, otherwise I would be quoting 80% of Joey's story.

Dogs Don't Look Both Ways is a quick read. Is it a MUST Read? I'll let you be the judge. Joey would like that.

This reviewer received a free copy of the book through the Kindle Book Review, in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Jeanne A Stauffer

Jane Hanser's lovely work, Dogs Don't Look Both Ways, is an endearing tale of the unconditional love between human and canine. This is a book that will certainly charm adults, but I think it is a must read for young teens. Hanser's tale takes us through that deeply emotional journey that every pet owner will recognize, and ends with a beautiful image that is at once hopeful and haunting. Educators at both the middle school and high school levels should take note of this happily unique addition to the genre.