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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.