Book Review: Things Your Dog Doesn’t Want You To Know by Hy Conrad and Jeff Johnson

It is a rare combination. Things Your Dog Doesn’t Want You To Know is both entertaining and educational. The subtitle – “11 courageous canines TELL ALL” – is the sensational teaser and is a pretty good indication of what this book is all about. Written in the first person (or maybe first dog) these brief essays often offer us some insight into what might motivate some canine behavior. The author, Hy Conrad is best known for his work on Monk, and somehow there is a bit of the same sly humor in this book.

The stories range from what one particular dog’s thoughts after a visit to the vet where, somehow, he lost his favorite balls, to another’s thoughts about escaping from the fenced yard. Another reflects on how things he did as a puppy that humans thought were cute, are no longer considered cute when he does them as an adult. He gives this some serious thought. And it is one example of the sort of thought-provoking subjects the book addresses. If you have ever raised a puppy you may have had this experience. It was really heart warming and cute when he tried to jump in your arms when he was 9 pounds, but when he is 90 pounds and tries to jump in your mother –in – law’s arms, well, it is not so endearing. He complains about the truly confusing  mixed signals.

There is the overeater (a bulldog) who confesses that he really isn’t hungry all the time and hasn’t been truly hungry since he was a week old. He has been in “various stages of not-quite-full.” But harking back to his evolution, he muses that maybe dogs had to gorge themselves because they never knew when they might stumble upon another mastodon. So, if the food bowl is full, he must empty it.

This would make a great gift for a new dog owner but it is also a fun read for the experienced dog owner. There are lessons here for all of us and with wit and humor we are led to looking at a dog’s behavior from a different point of view. You can connect with the author on Facebook , read his guest post on Moonlight Gleam’s Bookshelf, or visit his website.


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