This is a fun book that I’ve had in my collection for a few years now and want to share. The authors, Vicki Croke and Sarah Wilson, managed to corral all dog owners into nine distinct types: Soul Mate, Expert, Dynamo, Angel, Idealist, Master, Free Spirit, Observer, and Buddy. To find your type you need to answer two quizzes; the first places you into your broad spectrum type (Feeler, Thinker, or Do-er) and the second quiz places you into your specific type. I’m nearly 100% Buddy, which means I’m kind of irresponsible but a whole lot of fun.
I like that neither type is written as being better than another, they’re all simply different. However each type also has the potential to turn into something bad, and the book covers that as well. Reading about the bad side of each group will give you a new view of certain dog owner behaviours you once found baffling. For example animal hoarders may just be Angels who have fallen down the negative slope, or that person letting their dog ride loose in the back of a pickup truck might be a Buddy turned Bozo. We all have a little of our type’s negative side in us (don’t worry, Suki doesn’t ride in the back of pickup trucks).
I found the book to be humorously accurate. As you read through it you can’t help but laugh at their descriptions of each type. I don’t crate Suki; I bought a crate before I brought her home because it was on the list of items new puppy owners should have, but I don’t think it’s ever been used. Under the section “You May Be a Buddy If You:” one of the things is, “respond to the notion of a crate by saying, ‘why would anyone stick their best friend in a box?’”
The book also tells you which types you’re most likely to get along with romantically, as well as which types you’re likely to butt heads with.
In addition to telling you your type the book details breed groups and which types of people would enjoy them (and who wouldn’t). If you have a favourite breed you’ll likely find yourself in either the Two of a Kind or Opposites Attract section. If you don’t get along with a certain breed group, you’ll likely find yourself under that type’s Bad Match. I think my favourite Bad Match description would be for the Terrier: “Imagine being trapped in a broken elevator with Robin Williams as he takes his last swallow of a triple-shot Starbucks espresso and you discover it will be hours before repair people arrive. That’s what life with a terrier feels like to the kind of person who likes to stay in her PJs all weekend.” I think that’s one of the most humorous ways to describe terriers I’ve heard yet (at the end of the description it adds, “bear in mind, “terrier people” find this funny.”). Trust me when I say that as you read through this section you’ll definitely find yourself type-casting everyone in your life (I’m sorry Mom, I know you think you’re a Sheep Herder but you’re definitely Opposites Attract with the Toy category!). It’s surprisingly accurate and more than likely everyone in your life will be able to fit into the category of their breed(s) of choice. Since my breed is a Schipperke, that would mean I should fit into the Nordic group with perhaps just a hint of Herder.
Once you’ve type-casted everyone in your life you can move on to the next section and continue to laugh as the book gives you pointers in each breed type, depending on whether you’re that type or your significant other is that type. According to the book I should keep a herding dog or two in my group of friends to keep me in line.
The final portion of the book type-casts people at the dog park. There’s a Field Guild to Dog Park Regulars, common bad behaviour excuses, and Common Dog Park Syndromes. Depending on how often you go to dog parks, this section may elicit mixed laughter and groans of, “I know that type…” The field guide contains funny “latin” names such as Novus know-nothingus (The Novice) and Circumventio walkus (Absentee Owner), then tells you how to spot each type.
It was this book that introduced me to the term yappie. It’s like yuppie, but it stands for young, anal pet person. The pages are chock full of creative humour like that. Dogology would make a great coffee table book; it has substance to its pages but it’s also something that’s easy to flip through. I think almost any dog person would enjoy reading it and having it in their collection. I did a quick Google search of the full title which showed it’s available on both amazon.com and .ca, Barnes and Noble, and Chapters/Indigo.