In the library the other day I noticed “Rover”, by Andrew Grant, on the new book shelf. I opened it up and found it was a picture book on dogs. It was a big book, over eleven inches square. Immediately, I thought of my wife who’s a dog person. So, I checked it out and took it home.

In the introduction, Andrew Grant talked about dogs looking for a forever home, dogs in shelters waiting for the right human to come along. These shelters are always in need of funds for dog food, vet care, supplies and maintenance on the buildings. Just keeping the lights on can be an expensive proposition.

So, Andrew Grant put his photography skills to work and created this picture book of dogs in need. The money he raised from the sale of the books went toward various animal shelters. 

The pictures in this large format book are in color, taken by a professional and printed by a professional. They feature all breeds of dogs in different poses. A mastiff was featured on two facing pages. In the first one, he is drooling as if he’s hungry. In the second, the drool is gone replaced by a dog “smile”. Obviously, that was a dog who just ate. 

Other dogs don’t merit two pages but are just as interesting. Smaller dogs give the impression they are ready to jump in your lap and head home with you. Some bigger dogs, especially the hounds, look at you in a regal fashion as if to say, “I will judge you to see if you’re worthy of my company in your home”.

There are a few long haired dogs who don’t give their feelings away. Do they want to go home with you or not? Their eyes give no indication since their hair covers them.

In his introduction, Grant says he rescued a couple of dogs whose time was almost up as they were chosen to be included in the book. They were photographed on their way to be euthanized. Talk about a close call. 

In nearly all the pictures, the dogs’ eyes draw your attention. Some eyes are confused, others beg for adoption, and still others are blank as if they have been in the shelter a long time, a dog version of PTSD. One in particular cocked his head to one side, trying to read your mind. 

Each picture is labeled with the dog’s name. I was disappointed; I thought the dog’s breed should have been included, but then many of these shelter dogs are mixes of several breeds.

This book is appropriately labeled the “Wagmore Edition”. 

Beyond the introduction and the dog names, there is no text in the book. It’s as if the dogs’ pictures say it all. Feed me, pet me, let me be your friend. Most of all, take me home with you so I can do what a dog does best: bring joy into your life.   

If you like dogs, check this book out. It will be time well spent.