Living with Dogs

Living with Dogs: Collections and Traditions, At Home and Afield ***** by Laurence Sheehan


I’m joining Jain with my Edible Book Review at Food for Thought, where pages from your book magically mix with the kitchen and your camera.

This is a favorite book of mine, with a prominent place on my coffee table. I stumbled on it for several years ago (it was published in 1999). If you are a dog lover, this one is not to be missed~ full of beautiful photos of homes, dogs, collections, and quite simply, as one reviewer says:  “this book is a celebration of hardcore dog enthusiasm.”



In his endearing and hilarious introduction, the author, Larry Shehan, talks about his dogs, one of which, a tricolor Collie named Zorro, who he says was “as slow-witted as he was beautiful”. (I had a cat like that :-)   He and his wife add an Australian shepherd puppy, Addie, to their household who “at that early stage of growth looked more like a California sea otter than a dog.”  As his household adapts to the puppy, he confessed to turning into my own worst nightmare– “a guy who carries a picture of his dog around with him in his wallet.” A few years later, he finds a two-year-old English Setter, Buster“His upper lip was hung up on one side of his freckled muzzle and  one ear was flopped, pink side out, giving him a slightly deranged, ready-for-anything aspect.”  He was hooked~ however, he describes his household as becoming dysfunctional with introduction of an exuberant, willful dog deaf to the command of “Come!”. He, his wife, his cat & Addie eventually settle in and adapt slowly:

“The secret of living with dogs is to take the wild with the sweet, and then sit back and wait for the laughs and the love.”

~ Amen!

Here is some of my own canine kitsch~ my collection of chalkware dogs. . .

There is a chapter on dog portraiture. . . here is an oil of a dog in my powder room ~ he doesn’t look like my dogs, but I loved the expression in his eyes~

I loved this cozy room in the book, with all the dog pillows. I makes me want to curl up on the sofa with my dogs and a good book!

“Dogs settle into a home pretty much the way people do, gravitating to a favorite corner, window, or chair.”

This is a “portrait” of my dogs :-) It’s a canvas from Photofiddle, you can see more about that here.

“Like children they leave their toys scattered around– a rubber squeaky here or a half-gnawed bone there. These objects, along with the leashes, collars, food bowls, dog beds, and all the other paraphernalia associated with keeping a dog, turn a house into a habitat– and, late at night when the lights are out, a minefield.”

No food references in this book (other than kibble :-), so I thought I’d do “Pup Cakes” from Hello, Cupcake!

 This is a fun cupcake book, with lots of ideas and directions!


“Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole.”  ~ Roger Caras

Be sure to stop by Food for Thought and see what everyone is reading & eating!

  10 comments for “Living with Dogs

  1. May 8, 2010 at 10:38 am

    Wow- your cupcakes are amazing!!!! And your pictures with this post are wonderful.

  2. May 8, 2010 at 1:58 pm

    i think i hate dog books, ok i think i hate dogs… my 3 have been SO bad the last few days i am rethinking mans best friend thing kind of thing… yesterday they were in the garden with me, knocking over iris in full gallop wrestles, time to go home and i open our lower gate, 3 dogs runaway… we have 5 acres, they don’t need more, but nope, i am wrong, they need the neighbors land, with creeks and cattle, and cow pies, and to roll in them, heavy wet ones… i was carrying a beautiful bouquet of yellow antique roses, after 20 minutes of screaming, thrashing, hollering and hitting while trying to round up the dingos i came home with rose sticks… but i digress, this is book about GOOD dogs!

    your doggie collection is adorable! you are right what a great dog room~ and your portrait, how adorable is that?! i love love love it… i am jealous you have cute little good dogs… i am so happy we have food for thought, i love all these fabulous visuals we get to share, its a real treat, woof!

    and pupcakes… omg be still my heart! i have this book and wasn’t brave enough to try the dogs… ever! you did beyond a fabulous job… oh i wish i had time to create like this, i love food art! but i am challenged this way and can’t devote a month to learning new dog tricks! that doxie face… bulldog, sheepdog, omg you had a ball!

    so cute, so clever, such a wonderful double review! did i mention i love visiting here ever before? thanks so much, you are lucky you can have your dog and eat it too!

    • May 8, 2010 at 4:07 pm

      LOL! I am trying to imagine those poor roses/sticks and those wild “dingos”. My dogs are good when they are sleeping! Chloe thinks her name is Chloe NO! I won’t tell you my husband’s nickname for her…I’m thankful they are small and indoors or on a leash because given the chance, they would roll in all kinds of disgusting things~ especially when the geese visit us. Having much fun with FFT~ taking the pupcakes to my nephews tomorrow, who will be at my mother-in-law’s for Mother’s Day :-)

  3. May 8, 2010 at 6:40 pm

    Oh, I think I definitely need to order this book for myself and several friends. And a copy of Hello Cupcake! This post is beyond cute and clever. You outdid yourself on this one, and I love the fact that you reviewed a coffee table book. That gives me hope that perhaps I can get something posted more often for FFT. :-) I so enjoy this meme. You always do it justice! Thanks!

  4. Carolyn
    May 8, 2010 at 9:07 pm

    Aren’t dogs great? The other day, I was out shopping and there were 2 dogs walking in front of me and as we approached a parking meter I heard one say to the other “How do you like that? Pay Toilets!

    As I was looking at your blog pictures, Rosie, my Shitzu, came into the room and wouldn’t stop begging for a “PupCake”. Great job creating those little ” Pups”!

  5. May 9, 2010 at 12:39 pm

    That sounds like a wonderful book. And you did such a great job on the pupcakes. My favorite is the pug since that’s what my darling Lucy is. She is the light of my life.

  6. May 9, 2010 at 4:08 pm

    I always enjoy your blog, but I just have to tell you how much i ADORE this post. The cupcakes are amazing and your little doggie kitsch is such fun. It all really made me smile.
    Too too cute!

  7. May 11, 2010 at 4:04 pm

    What a fun post. It has me smiling and if I had a tail I would be wagging it right now:-)

  8. May 12, 2010 at 6:11 am

    Mary, this is such a creative review I’m drooling! arrr arrr
    I’m TOTALLY impressed with your fabulous poochie pupcakes! I checked the Hello cupcake book out of our library & only tried making a few of their ideas. You did a bang-up job on ALL of yours!

    I ♥ that cozy looking room with all the photos on the wall. Makes me want to jump through the screen & snuggle down with a good book.

    Thanks for sharing both of these books & your darling cuppies!

  9. May 13, 2010 at 12:07 am

    OH.MY. GOD. those doggie cupcakes are simply adorable! I saw these on FFS n just had to stop here to take it all in.:)))) you did a fabulous job…ive never seen cupcakes decorated this way…just wonderful.tq for sharing. :)).

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