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One nation under dog : adventures in the new world of prozac-popping puppies, do
Michael Schaffer
Adult Nonfiction SF426.2 .S313 2009

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From Publishers' Weekly:

A Fast Food Nation for dog lovers, this astute and amusing investigative report offers a "journey into the $41-billion-a-year world of the modern American pet." Each chapter focuses on "a different realm of the pet universe," and the total effect is reminiscent of Tom Wolfe's New Journalism essays on the sociology of pop culture. Schaffer explores baby boomers who devote themselves to "fur babies" after their children have grown up and moved out. He attends the 2008 Global Pet Expo to take stock of the 2,400 display booths of retail pet items. He observes New York's "burgeoning canine social scene." In San Francisco, he looks at how arguments over dog leash laws are case studies in how cities need to "navigate the controversies" of a new pet-friendly world. And his fascinating piece on the evolution of pet toys-from the first "purportedly educational" ones made in a Colorado garage in the 1970s to today's "veritable arms race"-is essential reading for anyone whose dog has become hooked on Kong bounce balls. (Apr.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

From Library Journal:

With perspicacity laced with humor, journalist Schaffer examines the sometimes over-the-top attention Americans lavish on their canines in the form of designer clothing, dog parties, cutting-edge medical treatments, mental stimulation toys, professional pet sitters, luxurious pet hotels, pet cemeteries with grief counselors, and superpremium dog food made with ingredients fit for human consumption. But this is no scathing expose-Schaffer is a willing participant, an inside observer, forcibly immersed in the ethos by his adoption of a rescued St. Bernard who suffered from separation anxiety. Nevertheless, he offers a serious investigation of the human-animal bond and the forces that have driven "pet parents" to what some might consider extremes. Well researched with copious notes yet accessible to lay readers who will chuckle in self-recognition; highly recommended for public and academic libraries. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 12/08.]-Florence Scarinci, Nassau Community Coll. Lib., Garden City, NY (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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