In the final sprint before launching the Pet Travel Book Club next Thursday (November 10), I started thinking about pet travel writing as a genre. Naturally, it’s as varied as any other type of travel writing — or writing, period — and is designed to serve different purposes. But whether I’m looking for advice about where to stay with Frankie or for general ruminations about the interactions of pet, person, and environment, I want a distinctive point of view and a liveliness of the mind, writing that tells you there’s an observing, thinking person behind it. And that’s what I found in these blogs, two of which give previews of books I plan to discuss in the future.
I love Mary-Alice Pomputius’s detailed reviews of carriers, plane seats and pet relief areas for their extreme usefulness. But Mary-Alice often combines the practical with the lyrical, extolling the virtues of places she visits on their own merits as well as from the perspective of Chloe, her Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. I admit to choosing this post, Brooklyn’s Prospect Park, for sentimental reasons. As I commented on her blog:
I grew up 5 minutes from Prospect Park… The Grand Army Plaza library was my childhood library and to walk there I passed the zoo (eh) and the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens, which are also lovely… Maybe you can go home — or at least back to the old neighborhood — again.
The Four-Legged Walden
John Zeaman, the author of Dog Walks Man: A Six-Legged Odyssey, doesn’t blog very often. I suspect his publisher and his friends told him that blogging was a good way to publicize his book, but he didn’t have the time or inclination to continue with it. Nevertheless, his Dogging in Great Britain gives you the flavor of the book, quirky, inquisitive, philosophical — and often very funny. Read More