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Copper: A Dog's Life by Lady Annabel Goldsmith

Buy Copper: A Dog's Life by Lady Annabel Goldsmith at Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

Category: Humour
Rating: 4/5
Reviewer: Sue Magee
Reviewed by Sue Magee
Summary: The life of a dog who was born to a stray but ended up on the fringes of high society. He tells us his story in his own words and you'll both laugh and cry.
Buy? Maybe Borrow? Yes
Pages: 160 Date: February 2009
Publisher: Sphere
ISBN: 978-0751538205

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Copper was one of a litter of dogs born to a stray bitch and who was 'adopted' by Lady Annabel Goldsmith - or might it be the other way round?. Here he tells his story in his own words as transcribed for him by his owner. He's got his own priorities – and obedience is not one of them – along with a roving spirit. It's perhaps fortunate that he's a dog as this allows you to call him 'cheeky' and 'charming'. If he was a human being 'randy' and 'arrogant' would be two of the first words which came to mind.

I'd best say straight away that I'm not enamoured of books where dogs are allowed into situations where they can be a danger to themselves or to others. It might be amusing that Copper could stop traffic by holding up his paw and pretending to be lame but I'm afraid that I can't get past the thought that there could have been an accident. I had a similar problem with Marley and Me where a dog is loose in a moving car. To me the situation isn't funny – it's an accident waiting to happen.

Right, that's me pegged as a stick-in-the-mud spoilsport! Putting all that to one side the book is a delight in many other ways. Copper has a real wisdom about the rights and wrongs of the world. I laughed out load at his thoughts on human love compared to his relationship with the bitches with whom he mated. Love 'em and leave 'em would seem to sum up the situation. He seemed to bring a smile wherever he went and was missed by many people after his death in 1998.

I laughed too at the thought of him travelling on buses and popping into his favourite pubs. He might have lived on the fringes of high society but that didn't stop him putting his own special mark on Lady Annabel's charity dog show, if not in quite the way that those running the show appreciated. There's a guest appearance from Barbara Woodhouse, sometime television dog trainer of many years ago and Jilly Cooper. It was lovely to meet Jilly again – it put me in mind of a story I heard of when she lived locally as a child and her family dogs would actually get on the train in Ilkley to go up to the shoot at Bolton Abbey.

Don't take the book too seriously and you'll have a good chuckle at Copper's exploits and perhaps a tear or two in your eyes at times. For all my worries about Copper, he's a dog I'd have been proud to have known.

I'd like to thank the publishers for sending a copy to The Bookbag.

If this book appeals to you then I'm sure that you'll enjoy Life with Beau: A Tale of a Dog and His Family by Anna Quindlen and Old Dogs – a look at the, er, more mature dog in words and pictures. I think you might find The Dog by Kerstin Ekman a fictional look at the life of a stray dog a little too gritty if you like to take the animal world a little less seriously.

Buy Copper: A Dog's Life by Lady Annabel Goldsmith at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Copper: A Dog's Life by Lady Annabel Goldsmith at Amazon.co.uk



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