Book Report: Flawed Dogs by Berkeley Breathed (2009)

Book coverThis book is apparently a children’s book by the cartoonist behind “Bloom County”, “Outland”, and “Opus”. I remember him from his Bloom County work (see Tales Too Ticklish To Tell and Billy and the Boingers Bootleg). I didn’t get much into Outland, and I missed Opus, apparently. But when I saw his name on the cover of this book, I bought it. Not realizing it was a children’s book.

Not that I’m above cutesy books about dogs; see also my report on The Shepherd, The Angel, And Walter the Miracle Dog which might also double as an entry in my cutesy Christmas books list. But I digress.

This book details the story of Sam the Lion, a bred-for-showing Dachshund with an extremely rare curl of hair who escapes his designed owner and befriends a lonely orphaned teenaged girl as she moves in with her former dog breeder and shower uncle. When he’s framed by the resident poodle for a crime he didn’t commit, Sam is shot and left for dead. After this incident, Sam moves onto a series of shelters, labs, and life as a freebooter until he regains a sense of purpose: To stop the poodle from winning the Westminster dog show.

It’s whimsical, although I don’t think it’s entirely cohesive. I thought the bit about being in an animal testing lab for years was only included to remind children that animal testing is bad. It veers from the cutesy to the cartoonish, which is acceptable, I suppose, since the author is a cartoonist.

Ultimately, it wasn’t my bag, baby.

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