Another Bad-Dog Book
by Joni B. Cole

Publishing Works, Inc., 2011. ISBN 978-1-935-55716-6.
Reviewed by Doris Anne Roop-Benner
Posted on 05/20/2012

Nonfiction: Memoir

Another Bad-Dog Book is not just about bad dogs—or good dogs. Joni Cole writes about a lot of the things that we all think, but don't say out loud. Some of the stories made me laugh out loud and some brought tears to my eyes. It's a great collection of emotions.

Cole was thrilled to find out that she was born in the Year of the Dog. She says:

I have a bad dog, Eli. In fact, I've had several bad dogs throughout the years, all of them as incorrigible as any of those troublemakers whose life stories have been made into major motion pictures. Yet with all the bad-dog behavior, I love Eli with all my heart. He loves me so much that it somehow makes me feel more lovable.

She writes about her husband that she's been married to for more than two decades, and wonders whether he really is her best friend. She writes as well about her dad, who was confined in a nursing home after his stroke took away most of what he could do and a lot of who he was, but could still make her laugh. No matter what was going on during her visits, he was still her dad.

On a trip to a concert with her daughter there were a lot of disappointments, but the best part was coming face-to-face with a real American idol. One morning she woke up with severe heel pain. She checked the Internet and diagnosed herself with plantar fasciitis. She felt that not going to a doctor would be better than going because if you wait long enough the pain will disappear on its own. Six months later she gave up and went to a doctor who gave her orthotics. Sometimes we just have to change our perspective.

One of my favorite stories was about New Year's resolutions—helping the Old Me to become the New Me. It didn't take long for Cole to realize that this yearly ritual didn't work. But she recalls what Hachiko said, "If today doesn't bring us what we've been hoping and waiting for, there's always tomorrow, and the tomorrow after that." Sounds like a great way to not only start the New Year but every day of the year.

Cole reminds me of Erma Bombeck. You could swear she knows you personally because all the stories hit so close to home. Read and enjoy!

Joni B. Cole is an author and creator of creative nonfiction that has been nominated for The Pushcart Prize, and has appeared in a diversity of literary publications. Joni runs the Writer's Center of White River Junction, Vermont, and is a frequent speaker and teacher at writing conferences across the country. She lives in Vermont with her husband and two daughters. Visit her website.

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