By Jennifer Cockapoo
In the most recent Doggone It literary poll, more than 90 percent of North American dogs selected Dostoevsky as their favorite human author, citing the Russian writer’s incomparable insight into the darkest corners of both the human and canine souls.
“If you’re passionate about discerning the will of the Master,” said Jason Anderson, a Labradoodle from Kansas City, “then you won’t find a better teacher than Dostoevsky. Yes, he’s a person and not a dog, but in some crucial respects he seems to have led a dog’s life. In fact, after reading him, many dogs would swear that Dostoevsky has experienced the fear and agony of staring into the Master’s eyes and still not knowing what the Master wants.”
Dogs also appreciate Dostoevsky’s dramatization of the divided canine soul, the war between good and evil in the same spaniel’s or poodle’s heart.
“He’s particularly good at depicting the ominous brooding of a dog confined in a fenced backyard,” said Amy Peterson, a Welsh Terrier from Mankato, Minn. “The murderous cruelty when a squirrel appears, the lust and degradation when a neighbor dog arrives—these dark impulses prevail for a time in Dostoevsky’s characters but are often followed by tears of repentance, faith in the Master, and a puppylike innocence.”
According to the Doggone It poll, dogs’ second favorite human author is Stephen Covey, writer of 81 books whose titles all begin with the phrase, “Seven Habits of…” or “Seven Laws of…” or “Seven Principles of…”
“Something about the number seven appeals to us,” said Charles Ryan, a basset hound from Joplin, Mo. “Books that begin with the phrase, “Four Habits of…” or “Nine Laws of…” don’t interest us at all.”