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The Artful Dog: Canines from The Metropolitan Museum of Art    by Chronicle Books order for
Artful Dog
by Chronicle Books
Order:  USA  Can
Chronicle, 2006 (2006)
* *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

In the Introduction to this delight for doglovers, Shari Thompson speculates on how early man (and woman) brought the first dog into their cave, and 'someone reached for a charred stick and artfully drew a sketch ... on the cave wall.' She speaks of the bond between human and canine kind, and how artists through the ages 'have been inspired to capture their spirit, their beauty, their dogness.'

This little book continues to pair artful portraits of a variety of breeds with 'sayings by admirers and observers of canines'. The first shows two boys and a dog on a hill, with the quote 'Dogs are our link to paradise ...' I like the Irish proverb 'Every dog is brave on his own doorstep' beside a photo of two serious setters, and I've always chuckled at Groucho Marx's 'Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read.' The verse on Old dog Tray touches the heart, as does the sketch beside it. And who can beat Charles Schulz's 'Happiness is a warm puppy'?

Stuff The Artful Dog into the stocking of a doglover in your life, especially one who also appreciates quotations and art - they make a charming combination, while reflecting thousands of years of companionship, love and loyalty.

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