By: Jeff Marginean
Publisher: Jemar Entertainment Inc.
Publication Date: September 2008
Reviewed by: Ellen Feld
Review Date: November 24, 2008
Heads up dog lovers! There’s a new story about the special bond between a man and his best four-legged friend that is bound to make you smile, laugh, nod your head in agreement and even shed a tear or two. Jeff Marginean’s debut book, My Buddy Butch: Confessions of a New Dog Dad will have dog enthusiasts giggling and laughing at the exploits of a plucky Boston Terrier as he trains his new parent.
My Buddy Butch begins well before Butch, the aforementioned Boston Terrier, enters Marginean’s life. The book opens with the passing of the author’s mother, a woman who obviously had a huge impact on his life. When Marginean’s sister suggests they get a dog for their grieving, lonely father, the author reluctantly agrees to consider the idea. Deciding that the new pet should be a Boston Terrier is easy as their father had once bred the handsome dogs. Soon an adorable puppy, later named Buttons, is purchased and moves in with their father.
Marginean recounts the early days with Buttons progressing to when Buttons has her first litter of pups. At this point, Marginean decides he is ready to have a dog of his own. But which puppy will he choose? Marginean has the pick of the litter and once the decision is made, life with Butch begins.
My Buddy Butch is full of wonderful, humorous vignettes as Marginean learns what it means to own a dog. As the chapter, ‘Terminator Puppy’ so aptly describes, Butch is a rambunctious, destructive puppy who terrorizes his toys and house. This section is quite funny and I often found myself laughing at Butch while I also reminisced about my own dog’s puppyhood. Beyond the stories of training a puppy, Marginean recounts many daily adventures with Butch -- there’s the search for a toy that can survive his destructive inclinations, Butch’s hunting preferences, and what it feels like to wake up to the very aromatic tail end of Butch in his face. Thanks to his spunky, opinionated dog, Marginean is introduced to many new friends, from the supermarket where he buys so many dog toys, to obedience school. Marginean also slowly comes to realize that his time with Butch, enjoying simple pleasures, is much more fulfilling than rushing around with his busy daily schedule. In essence, Butch teaches him to slow down and smell the roses. It was touching to read a grown man admit this so openly.
This dog story relates the many adventures the author has had with his beloved Butch, and this is where the writing shines. But there are also several sections where Marginean goes off subject to discuss topics such as buying a second dog, or when he becomes philosophical and digresses into a short treatise on whether dogs go to heaven. It is here that the writing tends to wander. These sections are not nearly as entertaining as the tales that deal directly with the antics of Butch.
Quill says: A charming story about the love between a man and his beloved Boston Terrier.
For more information on My Buddy Butch, please visit the author's website at: My Buddy Butch