Wednesday, March 04, 2009

The Art of Racing in the Rain (copy)

My name is Enzo and my master’s name is Denny. He named me after the famous race car driver Enzo "the Commendatore" Ferrari. Have you heard of the Italian sports car Ferrari? Well, he is one in the same, and one day my master will have a car named after him.

Denny is a great race car driver. He has a unique skill that makes him a desirable team member. He can race in the rain. Wet conditions on the track do not scare him; actually, he perfected a maneuver which allows him to accelerate through the turns. Denny is a natural at finding the curve’s apex and shooting for the exit.

For the first year of my life it was Denny and I alone. Life was quieter with daily walks in the park and plenty of fetch then we stumbled upon Eve. Her hairlessness didn’t appeal to me, but they soon married and Zoe entered our family a year later.

Life was good. I spent my time watching over the fascinating Zoe. She filled my nose with all kinds of baby scents; plus, it was rather fun watching someone else teethe for a while. I kept company with Eve while she cooked in the kitchen and every so often she gave me little tastes; although, I never begged—that was for lower class dogs. And Denny didn’t treat me differently now that there were more people vying for his attention. He was a true gentleman master.

Unfortunately, there was down time when I was left alone for long periods such as when they had to work. I would amble from room to room looking for entertainment but none was to be found. I was literally bored to death then Denny noticed me watching television. Oh, I thank the day he decided to leave it on while he went to work. My vocabulary really blossomed during these periods. Too bad my tongue wasn’t designed for speech.

If I could talk, I would be able to warn Eve. I would explain my heightened sense of smell and the unmistakable scent of death coming from her ears and nose. I would tell Denny something bad was eating her brain. I would scream, “See an oncologist!” Man, if I had thumbs, I would drive her to the hospital myself. Why was I only a dog?

These are my words as Enzo the narrator of Garth Stein’s new book titled “The Art of Racing in the Rain.” I highly recommend this read. I was awake into the wee hours crying while reading the last two chapters. Not yet spring and I may have read the best book of the year; although, I did have one slight problem. Enzo’s vocabulary will rival that of a scholar. Scary to think my dog may be smarter than me.

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