Saturday, February 8, 2014

Book Review: Nobody's Poodle by Gizmo

Gizmo looking cute!
Since I became Champ's biodographer (Champ: My Story of Survival) , I've been helping Champ review books by other Pawthors. It has been an enlightening experience, to say the least. Champ's latest foray into book reviews led me to read Nobody's Poodle by Gizmo. What a story, and what an adventure. Gizmo was abandoned in Tenerife when he was just a year old and spent some time in a refuge. Gizmo was found by Nikki and Richard Attree (looking to fill the big sad gap left when their beloved Basil went to the Rainbow Bridge) and his life went from rags to riches. Gizmo is such a clever dog that it wasn’t long before the Attrees and Gizmo had penned his experiences and produced a book.

The story starts with a great adventure—Gizmo and his people (Sharon, Trev and young Tracey) move from England to Tenerife, which is an island in the Atlantic. It sounded great: sun, sea, sand, a new Woof lingo, new places to explore, and new faces to meet. But things didn’t turn out so well when Gizmo’s family ran out of money. He was abandoned when Trev didn’t come back for him on the day they left the apartment. Gizmo had to fend for himself on the mean streets, and he soon learned that life in Tenerife is very harsh for an abandoned pooch. He made friends with other dogs in similar situations and wondered if he would ever find a Fur-ever Family again. Then the most terrible thing happened. Gizmo was caught by horrible people that make dogs fight each other. He was shoved into a dreadful dark place, given hardly any food, and met other suffering dogs with sad tales to tell. His one consolation was meeting a dog that had been on the same plane ride with him from England to Tenerife: Rambo the Rottweiler who is all soft inside of a fierce outside. Luckily, when they were taken to a dog fight, the police arrived, and in the confusion of all those people being arrested, Rambo and Gizmo escaped. Somehow they ended up at the same rescue shelter, where kind people looked after them. Some of Gizmo’s street friends and acquaintances also ended up there, and soon found loving homes. Gizmo waited … and waited … and then one day Nikki and Richard walked into the shelter, and Gizmo’s life changed overnight!

What I Think: I actually wept when I read this book and I think Gizmo was very brave to survive all his real-life traumas. It is so sad that many dogs are abandoned in Tenerife because their owners can’t afford them any longer, or don’t want them. The dog fighting was also very distressing. I can just imagine how all those poor dogs felt, locked in cages, and thinking there was no way out for them. A lovely message in the book was when Gizmo spoke about love and communication between dogs and humans, and how much dogs understand humans, even more than humans could ever know. Another very nice ending to Gizmo’s sad tale is that Gizmo’s terrible experiences also ended up helping other pooches in a strange way.  His new Fur-ever Family are dedicated to helping stray and abandoned dogs in Tenerife. Gizmo’s writing expertise also attracted attention and before you could say, “give a dog a bone,” Island Connections newspaper signed him up to be their intrepid news hound, doggedly sniffing out the breaking news and giving the pooch perspective in his regular column: ‘Life According to Gizmo (It’s a Dog’s Life).’ If you love dogs (and any animals) you will really enjoy Nobody’s Poodle. Gizmo is hilarious and his sayings made me laugh. He is also quite philosophical about life and has some wise words for humans and canines. There are also very cute drawings by a talented artist called Annie Chapman. Hop over to Amazon and get a copy. Just purchasing the book will help other needy dogs because some of the profits from Nobody’s Poodle will be donated to help the animal rescue shelters in Tenerife.

Gizmo doing a bit of swotting on dog stuff.
About the Pawthors:
Nikki’s website is dedicated to finding homes for the island’s abandoned dogs, as well as being a mine of information and an insight into the canine world. Gizmo is the Spokes-Mutt for Tenerife Dogs, following in the paw steps of the late, great Basil, who was the first ambassador for Tenerife Dogs. One of Gizmo’s first tasks was to be the poster pooch for Accion-del-Sol’s educational program. This is the refuge that took Gizmo in and cared for him. Gizmo’s role involves visiting local schools, telling the children about the plight of stray mutts in Tenerife, and teaching them how to look after their pets properly. You can read more about Nobody’s Poodle here.  Besides his many other accomplishments Gizmo is an expert in woofing, sniffing, digging, chasing cats, siestas, and looking cute.


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