I’m no expert on puppy care, but I like to learn. I discovered a book originally written in the 1970s full of practical advice, aimed mostly towards a child. Before I continue, my disclaimer is that my expertise in dogs is limited to where you can find the cutest dog pendants , or what bulldog charm I think is most attractive! I’ve admitted my ignorance, but I’m a pretty good researcher, and besides, I’d be disappointed if any of my readers adopted a puppy based on my advice alone.

So if you don’t mind reading ideas coming from someone whose personal dog shopping is limited to what site has the best dog jewelry , then continue on.

It’s always refreshing to me to read something written before everybody got so politically correct and had to start tiptoeing. When I found this particular book I thought it was refreshingly straightforward

One of the sanest things presented in my “new” favorite animal care book, titled “Great Pets!” and written by Sara Stein is that puppy choice should be based on the home life of the little fellow or gal in question. In other words, unless you are able to provide a loving home for a dog possibly emotionally disabled by having been raised in a puppy mill or abused by former owners, then the best choice is one from a loving home. I know it is a hard thing to swallow. All of us want to give the abused dog a nurturing home, and often that works out very well.

But Ms. Stein makes the point that dogs live for quite a while, and it could be a tough thing for a 10 year old child to be saddled with an unstable dog until he or she reaches the ripe old age of 21.

There’s even advice on feeding, which, as she points out, is one of the easiest things a child can take over in the care of a dog. She tells you how often a puppy needs to eat, how to tell when the number of meals can be reduced, and what to feed it. She even gives detailed instructions on how to deal with a dog that growls when someone gets too close to its food. Good advice aplenty.

The problems of neutering your pet are addressed, something everyone has to confront, no matter what age. I love her no-nonsense approach to this topic.

I enjoy a book with a sense of humor, and this one isn’t only about the practicalities of raising animals, but the joy and laughter that always seems to go with having animals in the house. As with all things, a good sense of humor can get you through a lot of tough times.

By the way, I do believe this book has been updated since its original publication, so it’s quite possible that the things I’m mentioning have been altered somewhat in her latest edition.

If I were looking to add a dog to my family’s roster of pets, I could do worse than follow the advice in this wonderful book.