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Rachel-K
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The Art of Racing in the Rain: First Impressions?

[ Edited ]
Please use this thread to start talking about your early impressions. Did you know you were starting a novel from the perspective of a lab-terrier mix? How did you come to pick up the Art of Racing?
 
What do you make of Enzo and his human family?


Message Edited by rkubie on 06-30-2008 12:19 AM
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libbynana
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Re: The Art of Racing in the Rain: First Impressions?

I love dogs and thought it was an interesting idea to see what happens in a family from the dog's point of view.  I have watched our dogs express themselves so I know what they want at the moment. We also have had more than one dog in the family at a time and sometimes I could see the messages they sent to each other expressed on the face. They would watch the traffic go by in front of the house and talk about it. I just know they did.  Nancy  :smileytongue:
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kiakar
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Re: The Art of Racing in the Rain: First Impressions?

I visited my daughter and her family this weekend and they have a dog. I watched him very carefully to see if he would indicate any wisdom about him, but naw, all I saw was him begging for food and barking at people coming through the door and sniffing for food.
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Wrighty
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animal expressions



libbynana wrote:
I love dogs and thought it was an interesting idea to see what happens in a family from the dog's point of view.  I have watched our dogs express themselves so I know what they want at the moment. We also have had more than one dog in the family at a time and sometimes I could see the messages they sent to each other expressed on the face. They would watch the traffic go by in front of the house and talk about it. I just know they did.  Nancy  :smileytongue:


kiakar wrote:

 I visited my daughter and her family this weekend and they have a dog. I watched him very carefully to see if he would indicate any wisdom about him, but naw, all I saw was him begging for food and barking at people coming through the door and sniffing for food.



Linda, you crack me up! Nah, no wisdom. I hope he's cute because he doesn't sound very smart. :smileywink:

Like Nancy said, I think dogs have very expressive faces. We have a cocker spaniel, a golden retreiver and a chocolate lab. (Yeah, yeah I know - we're crazy.) They all have gorgeous eyes. And all animals have body language. We might not always get it but they do. We don't even always get our own body language!

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GIMI
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Re: animal expressions

Lol!!  I love cocker spaniels - I had one when I was a girl.  Her name was Shy Anne.  She was a little shy until you got to know her.  But man, was she smart.  We taught her to turn in a circle before we'd throw her ball for her.  A year later, she'd drop the ball at your feet and start spinning - circle after circle - until you'd throw the ball for her!  You didn't have to say a thing.  Now, I have my boys.  An English Bulldog, a French Bulldog, and a Pegkingese.  We don't adopt anything that doesn't chase parked cars (and has a smashed in face) lol!  Our English is SO animated - so expressive.  He sighs, he pouts, he cries.  Our Frenchie is the straight man - he uses body language - but his face never changes.  Then our little Peke - shes the talent - she does the tricks.  I swear - I should so write a children's book featuring our motley crew! lol
Beauty is before me and behind me.
Above me and below me hovers the beautiful.
I am surrounded by it, I am immersed in it.
In my youth I am aware of it, and, in old age,
I shall walk quietly the beautiful trail.
In beauty, it is begun,
In beauty, it is ended.
I walk in beauty.
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Garth_Stein
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Re: animal expressions

Try to rephrase the question. Instead of thinking about what a dog would think, try thinking about what *you* would think if you were trapped in a dog's body: you could see everything, but you couldn't talk or participate like you would choose. Remember, Enzo believes he has a nearly human soul....


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kiakar
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Re: animal expressions



Wrighty wrote:


libbynana wrote:
I love dogs and thought it was an interesting idea to see what happens in a family from the dog's point of view.  I have watched our dogs express themselves so I know what they want at the moment. We also have had more than one dog in the family at a time and sometimes I could see the messages they sent to each other expressed on the face. They would watch the traffic go by in front of the house and talk about it. I just know they did.  Nancy  :smileytongue:


kiakar wrote:

 I visited my daughter and her family this weekend and they have a dog. I watched him very carefully to see if he would indicate any wisdom about him, but naw, all I saw was him begging for food and barking at people coming through the door and sniffing for food.



Linda, you crack me up! Nah, no wisdom. I hope he's cute because he doesn't sound very smart. :smileywink:

Like Nancy said, I think dogs have very expressive faces. We have a cocker spaniel, a golden retreiver and a chocolate lab. (Yeah, yeah I know - we're crazy.) They all have gorgeous eyes. And all animals have body language. We might not always get it but they do. We don't even always get our own body language!



Wrighty!    You have THREE DOGS!  You are a very brave soul!  But of course three dogs for three sons right?  I hope they help with them!  
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Re: animal expressions


Garth_Stein wrote:
Try to rephrase the question. Instead of thinking about what a dog would think, try thinking about what *you* would think if you were trapped in a dog's body: you could see everything, but you couldn't talk or participate like you would choose. Remember, Enzo believes he has a nearly human soul....


That's kind of a scary one when you know people who are in a condition where they can't talk or write or communicate well but they know everything going on around them. There is a lot of fear in their eyes. My dad died of ALS. I don't think I can put myself there, even as a dog. I think I prefer looking at a dog, like Enzo and seeing it through his eyes and what I can learn from him. Dog's definitely have their way of communicating things. I am a cat person, they normally just show that, yeah right, you think I am going to do what? look lol. Altho one of my cats talks all the time, even has inflections, up like for questions. She will talk and then you say something then she says something back. I have never had such a talkative cat! The other one never speaks lol. But dogs, they use their tails like crazy, their whole bodies, their ears, speed of moments.

I do not believe a dog or cat understands what we say anymore than we understand their language. For example, I had a friend who absolutely believed cats understood English. I love my cats but I don't believe this. She said, well like when you say, Rowdy, theres a bird at the glass door, without even going over there, he knows what you said and runs to see. I said, nooo he understands it by the way I say it. She said I don't believe that. I said ok watch. I said (in the excited tones that I say it about a bird) Rowdy, theres a whale in the yard! He went running like crazy. We both laughed, well I did LOL.

BUT, I do believe they understand intentions, moods, when we are happy or sad, just as we do with them. So for me, this was a great book to imagine a dog with the wisdom of a man, who just couldnt tell anyone what he thinks, in the way he would dearly love too.
Vivian
~Those who do not read are no better off than those who can not.~ Chinese proverb
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kiakar
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Re: animal expressions



vivico1 wrote:

Garth_Stein wrote:
Try to rephrase the question. Instead of thinking about what a dog would think, try thinking about what *you* would think if you were trapped in a dog's body: you could see everything, but you couldn't talk or participate like you would choose. Remember, Enzo believes he has a nearly human soul....


That's kind of a scary one when you know people who are in a condition where they can't talk or write or communicate well but they know everything going on around them. There is a lot of fear in their eyes. My dad died of ALS. I don't think I can put myself there, even as a dog. I think I prefer looking at a dog, like Enzo and seeing it through his eyes and what I can learn from him. Dog's definitely have their way of communicating things. I am a cat person, they normally just show that, yeah right, you think I am going to do what? look lol. Altho one of my cats talks all the time, even has inflections, up like for questions. She will talk and then you say something then she says something back. I have never had such a talkative cat! The other one never speaks lol. But dogs, they use their tails like crazy, their whole bodies, their ears, speed of moments.

I do not believe a dog or cat understands what we say anymore than we understand their language. For example, I had a friend who absolutely believed cats understood English. I love my cats but I don't believe this. She said, well like when you say, Rowdy, theres a bird at the glass door, without even going over there, he knows what you said and runs to see. I said, nooo he understands it by the way I say it. She said I don't believe that. I said ok watch. I said (in the excited tones that I say it about a bird) Rowdy, theres a whale in the yard! He went running like crazy. We both laughed, well I did LOL.

BUT, I do believe they understand intentions, moods, when we are happy or sad, just as we do with them. So for me, this was a great book to imagine a dog with the wisdom of a man, who just couldnt tell anyone what he thinks, in the way he would dearly love too.


Vivian, that is "so right up the alley"  to the whole truth of the matter. And like you said, this was a "feel
good" book with great insights into the realm of human nature. If you can't use your imagination, why read a great book like this one?
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Re: animal expressions

[ Edited ]
Excellent point, Vivian.

ALS is a terrible disease; I'm very sorry your family had to confront it.

My point was more that my intention wasn't to imagine what a dog thinks, but to imagine what a person would think if he or she were a dog. Which is exactly how you concluded your post.

I stand corrected. And I'm sorry if I overstepped with my generalities. These forums make it so easy to reply too quickly and not fully consider the implications!

Garth

Message Edited by Garth_Stein on 07-02-2008 01:31 AM

Message Edited by Garth_Stein on 07-02-2008 01:32 AM


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Re: animal expressions


Garth_Stein wrote:
Excellent point, Vivian.

ALS is a terrible disease; I'm very sorry your family had to confront it.

My point was more that my intention wasn't to imagine what a dog thinks, but to imagine what a person would think if he or she were a dog. Which is exactly how you concluded your post.

I stand corrected. And I'm sorry if I overstepped with my generalities. These forums make it so easy to reply too quickly and not fully consider the implications!

Garth

Message Edited by Garth_Stein on 07-02-2008 01:31 AM

Message Edited by Garth_Stein on 07-02-2008 01:32 AM


Hey Garth, np :smileywink: , I knew what you meant, and thats why I love your book, its just yeah, thinking of it that way brought memories to me. You cant know that and trust me, I personally know that I write way too much in here sometimes things that arent taken as I meant. It is the one drawback to instant messaging and writing in forums like this. In this sense we are like a dog who can't get his point across or is misunderstood. Mainly because inflections, tilts of the head, facial expressions, tone of voice, can not be relayed in here. I have had to clarify to some of my friends, sometimes when something is a question and not an accusation or something. It is difficult sometimes for people to understand your true meaning in here. Its like Enzo saying his tongue is not developed right to form words in a way they would understand! Our tongue gets lost in here sometimes lol. So please do not worry, you did NOT overstep anything, nor was it too general. It was just me sharing thoughts back, and adding at the end, as you say, what I thought it might be like. And realizing here a bit of the same frustration because our keyboard tongues dont quite get our meanings across like we would like huh. :smileyhappy:
Vivian
~Those who do not read are no better off than those who can not.~ Chinese proverb
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Wrighty
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Re: animal expressions



vivico1 wrote:


Garth_Stein wrote:

My point was more that my intention wasn't to imagine what a dog thinks, but to imagine what a person would think if he or she were a dog. Which is exactly how you concluded your post.

Garth

Message Edited by Garth_Stein on 07-02-2008 01:31 AM

Message Edited by Garth_Stein on 07-02-2008 01:32 AM


It was just me sharing thoughts back, and adding at the end, as you say, what I thought it might be like. And realizing here a bit of the same frustration because our keyboard tongues dont quite get our meanings across like we would like huh. :smileyhappy:

"Keyboard tongues" - what a great term! And it so true of what it's like to write instead of talk.
 
Garth, one of the things that I really enjoyed about this book was that it was a terrific story with great characters. You made them come to life, especially Enzo. And in doing that it does make people wonder about there own pets. I will never think any of my canines are racing pros, not even close, but Enzo was so real that when your own animal repeats a behavior of his it does make you wonder for just a second...is there another meaning behind that? We know better but the magic does make you think about things in a different way. Your writing has made me wonder about many things and for me, that makes an amazing story that I really had fun with. It touched my heart.
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Re: animal expressions


Wrighty wrote:

. Your writing has made me wonder about many things and for me, that makes an amazing story that I really had fun with. It touched my heart.




Excellent! I'm so pleased!

G


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Debbie52
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Re: The Art of Racing in the Rain: First Impressions?

Garth,
I saw "The Art of Racing in the Rain" a couple of weeks ago in Starbucks.  Read the jacket and set it down because I already had a stack of books waiting to be read.  I couldn't get your book out of my mind and purchased it Friday night and finished it today.  Thoroughly enjoyed every chapter and like many of the other bloggers...laughed, cried, and related to so many of the tales or tails.  Would highly recommend the book to any dog owner and anyone who has a friend who is a dog.  Thanks for the hours of enjoyment.
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Garth_Stein
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Re: The Art of Racing in the Rain: First Impressions?



Debbie52 wrote:
Garth,
I saw "The Art of Racing in the Rain" a couple of weeks ago in Starbucks.  Read the jacket and set it down because I already had a stack of books waiting to be read.  I couldn't get your book out of my mind and purchased it Friday night and finished it today.  Thoroughly enjoyed every chapter and like many of the other bloggers...laughed, cried, and related to so many of the tales or tails.  Would highly recommend the book to any dog owner and anyone who has a friend who is a dog.  Thanks for the hours of enjoyment.





That's great. Thank you so much.

G


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MsFrango
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Re: The Art of Racing in the Rain: First Impressions?

My first impressions of this book were totally skewed in its favor. But that's only because of how I learned about the story. Simply put, I double-dog-dare anyone to sit across a table from Garth Stein as he describes a work-in-progress and NOT think it's going to be divine.

Garth, your dad & I had a great time in line at University Barnes & Noble. :smileyhappy: He was the only person buying more copies than I that night, and he kept me laughing while we waited and waited. We finally decided maybe we should just rent a truck and hand them out off the back!

Did I ever tell you I gave a copy to a certain author when I attended his book signing? He said, "THANK you. I was planning to read it. Now I'll read it sooner." hahahaha! No joke, I really did.

Anyway, my final impressions surpassed my first impressions and that was the best gift of all.
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Re: The Art of Racing in the Rain: First Impressions?



MsFrango wrote:
Did I ever tell you I gave a copy to a certain author when I attended his book signing? He said, "THANK you. I was planning to read it. Now I'll read it sooner." hahahaha! No joke, I really did.

(psst. which was very nice of you, btw. esp after you had no choice but to throw that certain author's book at the wall.  deservedly so. just saying. :smileyvery-happy:)

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vivico1
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Re: The Art of Racing in the Rain: First Impressions?

[ Edited ]

twizzle wrote:


MsFrango wrote:
Did I ever tell you I gave a copy to a certain author when I attended his book signing? He said, "THANK you. I was planning to read it. Now I'll read it sooner." hahahaha! No joke, I really did.

(psst. which was very nice of you, btw. esp after you had no choice but to throw that certain author's book at the wall. deservedly so. just saying. :smileyvery-happy:)




great, a group of catfish has arrived.

Message Edited by vivico1 on 07-10-2008 08:54 PM
Vivian
~Those who do not read are no better off than those who can not.~ Chinese proverb
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Re: The Art of Racing in the Rain: First Impressions?

I'm more of a grouper, myself. A welcome is always appreciated, though!
Oh, now who let me have a website?
That's really not a good idea.

Mother Wouldn't Lie!
Does your mother yell at you in your blog, too?
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Garth_Stein
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Re: The Art of Racing in the Rain: First Impressions?



Mags-nificent wrote:
I'm more of a grouper, myself. A welcome is always appreciated, though!





Oh, dear. Girls. Play nice now or I'll send you to the other end of the fish tank....

G


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