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“Flawed Dogs” inspired by photo of Vick dog

flaweddogsBerkeley Breathed says the inspiration for “Flawed Dogs,” his children’s book turned illustrated novel, came from a photo he saw of a Michael Vick dog taken in by Best Friends, the animal sanctuary in Utah.

“The book happened because I came across both a picture and a quote at about the same time — a picture of one of Michael Vick’s fight dogs. It was set to be put down, but a shelter in Utah decided to take the dog and a few others at the same time and try to rehabilitate them,” Breathed said in a CNN interview at his home in Santa Barbara.

“This was the first time the dog had ever received any affection in its life. … It’s the most moving picture of a dog I’ve ever seen, having gone through an impossible transition and fallen back to where dogs naturally go, which is just loving people.”

Breathed, the Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist behind “Bloom County” and “Opus,” has a pit bull of his own, Pickles, one of several dogs he and his wife Jody have rescued over the years.

In “Flawed Dogs: The Shocking Raid on Westminster” (Philomel Books), the hero is a resilient dachshund with a soup ladle for a leg.

The dog, named Sam the Lion, goes through many travails in the book, the opening scene of which is a dog fight. From there, he gets shot at, ends up in a research labs, and occupies some pretty bad shelters — before meeting up with his nemesis, an evil poodle named Cassius, at the Westminster Dog Show.

The book is intended for children 8 to 12.

Comments

Comment from bluhawkk
Time October 15, 2009 at 7:35 am

Bot it……for myself.

Comment from bluhawkk
Time October 18, 2009 at 6:43 am

Book might be for 8-12 year olds but the first 2 pages had me blubbering. Had to go to the end to be assured all turns out ok.

This is Bambi and Black Beauty all over again.

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