Are you a sailor who routinely undergoes the substantial effort required to take to your dog or cat sailing with you? If you answered yes to this question, then Wet Pets and Other Watery Tales is a book for you. Animal lovers who enjoy the antics of our furry friends will also find enjoyment in this book. Wet Pets and Other Water Tales, edited by Hazel Hitson Weidman and Jacqueline Korona Teare, is a collection of 50 short stories about pets (mostly dogs, some cats, and one or two ducks) who “share water locations, waterborne adventures or have a special liking for water.”
Proceeds from the sale of this book benefit the No-Kill Animal Shelter operated by the Camden-Rockport Animal Rescue League. Owners, who love animals and cherish the way they enrich their lives, write the 50 stories. “Owners” may be the legal status for people in the people-animal relationship, but these pets are actually full status members of the family. Pets are the stars of the book but, through the eyes and experiences of the writers, the reader gets a good idea of what day-to-day life is like in a rural town in Maine by the ocean. The visual scenes depicted by some of the better writers, the frustrations and joys of getting a pet used to sailing, and the far-ranging personalities of the pets make this book worth reading.

Having spent many hours with my beagle-pointer dog, Whidbey, in, around, and on the waters of the Puget Sound, I could easily identify with many scenes in the book. The activity described by one author had particular meaning: “My dog and I discovered magic places in our bay and nearby islands, with soft moss underfoot, the sweet smell of balsam, the crash of waves against the rocks and the cries of gulls, tern and osprey.” In the 14 1/2 years, my dog has been with me, we have likewise discovered many of our own magic spots. This book has special meaning to me as my dog is well into the twilight years of his life and our active life together has been replaced by time at home and providing him with comfort and care. Reading these stories brought me back to the days when a stick or tennis ball on the shores of Puget Sound meant hours of fun and companionship under a blue summer sky. Wet Pets is not a book you want to read in a two or three hour setting. Rather, it should be viewed as a plate of 50 hors d’ouvers, which you can sample until your hunger for furry companionship is satisfied. And when hungry again, return and sample some more. Nicely done and done for a good cause. Enjoy it!

Wet Pets and Other Watery Tales edited by Hazel Hitson Weidman and Jacqueline Korona Teare (Trafford Publishing, 2003)