The Children’s Book Review | January 7, 2015
DEAN: Hey, sweetie, how does it feel to see your first book, Ask Anna, in print?
ANNA: Better than a bee stinging me on the nose, maybe not as good as being given a membership in the Sausage-of-the-Month Club. I’m a little worried about the celebrity thing, so I’ve ordered a custom disguise that makes me look like a poodle.
DEAN: When did you first realize you had the Dear Abby gene and could give meaningful advice?
ANNA: Remember a year ago, Dad, when you went shopping and came home with those hideous shoes? I just had to pee in them to prevent you from being seen wearing them in public. You went out and bought another pair of the same, and I peed in those, and you decided to take my advice. I realized then that I had something to offer that might help people and dogs. I don’t mean pee. I mean common-sense advice. Who in the world makes lemon-yellow patent-leather platform shoes, anyway?
DEAN: Never mind. I was flashing back to my disco days. Now that you have written a book of advice for dogs, might you write advice for some other species?
ANNA: Cats need a lot of help, but they don’t take advice well. You never know when they’ll respond to a friendly suggestion by clawing your nose. Offering counsel to cats is like being the psychiatrist for Tony Soprano.
DEAN: There’s an article in your book that reveals how people like Noah and Albert Einstein changed history by listening carefully to their dogs’ advice. Are you aware of any more recent famous people who failed to heed the advice of their dogs?
ANNA: Tragically, yes. Mr. Johnny Depp’s dog warned him not to play Tonto.
DEAN: Is there any down side to a dog being a successful author?
ANNA: Carpal-tunnel paw. Hollywood wanting to buy the film rights and recast me as a gerbil to be played by Adam Sandler in a furry suit. Perhaps a catty review here and there. Static electricity from the computer screen standing my fur on end, so that for hours at a time I go around looking as if I stuck my tongue in a wall plug.
ANNA: Hey, Dad, what’s it like having to share the limelight with me now that I’m a published author?
DEAN: I have no jealousy whatsoever. I hope you enjoy a career that is bigger than mine. And don’t worry: I would never—never!—put one of those annoying post-surgery cones around your head for no reason at all except envy or something. And I would never—never!—change your name to Pussycat and make you answer to it.
ANNA: Good to know. Sometimes we go for a ride in the car and you let me drive, and then you insist on sticking your head out the window. Are you mocking me when you do that?
DEAN: No, short stuff. It’s fun! All the great smells!! My ears flapping in the breeze!!! People pointing and laughing!!!!
ANNA: There are days when I worry that you have an identity problem. So you have a new novel coming out in January, Saint Odd, the last of the Odd Thomas novels. Is there a dog in it?
DEAN: One. But he has just a walk-on part, a few pages, nothing more, and he’s not a golden retriever.
ANNA: Then I’ll probably read the new John Grisham instead. Since my book is about advice, is there any advice I’ve given you that you’re sorry you didn’t take?
DEAN: That incident with the angry ferret comes to mind. But they sewed the thumb back on nearly where it was before, and I can still hitchhike with it if I ever need to.
ANNA: Hey, Dad, let me put the loop of my leash around your hand, and I’ll take you for a walk.
DEAN: Great! Can we go to the park? Can we? Can we? Will you throw the ball for me? Better yet, the stick! Will you throw the stick?!?
About the Author
Dean Koontz is one of the world’s biggest selling authors, with 14 number one New York Times hardcover best-selling novels. Sixteen of his books have risen to the number one position in paperback. Koontz lives in Southern California with his wife, Gerda, their golden retriever, Anna, and the enduring spirit of their golden, Trixie.
Anna Koontz is Dean’s remarkable dog, who is poised to follow in her dad’s footsteps with her first advice book for canines. She will soon become the advice columnist for the canine world!
Publisher’s Synopsis: With her superior intellect, sharp wit, a warm and fuzzy heart, Anna Koontz debuts her talent as an advice columnist in her seminal work ASK ANNA: ADVICE FOR THE FURRY AND FORLORN. Some of her best advice: take time daily for ball-chasing and belly rubs – the keys (along with sausages) to true canine joy.
Learn more about the problems that plague Anna’s clients and be inspired by how she counsels them. Also delight in Dean’s just slightly skewed perspective on the importance of dogs throughout history. Without their advice, we humans would be in even worse trouble than we are today. They’re heaven-sent (what is dog spelled backwards?!)
Ages 5-99 | Publisher: Center Street | 2014 | ISBN-13: 978-1455530793
If you like Dean Kootz’s Ask Anna, discover more great doggy books by following along with our articles and reviews tagged with Dog Books.