Bibliophile | Life on the Leash shows love to our four-legged friends

Life on the Leash
by Victoria Schade
Allen & Unwin

Cora Bellemy gave up a fast-track corporate job run Top Dog, her own dog training business. The 28 year old thrives on organization and has a knack for predicting doggy behaviour. Recovering from a recent break-up, her skills at predicting human behavior are not as fine-tuned but she is content to have her rescue pit-bull as the main man in her life for the time being.

Training a dog is actually a bit more complicated than fixing a malfunctioning piece of household equipment and humans that are attached to the animals often provide more of a challenge than their four legged companions. Cora has her Boozehounds – a support group of dog trainer friends who meet every month, easily distinguishable by the amount of dog hair on their clothes.

Cora is quite in tune with her clients as there are long descriptions as to the décor or their houses, the labels of their clothing and their body language. Somehow she doesn’t seem as intuitive when it comes to choosing between the lovable geeky Eli Crawford who is always there to help her and the irresistibly charismatic Charlie Gill. Fortunately any amorous connection takes a back step as she gets on with the business of training dogs – and their owners.

Cora believes in doing no harm and helping the helpless, which is why the target of the vitriolic hate is ‘The Doggie Dictator’ who has a television program where he trains the dog out of every dog he works with, and the world applauds him for it. When she auditions for a television show based on positive dog training, Cora doubts her abilities but she does want to be able to show how to train with empathy and compassion rather than barely camouflaged abuse.

This romantic comedy is probably more about falling in love with those who have four legs and there are actually many great tips from author Victoria Schade who has worked both in front of and behind the camera on Animal Planet, published two books on training dogs and won awards for her DVD on puppy training New Puppy! Now What?

Lezly Herbert

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