Monday, 22 September 2014

Waiting For Doggo, by Mark B. Mills

The best way of describing this book, I think, is as a romantic comedy but with a male protagonist. Is that a thing? I can't remember ever reading or watching one...It's quite funny, life affirming and pleasantly predicable.

Dan is a middle of the road sort of guy. He's not going to win any awards for being interesting, but he has won some awards for coming up with good advertising slogans. His new age hippy girlfriend (along with her guardian angel- no really) has taken off to an undisclosed exotic location and left him, and his working partner Fat Trev, the design side of things has left him too. What Dan is left with, beside his "I'm leaving you, Dan" letter, is Doggo, an impulse acquisition of his former girlfriend. Possibly the world's cleverest but most aesthetically lacking dog alive.

After a sudden surge of responsibility makes Dan reconsider returning him to Battersea Dog's Home, Dan and Doggo slowly build up their trust in each other and become embedded in each other's lives. Starting their new job at a trendy new advertising company, Dan and Doggo become office favourites (for the most part) and they suddenly find unexpected opportunities (and rivalries) fall into their paths. It makes Dan question for the first time what he really wants to do with his career and with his personal life.

I did really enjoy this book-  it was a funny, gently inspirational story that was really easy to read and had a lot of brilliant messages about responsibility, loyalty and not taking things at their face value. Marley & Me fans are going to go mad for it...I liked how Dan only really got to sort his life out when his girlfriend walked out on him. He learned to turn loss into improvement, and did it in a way that was really positive and beneficial. He gets a new job, several promising romantic prospects and starts to realise what he wants from life. It uses the shallowness of the advertising industry to prove that there's more to something (people, dogs, lifestyles) than meets the eye.

Waiting for Doggo shows how unconditional the love of a good dog is. It shows that dogs will risk life and limb for their owners, and that sort of devotion is rare. I loved that Doggo taught his new owner how to be a better person, even if he did it in a roundabout way.

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