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Family Ties

January 30, 2011 | Comments: 0 | Views: 152

Plaskin, Glenn. Katie Up and Down the Hall. Center Street. 2010. 272 pages.

The gangly left-over runt of Sweet Sue's litter, bred by Bob and Helen Pierce and whelped by Tom and Betty Campbell, was determined at six weeks old not to be show quality. Twiggy, as she was nicknamed, traveled from her home on the 'The Farm' (P'Gell's Kennel), in Mount Laurel, New Jersey headed for life in a high- rise apartment in lower Manhattan. Battery Park City, the tip of the megalopolis, has a unique small town quality which made the adjustment easier. Plaskin, with the nervousness of an expectant Dad, settled in with Katie, newly named after Katherine Hepburn.

The plucky buff cocker spaniel puppy grounded Glenn Plaskin, celebrity interviewer to the stars. The author describes the book as the most personal book he has written. It is a memoir of how a dog tied together an eclectic group of neighbors to form a family.

Gregarious by nature and with the aplomb of her namesake, Katie soon found doors opened to her. Pearl called 'Oldest', the grande dame of the hallway, and her good-natured husband Arthur doted on the pup. Soon three-year-old Ryan, 'the kid', and his single dad, John, joined the pack. Pearl's kitchen table became home base, where meals were shared, advice given and bonds nurtured. Katie's life was filled with races down the hall, costume parties and hobnobbing with the rich and famous.

The market is swamped with plethora of great books about canine companions targeted for a dog loving audience. What makes Glenn Plaskin's different from John Grogan's Marley & Me and Mark Levin's Rescuing Sprite is that Marley and Sprite are dogs that join an already formed family. Katie, by accident or design, selects her pack.

The book is easy reading and moves at a fast clip. Inside the cover are snapshots which create the intimate feeling of sharing a family album. Katie teaches the author, his friends and the reader about the ties that bind a family together and a love which transcends death and separation. Not bad, for a Jersey girl.

***** 5 bones

Dr. Rosemary Biggio 1817 Forest Drive Williamstown, N.J. 08094 856-740-4889 856-740-0329(fax)

Born in NY, Retired teacher, Writer of fiction and nonfiction

Source: EzineArticles
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