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Midwest Book Review Kirkus

Midwest Book ReviewMidwest Book Review (see below)

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The Midwest Book Review, July 2014 (see Buehle's Shelf)

"Dogs Don't Look Both Ways: A Primer on Unintended Consequences is based on the personal memories of a husband, wife, and their beloved chocolate Labrador Joey... and the colorful storytelling might best be dubbed "reality-based fiction". The exuberant, loving and trusting personality of Joey shines through, as Dogs Don't Look Both Ways is narrated from his canine perspective. Dog lovers everywhere will see a little bit of Joey in their own pets and their daily lives, in this wonderful and heartfelt reminiscence." 

Just Labs Magazine Online Feature:
Dogs Don't Look Both Ways

A Book Review

Dogs Don't Look Both WaysH umans, it's well known, have a deep fondness for their dogs, and we can only infer through a dog's body language how they feel about us. There is no doubt as to the deep fondness and felicity Joey feels about his family and his life as a Lab in Dogs Don't Look Both Ways. Author Jane Hanser gives us a Lab with a voice, a dog with character – and having character is a must for a Labrador.

Written from his perspective, Joey is thoughtful and intelligent, full of observations about his surroundings and the people around him. But he's always caught between two worlds – the world in which he lives where there are rules; and the world from which he comes, the collective history and tendencies of the Labrador retriever breed that run through his veins: "My ancestors would have told me to obey my parents. But instead they entreated me, 'Go. Go. Explore and seek opportunity.' I offered no resistance to the call. It was worth a good try."

Hanser gives us a story that all dog owners – especially Lab owners – will understand. It's often a battle of wills, a battle between species, in Dogs Don't Look Both Ways. But as all dog owners know, when the players rest, time and again these dogs are taken back into our homes, given a comfy place by the fire, and forgiven their misdeeds, behavior chalked up mostly to "being a Lab." Life with a Lab is a life that plainly shows how precious, unique, and real the bond is between man and dog, a bond that is at the center of everything.

Life wouldn't be the same – or the bond truly tested – without a few adventures thrown in. Joey takes us on those adventures in an enjoyable, easy to read, pithy personal exposé of being a Labrador.—Jill LaCross, Just Labs

The Children's Book Review

With a humorous voice and multiple anecdotes, Joey, a chocolate Labrador who enjoys digging and escaping beyond his home's fence, provides an entertaining narration for both children and adults...

Jane Hanser is the author behind Joey’s endearing voice and she also happens to be Joey’s mom. Hanser... weaves in knowledge about different dog breeds and pedigree that really help readers to grasp Joey’s traits and that also ultimately lead to a greater understanding between Joey and his pet owners.

Dogs Don’t Look Both Ways is a well‐edited book and is a great choice for soon­to-be pet owners, as well as dog lovers of all ages. Any pet owner that has ever nursed an ill dog will have full appreciation for Hanser's retelling of her family's personal journey.. through Joey's voice. Young pet owners with dogs suffering from injuries may also find solace and courage within the pages.

Kev's Great Indie Authors

The story is excellently penned, grammatically sound, and structurally brilliant. As one learns more about Joey, and his antics, one simply becomes more and more drawn into his story. One thing that really stood out for me, as a person who loves both dogs and cats, but has not taken the challenge of fathering a Labrador, is the informational side of the story about the importance of proper care and understanding of the labrador, and their characteristics among other things... It’s a very enjoyable and educational read for persons both large and small. Jane Hanser’s strong teaching background most certainly shines through. I can see why this work is a 2015 B.R.A.G. MEDALLION HONOREE for Literary Fiction.

An exceptional work… Five Stars.


Words a Plenty (click for full review)

Dogs Don’t Look Both Ways: A Primer on Unintended Consequences is about a very special and unique Labrador full of vivacious energy and curiosity that is guaranteed to get him into trouble.  Told from the view of Joey Hanser, the beautiful chocolate Lab, we are regaled with moments that make you tremble from laughter and others that make you gasp in fear.

Told from Joey’s perspective, the reader is given insight in the relationship between him and his parents, what his heart desires, and why he might be so inquisitive...  This is a delightful story...  It is inevitable that tears will flow but there will be greater amounts of laughter and there will be those “duh” moments that all dog owners will face palm themselves and so “that’s what he/she wanted.”

Not only does Hanser provide vivid and rich detail but she pulls on your heart strings.  You can almost feel the same pain and joy they have experienced because of Joey.   This was a very well written book told in a style that is both simple and easy to read.  The reader has no choice but to connect with Joey as he is persistent and a joy. This book resonates with his personality and innocence.  Once you begin reading this book you will have difficulty putting it down.

Hopelessly Devoted Bibliofile

To anyone who has ever had strong-minded, adorably frustrating dog, this book is for you. What you'll find is the true story of Joey, the dog, and his humans. I'm not generally a fan of books told through the eyes of pets, but Joey is hard to resist. There's such joy in reading a story told through such a curious narrator's eyes. I couldn't help but smile as his endless energy caught me up in its web. Ah, to be a dog.

It might sound odd, but if dogs were able to read then this would be a book they'd definitely need on their to-be-read pile. Joey tells us his life story, and the way that it reads is almost like a cautionary tale. From the moment of his birth, to the tragic accident that almost ended everything, his whole existence is laid out on these pages. For those of us who are human readers, this is a story that holds much of the truth of owning a pet. That our love for them knows no bounds. That we might try, and fail, to keep them safe sometimes. That even if something tragic happens, that same love has the ability to see us through.

It was an enjoyable experience to see the world as Joey did, and I'm glad I was given that chance! This probably would have resonated with me a lot more if I actually had a pet at this time. Growing up we were never without a dog, but I've lost touch with that since I became an adult. If I can say anything though, it's that this book really makes me want that companionship back in my life.

The Avid Book Collector

Joey Hanser is a very handsome Labrador Retriever who has endless amounts of energy and curiosity. His need to explore outside his boundaries offered him opportunities to meet new friends (and get treats!), but it also led to a horrible accident that could have had a sad ending. But with Joey's determination and the love and support of his parents, Joey learns that maybe, just maybe, some of those rules are important and if the rules are broken, then there are consequences.

All dogs need rules and boundaries set early in their life, but sometimes whether it is because of the breed or just plain stubbornness, those rules get ignored by our pets. This book really is a primer on a dog's life and what happens when they don't listen to their parents rules. If dogs could read, then this book should be mandatory for them. For the parents of dogs, this is also a must read! It is very inspiring and also very insightful!

This was such an awesome book! It was a pure joy to get a glimpse of Joey's world and his endless curiosity of the world around him. Written from Joey's point of view provided a very unique reading experience that was both fun and insightful. Joey's words and thoughts are exactly what I think my pets would say if they could talk to me. I want to give Joey's parents kudos for being so patient with him and understanding of his need to explore the world around him and I also want to give kudos for them being there for Joey when his explorations went horribly bad. Joey is an awesome dog and everyone should read his story. I don't normally give spoilers, but this one does have a happy ending, so no tissues are necessary! So go ahead and grab this beautifully written book, get comfortable and enjoy a few hours in Joey's world. You will not be disappointed!

This one...  is Roscoe approved for dogs (and their humans) of any age!

Dog Evals (Skye Anderson) Click to read the complete review
Generation Wags: Book Reviews by Skye

I LIKE it!
I like just about everything about Dogs Don’t Look Both Ways! I like the size, I like the title, I like the author’s first name (same as my middle name), I like the photos (very professional), I like the varying lengths of the nearly two dozen chapters, and I like the stories of Joey’s life. I like the cover: I even like Joey’s collar - Joey is so regal looking. I really like the title!... I like the dedication... I even like the Foreword, by Joey’s emergency veterinarian.

Will the Real Author Please Stand Up?
I know a lot of readers don’t like reading books that dogs have supposedly written. But I do. Perhaps I have only read those well-done, well-written books but I like getting into the mind of a dog to learn what makes him tick, what tickles his funny bone, how he observes us humans. What he thinks about and what he doesn’t. Dogs is written by Joey, the chocolate lab, though his person’s name appears on the cover as the author. Dogs is so well written that I invite those skeptical dog-author dislikers to check this book out. You might just love it like I did. ...

 Suspenseful Beach Read
Joey is a dog who never grew up though his command of the English language is commendable and his gift of gab is hilarious. You simply have to smile at Joey, his life, tribulations and antics all.

Pam's Nook (Pam's Book Reviews)

Dogs Don't Look Both Ways by Jane Hanser is an absolutely delightful story of her adventurous dog. The story is told by Joey himself...    It does not just relate Joey’s escapades; it is a heart-warming tale of the love and dedication between a dog and his people (Mum and Dad) It is also very suitable for children...   Jane’s writing is as enjoyable as Joey’s story. While I am certain Joey dictated the story to Jane, it was Jane’s writing skills that polished the book... Beautiful and clear descriptions associated with scenery, change of seasons and all the sights, sounds and (because it is told by Joey) smells of Joey’s world have the reader right there in Boston with Joey and his Mum and Dad...   In addition to being a good read, as a former Belgian Shepherd Breeder I believe this book should be essential reading for anyone who has or is planning to buy a working dog or high energy breed. It demonstrates the importance of understanding their personality, much of which is passed down through the breed lines...  It was only through their understanding of the Labrador breed (evident when Joey talks about his ancestors) in addition to their boundless love for and dedication to their beautiful dog that Joey’s parents were able to get him through the trauma of his accident and resolve his seemingly limitless desire to seek out more fun, games and new friends...  I was so taken by Joey that I checked out the website and picked up Joey’s blog. There is more good advice about understanding a dog’s body language among the posts.

...Thank you Jane Hanser for sharing your wonderful Joey with all your readers.

Long and Short Reviews

The growth in the bond between Joey and his family is amazing to watch. Animal lovers are sure to enjoy this heartfelt story of an amazing dog. Dogs Don’t Look Both Ways is a wonderful glimpse into ten years in the life of a delightful dog.   Please click here to read the full review.

Book Pleasures

(T)his (book) displays the love a dog wants to show his masters.   Click here to read the full review.

Readers Favorite   

Hanser’s story is charming and well-written, and, most importantly, it’s an insightful look into the thought processes of a highly intelligent and resourceful dog breed. ...Dogs Don’t Look Both Ways is highly recommended. Click here for full review.