July 2, 2020

Book Review- Woof

Woof! Book Cover Woof!
Robert Freeman
Page Publishing, Incorporated
April 30, 2019

Robert Freeman is a Harvard summa, a Princeton PhD, and a Steinway artist. Over forty-two years of marriage to his wife, Carol, he has been the proud master of seventeen tenured dogs-eleven of them golden retrievers, six of them American dogs. Having made tenure at MIT, he directed the Eastman School of Music for twenty-four years, presided over the New England Conservatory for three, and served as dean of the College of Fine Arts at the University of Texas at Austin for seven. This book develops the joys of pet ownership together with the responsibilities that should accrue to those who take on that responsibility.

This is a slim volume of just 55 pages, with several photos of some of the 17 dogs that shared their lives with the author and his wife. It’s a little memoir, well-written, with no real point besides reminding the author of the good times he and his wife had with the dogs. With that many dogs, he surely had many humorous or poignant anecdotes he could have shared, that would have made the dogs seem more real to the reader, but instead it’s just a brief catalog of the dogs and how they acquired them.  Freeman is an accomplished musician and directed the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, NY for 24 years. There are many musical references in the book, so if you’re also a musician, you’ll appreciate these, otherwise, they won’t mean much.

review by

Susan M. Ewing
Past president, Cat Writers’ Association
Past secretary, Dog Writers Association of America
Award-winning author, 14 animal books
“Cats! Train Your Owner” (Flash Cards)
Numerous magazine articles
Pet columnist

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