Fetch: How a Bad Dog Brought Me Home
Fetch: How a Bad Dog Brought Me Home

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Annotation: The author describes her life with her misbehaved dog, a pet that saw her through many changes in life over the course of fifteen years.
Catalog Number: #160017
Format: Perma-Bound Edition
All Formats: Search
Special Formats: Graphic Novel Graphic Novel
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin
Copyright Date: 2017
Edition Date: 2017
Pages: 314 pages
Availability: Available
ISBN: Publisher: 0-544-57783-3 Perma-Bound: 0-7804-1058-0
ISBN 13: Publisher: 978-0-544-57783-1 Perma-Bound: 978-0-7804-1058-9
Dewey: 921
LCCN: 2017285213
Dimensions: 26 cm.
Language: English
Kirkus Reviews
A graphic memoir about a pet dog is more about the artist who lived with her for 15 years or so.A bit of a handful from the start, Beija, the puppy that illustrator Georges (Calling Dr. Laura, 2013, etc.) rescued from the adoption center to give to her high school boyfriend, would become not only her rites-of-passage companion, but also her therapist, antagonist, and muse. She was a difficult dog, in some ways just like her owner. As a small mutt with some Shar-Pei and corgi in her, Beija was uncomfortable around strangers and particularly among men, didn't like unsolicited attention, and tended to attack when she was afraid. As the narrative plays chronological hopscotch back and forth to the author's girlhood before Beija, there's an inference that Georges might not have known how to raise a dog right because she herself hadn't been raised right—that neglect and lack of sensitivity had turned her into "the feral beast of self-defense" whenever the presence of yet another babysitter threatened her. When her boyfriend's parents refused to let the dog live with them, the artist and her family kept her. Eventually, the author, boyfriend, and dog shared an apartment, where the dog presented plenty of complications, from housebreaking to attacking. They did their best to find her another home, but she kept being returned; no one was able to manage her. Ultimately, they moved from the Midwest to Portland, where the chaos of the punk scene seemed more accommodating for Beija. Ultimately, the artist split from her boyfriend, kept the dog, and went through a process of sexual awakening when she went from considering herself bisexual to gay. Georges covers a lot of material in a narrative that could have used a little editing and is accompanied by black-and-white illustrations that might have benefitted from splashes of color. Will appeal to readers who love both graphic narratives and dogs, but it's not as memorable as the author's previous memoir.
Publishers Weekly
-Every dog manual will tell you not to pick the dog hiding at the back of the cage,- writes Georges (Calling Dr. Laura) in her second graphic memoir. Yet, in the midst of her own semi-feral childhood as a high school drop-out, Nicole adopts Beija, a mutt with an overly large shar-pei head, stubby legs, and a long dachshund body. Beija grows into a temperamental and challenging companion, with a hatred of men and a tendency to lunge at small children, and accompanies Nicole and her boyfriend to Portland, Ore., into a punk house full of underground musicians and artists. Fifteen years and many relationships later, Beija is still by Nicole-s side, having taught her the true definition of loyalty, love, and personal boundaries. Drawn in black and white with watercolor washes and elegant hand lettering, this book is an homage to classic zine aesthetics that captures an incomparable friendship. An honest, moving portrayal of the essential bond between humans and animals. Agent: Holly Bemiss, Susan Rabiner Literary Agency. (July)

Starred Review ALA Booklist
*Starred Review* A teenage Georges (Calling Dr. Laura, 2012) surprises her boyfriend with a dachshund puppy. In four words, it doesn't go well. They name the adorable, neurotic mutt Beija and love her beyond reason. Unfortunately, the list of Beija's enemies starts with the teens' parents and grows by many unhappy landlords and neighbors during several subsequent failed attempts to find Beija a better home. But that settles it: Georges and Beija are a team, and they will be one another's constant for the next 16 years. In telling her dog's story, Georges tells others of a feral childhood that left her craving stability, of discovering her creative voice and her career, of love and relationships, of learning empathy from books. She fights for Beija, protects her, and together they grow up. Georges in her cat-eye glasses and changing hairstyles and capricious, sweet-faced, small-bodied Beija appear in most drawings, while occasional text on ribboning scrolls heralds comic and serious realizations ("Canine Non Grata," or "I believed Beija was my horcrux"). This dual bildungsroman of a woman and her pet is a touching tale of how a friend, even a difficult, four-legged one, can become a kind of home to live in.
Reviewing Agencies: - Find Other Reviewed Titles
Starred Review ALA Booklist (6/1/17)
Kirkus Reviews
Publishers Weekly
Reading Level: 9.0
Interest Level: 9+

From an award-winning artist, a memoir of life with a difficult, beloved dog that will resonate with anybody who has ever had a less than perfectly behaved pet When Nicole Georges was sixteen she adopted Beija, a dysfunctional shar-pei/corgi mix--a troublesome combination of tiny and attack, just like teenaged Nicole herself. For the next fifteen years, Beija would be the one constant in her life. Through depression, relationships gone awry, and an unmoored young adulthood played out against the backdrop of the Portland punk scene, Beija was there, wearing her "Don't Pet Me" bandana. Georges's gorgeous graphic novel Fetch chronicles their symbiotic, codependent relationship and probes what it means to care for and be responsible to another living thing--a living thing that occasionally lunges at toddlers. Nicole turns to vets, dog whisperers, and even a pet psychic for help, but it is the moments of accommodation, adaption, and compassion that sustain them. Nicole never successfully taught Beija "sit," but in the end, Beija taught Nicole how to stay.

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