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Montgomery (The Things Between Us), a memoirist and executive editor of Tin House magazine, delivers personal essays from writers-including Barry Hannah, Victoria Redel and Denis Johnson (whose essay is written from the point of view of his curiously military-minded bullmastiff, The Colonel)-that capture "the soul essence of dogs" in a way that will touch the hearts of canine owners everywhere. From novelist Tom Grimes's description of his dog Charlie's "zigzagging, semi-Homeric" outings to Lydia Millet's paean to her pug Bug, "a confounding and holy monster," each author presents a memorable dog each possessing much devotion and baffling eccentricity. Other than Millet and Yannick Murphy ("The Sea of Trees")-who presents an ode to Tom, his huge, slobbering and totally good-natured Newfoundland-almost all of the essayists prominently feature descriptions of their dogs' deaths, each of which is affecting but read together can be a profoundly sad experience for those with dogs. This fine collection works best if readers give themselves adequate time for reflection-and sometimes a good cry-between each essay. (Nov.)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.