Munier's amusing tale begins with a trip to the Puppy Palace and the acquisition of a beagle named Freddie (reduced from $500 to $250). We learn that beagles are "prized for their superior noses and unparalleled skills as rabbit hunters," but that these skills can serve as a "significant distraction during instruction." Freddie's tale wags between doggy destruction and doggy training, leaving a trail of self-help axioms and expected but nonetheless touching moments along the way, as when Isis, a long-time family cat and Freddie-favorite, dies, leaving Freddie and the family to mourn. The book's biggest fumble is its focus on Munier's own dogged pursuit of a mate; readers must endure at least four failed relationships. An animal behaviorist's statement to Munier that Freddie's aggressive behavior may be attributed to the absence of a man in the house doesn't help; Freddie takes his alpha role seriously, a charming trait on paper but not so wonderful when male visitors come to call. Readers who can overlook Munier's manhunt will enjoy this tale of a half-price dog who helps turn a new house into a home.
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