Dear Readers,
I'm writing from what we dogs call 'the other side'. Some of you may remember my columns from back when Rae was my boss and I was her agreeable and talented dog.

It's awkward to admit, but my columns got more feedback than hers even though she'd sometimes think mine were silly.

It's a comfort but not surprising that my boss hasn't replaced me. That's not to say I'm irreplaceable, despite that a first-ever dog can't be replaced, then there's my devotion, column writing skills and ability to chase cars.

Rae must be missing me because she seems to be soothing her feelings of loss by reading dog books. Obviously they're excellent, so I thought you'd be interested.


She's also got a dog-themed calendar. February's page, titled: 'Working Dogs of New Zealand', is nonsense. It's an illustration of two dogs wearing business suits (so help me). One says to the other: "So we're gonna go in, make our pitch, and no tail wagging this time, okay?"

Floss. Photo/File
Floss. Photo/File

Ha! Like that's gonna happen. Tail wagging's out of our control.

Okay, back to books. You may have heard of Marley and Me because it's pretty famous and got turned into a movie. It's a great story about a labrador retriever with more beauty than brains (I had equal and high quantities of both) and, also unlike me, no behaviour filter.

Though I do admit I was often overcome by a psychedelic haze. The result: lots of the aforementioned car chasing and, even more fun, sending big bulls in circles.

Rae has also discovered A Dog's Purpose written by a dog whose owner takes the credit - as if that's original. I wrote my first column years earlier than this book was published and probably gave these pooches the idea. Anyway, read it – and any other dog books by W. Bruce Cameron.

Health warning: They might make you cry. My boss thought, 'Nope. Not me'. The first scene that tipped her over was when our hero saved ... Stopping now. Can't tell you the story.

Then she got absorbed in A Dog's Way Home by another dog who contracted Mr Cameron to front the project.

Both are now motion pictures. A Dog's Purpose has been and gone from New Zealand cinemas while A Dog's Way Home is screening here right now. Its heroine is a rescue dog called Bella and, this bit is just lovely, the star of the movie was a rescue dog herself.


Then another book came into Rae's life. This one's funny and is written by a wily dog, Chet, who, amazingly, failed police dog school and a bloke who didn't make the grade as a cop.

Upshot: They paired up as private investigators in Los Angeles. Dog On It by Spencer Quinn is another example of a human taking credit and a dog doing the work. Guess this makes Chet a working dog.

Hmmm. I reckon those working dogs on the calendar are about to pitch their book to a publisher.

Dog On It is the first in a series with such titles as Paw and Order and Scents and Sensibility. Read them and make sure you see the movie A Dog's Way Home. They'll brighten your life which is good for us all, but especially anyone whose devoted dog buddy now lives on the other side.

Your faithful friend, Floss.