This book is about a dog and his owner, members of two different species of beings, how they found each other, learned about each other, and changed each other. The dog, Crispin, is a mixed terrier capable of learning and forgetting, loving and rebelling, pleasing almost everyone he meets, and getting in trouble with those he doesn't like. It is about successfully bringing a dog into a human family and making it into a combined family. It is also about dogs in general: their evolution from wolves to dogs, how they communicate, how intelligent they are, and whether or not they have emotions. I devoted a few chapters to these issues, covering many species of animals, not just dogs, sort of a quickie version of Animal Science 101.
The Number One Dog in Victoria is about my (the author's) dog growing from puppyhood to age nine. It's also about me, the alpha member of his pack, and how he made me more aware of and sensitive to all animals. Crispin, a joy to have around. Early in his life we realized that he is a "chick magnet," having a distinct preference for females, both human and canine. Women of all ages from three to 93 stop us on the street to talk to him and pet him an he is equally attracted to female dogs Crispin can also get into trouble by being overly protective of his family. The book covers both the great and not great aspects of his life with us and of my growing understanding of what makes him tick.
When I first thought of writing a book about him, I thought I would do it as if he were the author. But that presented problems. I could not think of how I could make it sound like a dog's thoughts when some of the things that needed saying are so clearly beyond a dog's ability to comprehend. I compromised by inserting what I call Crispin's Comments, brief statements "by him" about parts of my text. Another decision I had to make was how to present information about