Fetch: How a Bad Dog Brought Me Home

Lambda Award-winning artist Nicole Georges (Calling Dr. Laura) adopted a scrappy Shar-Pei mixed-breed when she was 16 years old. Her boyfriend named the dog Beija because, he said, "It means 'stranger' in Polish." It doesn't, but the name stuck, and so did the pup.

In Fetch: How a Bad Dog Brought Me Home, Georges details her 15-year friendship with Beija, through relocating from Missouri to Oregon, unstable housing, shattered dreams and finding a place to call home. Rescued from the pound, Beija is temperamental, protective and loud, but over time Georges figures out how to care for her. The rules are eventually distilled to these: don't bend at the waist, don't touch her sides, don't pick her up, don't sit near her bed and don't be a man, a child or another dog.

Eventually, in Portland, Ore., Georges cultivates a reputation as a zinester and artist in the punk scene, with Beija always nearby as her erratic sidekick wearing a warning scarf: Don't pet me. Together they weather breakups, coming out of the closet, a stint at an animal sanctuary and the overzealous attention of a pet psychic. In the process, Georges begins to recognize the needs and neuroses she shares with her dog, and how they can better care for one another.

Fetch is beautiful. Georges's artwork is inviting and frank as she tells a touching story of companionship and personal growth. A dog pack of two, she and Beija form a special bond, a friendship that hits home. --Dave Wheeler, associate editor, Shelf Awareness

Powered by: Xtenit