Saturday, March 13, 2021

Random Things Tours - Dog Days


TITLE: Dog Days
AUTHOR: Ericka Waller
PUBLISHER: Doubleday
PUBLISHING DATE: March 11, 2021
PAGES: 368


George is very angry. His wife has upped and died on him, and all he wants to do is sit in his underpants and shout at the cricket. The last thing he needs is his cake-baking neighbour Betty trying to rescue him. And then there's the dog, a dachshund puppy called Poppy. George doesn't want a dog - he wants a fight. 
Dan is a counsellor with OCD who is great at helping other people - if only he were better at helping himself. His most meaningful relationship so far is with his labrador Fitz. But then comes a therapy session that will change his life. 
Lizzie is living in a women's refuge with her son Lenny. Her body is covered in scars and she has shut herself off from everyone around her. But when she is forced to walk the refuge's fat terrier, Maud, a new life beckons - if she can keep her secret just a while longer... 
Dog Days is a novel about those small but life-changing moments that only come when we pause to let the light in. It is about three people learning to make connections and find joy in living life off the leash.

MY THOUGHTS: Going into Dog Days I'm sure I expected a book completely different than the one I got.  I often thing of dog-centric titles as fun, chick-lit romances or quirkly talking/thinking pets solving mysteries or getting into trouble.  You will find none of that in Waller's book.  Don't get me wrong, it wasn't a disappointment at all, but I did find it somewhat depressing at times which is also okay.

In Dog Days we find meet three different individuals who are not friends but whose paths do cross from time to time because of their dogs.  And this book goes to show that I do not necessarily have to like the characters to enjoy the book because honestly, besides the dogs, my favorite character was a dead woman.  George is mad because his wife died without telling him, Lizzie is trying to escape an abusive existence and Dan is exploring real love for the first time in his life.  And each of them just happen to also be loved by a dog - whether they want to or not.

As I mentioned, these are extremely likable people.  The scary thing for me was the fact that I actually liked George the most and he was probably the worst.  He is mad at the world.  He is mad at his wife for dying, and he certainly is mad because she bought them a puppy before she died.  But the relationship between him and Ellen is truly beautiful and probably spoke to me the most.  Only in George's grief does he finally realize how much he loved his wife.  And Ellen was a gem.  Not only did she put up with possibly the world's grumpiest man, she anticipated his every move after her death and for months he found love notes around their home and throughout the town.

I enjoyed spending time with these three characters.  In a way, each were healed by the love of their dogs.  They found solace and comfort in their snuggles and affection.  It's try that at the end of the book I found myself saddened, but I don't regret reading the book and I would recommend it for people looking for a tale of love, loss, grief and rebirth.

RATING: 4 Paws

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: ERICKA WALLER lives in Brighton with her husband, three daughters and pets. Previously, she worked as a blogger and columnist. Dog Days is the sum of everything she has learned about love, loss and the healing power of dogs. Twitter: @erickawaller1 Instagram @erickamary

ERICKA WALLER’S NOTE ON DOG DAYS: “One of the inspirations for Dog Days came from walking my own dogs. It’s this weird alternative universe - dog owners could by psycho killers, but we approach them alone on windy beacons, because they have a dog. Dog owners might be battered wives, addicts, cheaters, thieves. 

I also wanted to use dogs to reflect how we, as humans, are consumed by things we cannot control or change. Dogs live from one falling leaf to the next. Their emotions are simple. I wanted to set them against the lives of three characters battling with real life issues such as depression, anxiety, OCD and grief. 

I wanted to explore how people force themselves into a shape we can understand, that goes along with the stories we tell ourselves. I didn’t want to write a romance, but I did want the book to be suffused with different kinds of love: platonic, sexual, maternal. 

I wanted to explore how women are perceived by other women and the way we need to force them into a shape we can understand, that goes along with the stories we tell ourselves. Everything is always about how it makes us feel, so we alter reality or bend truths to make them fit in how we need the world to be.” 


  1. I haven't even read the book but I'm feeling so sorry for George😥 This sounds really good.

    1. It was a really good book and I'm glad I read it. George can be awful at times but I couldn't help but like him!

  2. Great review! I think I would like this but it might be too sad for me at the moment.

    Anne - Books of My Heart

    1. You definitely need to find the right time to read it.

  3. Huge thanks for the blog tour support x

    1. Any time. You know me and my love of dog books!

  4. I'm so happy that you enjoyed this. The author is the cousin of somebody very close to me so it was really lovely to read your thoughts.
    Lynn :D