Come Back, Como: Winning the Heart of a Reluctant Dog
Harper, Nov 2 2010, $13.99
In San Francisco, preadolescent Phoebe Winn harangues her parents Steven and Sally to buy her a dog. Instead, they ignore her pleading and keep buying other pets like goldfish whose life expectancy seemed less than a nanosecond. The couple finally acquiesces to their daughter’s non-stop rant. At the local shelter, they adopt a mutt who they name Como. He has two traits: a need to escape human confinement and a bone marrow loathing of males. Como keeps trying to escape and makes it clear he hates Steven regardless of how hard the man worked at gaining the dog’s trust and affection. When Come escapes and is hit by a car, a bath-robed Steven takes him to the vet as the canine may want out, but is part of the Winn family.
Obviously this warm memoir will remind readers of Marley and Me, and pets of their own (my Max had unrequited love for me, but tolerated my husband, and disliked our son). The pre-Como section is a bit hard on us weak stomach animal lovers as the pets seem to die in rapid prematurity, but adds a sense of genuineness to the true life family drama. Additionally the overall lack of the perspectives of Phoebe and Sally to Como’s canine catastrophes and Steven’s apparently futile efforts to win his heart would have added a wider view of whether the dog will adopt the Winn brood as his “pets”. Still canine lovers will enjoy Como’s tale as Steven tries everything in order to win the heart of a dog that seemingly has imprinted on his DNA to hate him.