My younger son is slightly obsessed with dogs right now. He’s read dozens of books on dogs, different breeds of dogs, how to care for dogs – all in the hopes of convincing his daddy and I that he needs a dog. He figures if he can find the *perfect* dog, we’ll have to say yes. Sorry bud – it’s not happening.
But his quest for books about dogs brought a delightfully funny book into our lives: The Fast and the Furriest by Andy Behrens.
Twelve-year-old Kevin just cannot live up to his dad’s expectations. He is a sport disaster, despite the fact that his father is a former professional football player for the Chicago Bears. His dog, Cromwell, is equally sedentary. Together, they spend their free time in the basement of their house, gaming with Kevin’s friend Zach.
That all changes one day when Cromwell sees a dog-agility contest on TV while Kevin is changing the channels. Kevin is mystified – why is his dog suddenly trying to leap through the tire swing in the backyard? He gets stuck every time!
Kevin ends up taking Cromwell to Elka’s Paw Patch for training, secretly – and only after being kicked out of football camp. (THAT is a story you’ll want to hear – we laughed so hard!) Suddenly, Kevin is actually jogging with his dog as they train for competitions. Elka is sure of Cromwell’s potential. Kevin? Not so much.
The Fast and the Furriest is the story of Kevin’s transformation from couch potato to dog-agility champ, and the story of his family (particularly his dad) giving up their expectations to support Kevin. I particularly enjoyed the audio version of this book – Sean Runnette has a very credible Chicago accent for Howie, Kevin’s dad. I even finished listening to it without my kids in the van, and didn’t mind listening to it again when they were in the van. (Just don’t tell them I listened to it without them!)
Audiobook: recommended for all ages. Reading: recommended for ages 8 and up.