My Life as a Dog | Pushing the Wave

My Life as a Dog

Part 1 of Life as a Dog
Memoir Buy Now
My Life as a Dog by LA Davenport
Who is Kevin? He is earnest yet playful, boisterous yet lazy, a little rough sometimes, extremely direct and always sure of what he wants.

He is also sensitive, kind, supportive and caring, not to mention highly communicative and supremely understanding towards children.

My Life as a Dog is the funny, heartwarming and moving story of a life shared between a black and tan dachshund and his owner.
Told over two days and a weekend drawn from their many years together, it explores how Kevin overcame his cruel upbringing to flower into a self-confident dog that left everyone he met spellbound. And as they grew together, his owner learned to live in the present and navigate the difficult times they faced together.

But with Kevin rejected by the canine world and their connection ever-more profound and symbiotic, the question is: What does he think I am?

Reviews

It renders an effective, novel, and touching portrait of a man's love for his dog . . . often brimming with inventiveness and wit

[It] opens with a brilliantly crafted passage, which captivates the reader and establishes tone and pacing. Elegant and highly descriptive prose portrays the scene and landscape and the physical attributes and behavior of the memoir's central figure. The BookLife Prize
It’s a quick read, it’s a sweet read, it’s exactly the kind of thing to buoy your spirits after a long week (or 2020). I do recommend this for you or the dog lover in your life. The Irresponsible Reader
There is only one word that could describe this book and that is adorable…I really adored this wee book and I adored Kevin and it’s clear his owner also does! Such a sweet book. Books by Bindu
A read to give you that warm feeling inside, especially if read with a canine friend next to you. Nicki's book blog
It made me think of the dogs I had growing up and how much a miss having a dog around. This is a lovely story and a quick read. Sylv.net
. . . an effective, novel, and touching portrait of a man's love for his dog . . . brimming with inventiveness and wit. The BookLife Prize

Background

Kevin came into my life many years ago, so many that sometimes it seems he was always there, just waiting to appear.

Life with him is in some ways simple and straightforward. A man and his dog, so close the dog becomes his owner’s best friend and they do everything and go everywhere together. And a dog he certainly is, with four legs, four paws, a long back (being a dachshund, or sausage dog, if you prefer), a whip-like tail and big black and brown eyes that shine out of his black and tan fur.

Kevin the Dachshund in My Life as a Dog by LA Davenport - 5
He was young when I first met him, maybe a year and a half, and he went from adolescence to adulthood, to wise maturity and then into venerable old age, acquiring along the way grey fur and a world weary attitude to match.

All as expected.

Yet he is so much more than that.

He experienced a brutal and cruel upbringing, left to fend for himself in a household that cared nothing for him and his well-being. He was pleased to leave but it was quickly obvious that, aside from the physical consequences of his hard life, he was emotionally traumatised and depressed. It was several years before he settled down, overcame his past and understand he is loved unreservedly.

And then he stopped being an ordinary dog and became something else entirely. He developed, or perhaps revealed, an emotional depth and ability to communicate that is quite extraordinary.

Kevin the Dachshund in My Life as a Dog by LA Davenport - 2

He doesn’t want to learn tricks, and has no patience with ‘proving himself’, but he wants to be a part of life and express himself and his opinion. And he has a lot of opinions. Not just over food but over where and when we should go for a walk and for how long, as well as what he should eat, and even what he should wear, should the weather demand a coat.

But above all, he has very strong opinions about when we should stop doing all those essential tasks that fill up our days and get down to that most important of things: relaxing. When he decides the day is over, he marshals, cajoles and chivvies, directing proceedings from his distinctly un-elevated position so that I or anyone else stops working, doing the washing up or whatever it might be and join him on the sofa. And when we’ve had enough relaxation, he insists we go to bed.

For someone who easily drifts into working too much and for too long, he is a helpmeet.

Kevin the Dachshund in My Life as a Dog by LA Davenport - 4
And he is, of course, my best friend.

It took a long time to feel I could write about him, and even longer to work out what I would say. And yet earlier this year I found myself planning out a story based on three occasions that occurred over the course of a couple of years.

I even decided I would write it longhand, and bought a leather bound notebook especially. Little by little a structure emerged, and more and more of the stories that make up our life and illuminate the development of his character emerged.

And now here it is, a memoir of our life together and a record of My Life as a Dog.

My Life as a Dog is published by P-Wave Press.

Cover art

Recently, I was going through my old drawings and I thought I’d share with you the original sketch I made of my lovely dachshund, Kevin, which now forms part of the cover of My Life as a Dog.
Cover Drawing for My Life as a Dog by LA Davenport
Fun fact: The drawing was originally published as part of the collection The Marching Band Emporium.
© L.A. Davenport 2017-2024.

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My Life as a Dog | Pushing the Wave