Thursday, March 20, 2008

The War On Dogs In Venice Beach-Ronald Alexander

The War On Dogs In Venice Beach
Ronald Alexander; illustrated by Nathan Geare
Hollyridge, 2008, $19.95
ISBN: 9780979958809

In Venice Beach, California the owners of beachfront property are livid as the once immaculate sand and spotless parks are being destroyed by dogs. One cannot walk let alone jog without stepping on canine crap. Pet owners seem indifferent to the plight of the affluent while the wealthy homeowners demand the city takes the dogs and their owners to the pound.

LAPD Police Sergeant Smelzkoff is assigned the canine caper case. He feels this is fitting as his life has been one toilet bowl of sh*t after another. Before he begins in total earnest THE WAR ON DOGS IN VENICE BEACH, he is in Manhattan helping his gay son Bobby pack to move in with him in California. Bobby, who suffers from HIV positive, and his dad may love one another, but the continent separation was good for both of them. In Venice Beach, Smelzhoff’s campaign is one of stealth and precise military operations as he and his animal control squad arrest offenders (human and dog – no prejudice with this group) who leave their dogs to wander the beach unleashed or fail to pick up after their canine takes a crap. Meanwhile Bobby finds his dad’s sh**ty case amusing and with the help of his father’s stripper girlfriend Violet writes an opera that satires the war on dogs.

This is a terrific humorous parody on societal struggles between no compromise groups; in this case dog owners and beachfront property owners as the former claim pooping is God's natural way of fertilizing while the latter insists not for their feet. Fans will appreciate this well written satire that spoofs “ism” wars culminating with Bobby writing Salami the opera lampooning how far his once proud John Wayne like dad has fallen when he became the five star general leading THE WAR ON DOGS IN VENICE BEACH.

Harriet Klausner

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