Friday Review: The Heart of Dog by Doranna Durgin (and Others)

The Heart of DogThe Heart of Dog by Doranna Durgin

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Apologies for the late posting, but the BaldMan had an appointment at the hospital today, and I had to be there to drive him home. Nothing serious, just one of those preventive things you must get done now and again, but he was knocked out for it, and that means no driving!

I’ve had this book on my Kindle for a good while, but what tends to happen with me is that as I add more and more books to the device, some just get pushed so far out of sight, I tend to forget about them. I was looking for something I could put on my bedside table to read before settling in to sleep and I wanted something that wouldn’t necessarily tempt me to keep going “just a few more pages.” Ah ha! Short stories fill the ticket very nicely.

The book was originally published to help defray the cost of tests and treatment for Durgin’s competition sport beagle, Connery. He has a mystery illness, probably immune system related, the manifests in multiple forms, and testing and medication and all that goes with trying to track down a non-specific issue is not cheap. So, Durgin collected some of her backlist dog stories into a volume, and when the word got out about Connery, more of her dog-loving author friends also contributed to the collection.

The result is a set of sci-fi and fantasy based short stories, all featuring dogs in one way or another. Well, one is not technically a dog as we know dogs, but who’s to say what a dog will become in the future? All are well-written and make for good reading. Some will make you laugh, some will tug at your heartstrings, some will have you holding your breath. All showcase the very essence of dogs and their human (and other) companions.

Readers should be aware that some of Durgin’s stories in the collection are set in worlds belonging to her novels and other works, so there may be some context missing if you aren’t familiar with those. But each story is self-contained and if you can set aside not knowing all the details of the background, you can enjoy each for its own tale.

These stories will appeal to anyone who loves dogs and stories about dogs, and, really, animal lovers everywhere. As ConneryBeagle himself would say, these stories are “Bawhsome!”

View all my reviews


Available now :

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tn_Six of One

A collection of six short fantasy stories set in varied worlds of magic and mayhem. Learn more here.




tn_Survival of the Fittest (Front Cover)

A short novelette set in a dystopian Earth after the final environmental collapse. Sam is a genetically engineered chameleon who may hold the key to mankind’s survival. Learn more here.





In a world reeling under the effects of severe climate change, food shortages are common, and arable farmland is scarce. Unscupulous distributors like Beni Oligowma take advantage of the shortages for their own gain. When a promising new technology for growing food even under the harsh conditions is unveiled, grocery store owner Frank is determined to see that everyone is able to benefit from the results, not just the Benis of the world.
Feed My People is a short story, set in a dystopian science fiction world, and is free. Learn more here


Demon hunters Johnny and Cerise travel to the small town of Carroll Fork where they find a demon-possessed thrift store, a sweet old lady who is more than she seems, and an army of underworld inhabitants. Can Johnny and his trusty yo-yo save the town from a devil of a problem?

Five and Daemon, the Yo-Yo Files #1, is a short novelette in an urban fantasy setting, with elements of the supernatural and humor.  Learn more here


Things have been quiet. No demonic possessions, no otherworldly intrusions, nothing. And then Lucifer shows up in Johnny’s living room, claiming that two archangels are missing, and something is definitely not right in the heavenly- and other- realms. Saying he has nothing to do with it- this time- he asks Johnny and Cerise to help him find out what’s happening, and who is behind the disappearances. While they are trying to do just that, Lucifer is devilnapped by a larger-than-life serpent. He manages to get a clue to Johnny before he disappears. Johnny and Cerise are left to puzzle out the disappearances and try to find the missing angels. Oh, and stop what could mean the ultimate destruction of pretty much everything.

Snake’s Alive, the Yo-Yo Files #2 is an urban fantasy novelette with elements of the supernatural and humor. Learn more here.