Library Moments: Dog Days


Hank (Photo credit: Sherrill Sherwood)

Bessie Sullivan, County Librarian: Hello, I’m Bessie Sullivan from the Haliburton County Public Library and this is Library Moments. Once a week some of us from the library will come and talk about books, upcoming events, or the services we offer at the library.

The “Dog Days” of summer are the hottest, most sultry days of summer, coinciding with the rising, at sunrise of Sirius, the Dog star in the constellation Canis Major.  There are no actual dates associated with this time, but they always seem to be the hottest part of the summer.

The dog days are literally coming to Head Lake “Bark” in Haliburton Village on August 15th.  Winterdance is sponsoring the Cottage Country Dog Festival. This is the second year the festival has occurred and it is sure to delight both the canines and their human friends.

Today on Library Moments, Sherrill Sherwood, Erin Kernohan-Berning, and I will each talk about a dog book we have enjoyed.

the bravest dog ever baltoSherrill Sherwood, Collections Development: Natalie Standiford’s editor grew up in New York City and as a child played on the statue of the Siberian Husky dog Balto. Wanting to know more about Balto, Natalie’s editor asked her to write about the famous sled dog. The result was The Bravest Dog Ever: the true story of Balto, a nonfiction easy reader for ages 5-8. The sculpture in Central Park honors the sled dog who saved Alaska’s children from a diphtheria epidemic by delivering medicine over the frozen tundra. In January 1925, Alaskan doctors feared a deadly diphtheria epidemic would spread among the children of Nome. Medicine to stop the outbreak existed, but doctors needed to travel nearly a thousand miles to Anchorage to retrieve it. More than 20 sled teams coordinated to make the trip through blinding snow and sub-zero temperatures. Led by Balto, the team covered 53 treacherous miles back to Nome in 20 hours. Newspapers and radio around the world followed the trek, fascinated by the brave team whose efforts eventually helped end the epidemic.

Also in dvd format, the movie Balto features the voices of Kevin Bacon and Bridget Fonda. Both the book and the dvd are very popular with our younger patrons.

molly moonErin Kernohan-Berning, Branch Services Librarian: When Molly Moon escapes her dreary awful crumbling orphanage for the quiet solitude at the library, she never expects that her horrible luck might change. Snoozing in the Y to Z section, she is awoken by a quarrel between the librarian and an angry professor who can’t find a book he is looking for. But there, misfiled by Molly’s head, is the book – Hypnotism: An Ancient Art Explained. Molly smuggles the book out of the library and takes it back to the orphanage where she begins to teach herself hypnotism.

Molly’s first successful attempt at hypnosis is with Petula, the fat miserable little pug who belongs to the orphanage’s headmistress. However, when Molly gets into Petula’s mind, she realizes that poor Petula is only miserable because she’s being fed too many cookies and has a constant tummy ache. Likewise, Petula realizes that not all kids want to pick her up (she hates being picked up) and that Molly is really very nice. When Molly’s best friend Rocky is suddenly adopted by a family in New York, Molly uses her new hypnotic powers to follow him, and of course Petula comes with her. Thus begins a friendship between Molly and Petula that spans the five book Molly Moon series starting with Molly Moon’s Incredible Book of Hypnotism, through to Molly Moon & the Morphing Mystery. All five books are available to reserve at the Haliburton County Public Library.

fifteen dogsBessie: Fifteen Dogs by Andre Alexis is described as an allegorical take on the value and detriment of human consciousness. A bet between the gods Hermes and Apollo leads them to grant human intelligence and language to a group of dogs overnighting at a Toronto veterinary clinic. Suddenly capable of more complex thought, the pack is torn between those who resist the new ways of thinking, preferring the old ‘dog’ ways, and those who embrace the change. The gods watch from above as the dogs venture into their newly unfamiliar world, as they become divided among themselves, as each struggles with new thoughts and feelings. This is a quirky short read recently published by a Canadian writer.  I am fascinated by the notion that my pets might have thoughts and interests past their next meal and whether they need a nap or want to go outside.  Andre Alexis simultaneously answers the question of what dogs might be thinking about and whether having human consciousness is a good thing after all.

Whether our dogs can really anticipate events or not, Sherrill does know that her beagle Hank loved the dog festival last year and she will take him again this year.  The festival includes the Purina Walk for Dog Guides at 1:00pm.  That’s it for this week’s episode of Library Moments, thanks for listening here on 100.9 CanoeFM.

*Originally aired on 100.9 CANOE FM August 9th – 15th, 2015.



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