Fifteen Dogs by André Alexis
Available in print and ebook on Overdrive
“I wonder,” said Hermes, “what it would be like if animals had human intelligence.”
“I’ll wager a year’s servitude,” answered Apollo, “that animals – any animal you like – would be even more unhappy than humans are, if they were given human intelligence.”
Is human intelligence “an occasionally useful plague” or the ultimate carrier of happiness? Sitting in a Toronto tavern, gods Hermes and Apollo make a wager, and to get to the truth choose 15 dogs overnighting at a vet clinic to be their test case. Now possessing human intelligence, the gods wait until each dog meets their fate – at least one must reach the end of their life happier than they would have been for Hermes to win. Escaping the clinic, the dogs form a pack but unsure what to do with their newfound thoughts and feelings they are soon divided between those who prefer to adhere to the old ways, and those who want to explore their newly found intellect.
In this Giller Prize winning novel, André Alexis explores the beauty and perils of human consciousness through man’s best friend. Fifteen Dogs by Andre Alexis is available to reserve at the Haliburton County Public Library.
*Originally published in the Haliburton Echo on December 1st, 2015.