Atria, Jul, 2004, 23.95, 312 pp.
In New York City, thirty-five years old dog walker Nina Shepard loves a client she has not met in person except through his canine Sid the Weimaraner and snooping in his apartment when she picks up Sid. Based on her in depth probe, Nina believes that thirty-two years old Daniel Maguire is perfect for her although she has some doubts about his owning purebred Sid. Desperate to meet the love of her life, Nina ponders how to achieve her objective for she is sure that once Daniel meets her, he will like her.
When fate throws Nina with the object of unrequited love, moonlight over the Hudson takes hold although Daniel is not quite what she fantasized. As Daniel falls in love with Nina, everything seems perfect except that she begins to wonder if she should tell him the truth about her probe into his life and he ponders how to inform his beloved that he is not Daniel, but his twin Billy.
Though the use of twins feels ancient, fans, especially dog fanciers will enjoy this Manhattan romantic romp. Nina is an interesting protagonist who feels strongly life has passed her by while she walks a motley crew of canines with varying temperaments and personalities. The human secondary characters are a bark short of the dogs, but add angst as Nina cannot help but getting involved. THE DOG WALKER feels like an adult matchmaking for herself. This work feels like Clueless transferred to Manhattan though some of the amusing bite is lost by doubling the age of the star. Still this romantic canine caper is humorous and fun especially for those walking their mutts.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner