Review: Dog Days Elsa Watson

Title: Dog Days
Author Elsa Watson
Publisher: Tom Doherty Associates
Publication Date: May 22, 2012
paperback, 344 pages
ISBN: 0765368080 (ISBN13: 9780765368089)
Genre: humor, romance
Source: From publisher

Summary (From Goodreads):

In Elsa Watson's Dog Days, struggling café owner Jessica Sheldon volunteered to be the chairperson of Woofinstock, Madrona’s annual dog festival, to overcome her reputation as “number one dog hater” in her dog crazy Northwestern town. Determined to prove her dog-loving credentials, Jessica rescues Zoe, a stray white German shepherd— and in the process the two are struck by lightning.
Jessica wakes to discover paws where her feet should be, and watches in horror as her body staggers around the town square…. Zoe and Jessica have switched bodies. Learning to live as a dog is difficult enough, but Jessica’s real worry is saving her café from financial ruin. To complicate matters, she’s falling hard for Max, the town veterinarian.

My thoughts:
John Steinback once said "I've seen a look in dogs' eyes, a quickly vanishing look of amazed contempt, and I am convinced that basically dogs think humans are nuts." I would say this statement is  more true than not. In Dog Days by Elsa Watson this topic is explored when Jessica Sheldon switches bodies with a stray dog, Zoe. Jessica isn't known for her love of the canine species. She works hard at trying to run her failing restaurant. She's really stressed out with life in general. She can't even work up the courage to talk to her long time crush, Max. Zoe is lost. She doesn't remember much about how she got to be lost. She attaches herself to Jessica after she's rescued her from the dog catcher. Unfortunately while walking home they both get struck by lightening and when they both wake up they're in each other's body.
This story is told from two points of view, Jessica and Zoe. I love that Watson made Zoe naive but also intelligent. Zoe doesn't have much of a filter. She says and does whatever she wants. She has to learn what it is to be human. Jessica is in a tougher bind. She's trapped in the body of a dog. She can't speak or communicate. This burden turns out to be a blessing. Jessica gets the opportunity to observe the people around her and it causes her to take a look at herself. She has to learn how to let go of the past and have some fun. Together Jessica and Zoe must learn to trust one another.
Dog Days is like the canine version of Freak Friday. There are lessons to be learned, problems to let go, and an understanding to be made. This is a lighthearted, funny, and entertaining read. Animal lovers will adore this book. If you don't have a dog, you're probably going to go out and adopt one after you read this book.
My rating:
Other books by this author:
 PENUMBRA: Speculative Fiction from the Pacific Northwest 

In full disclosure, I am a dog owner. Like Jessica, I'm not overly fond of huge dogs but I have found the perfect dog for me. His name is Scamp and he's been with the family for a few years. His previous owner could no longer care for him and needed to find him a new home. He made himself right at home from the very beginning. I'm glad I don't know what he's thinking most of the time. He's loyal, loving, and full of cuddles.  No matter what kind of day I have had, he's always happy to see me. How can you not love that?