Book Review

‘Kinky’s Celebrity Pet Files’

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thebookworm

Terri Schlichenmeyer


‘Kinky’s Celebrity Pet Files’

Your friend just got a new puppy and it has you thinking. You want a(nother) pet. Even if you already have one (or two or four), there’s always room, isn’t there? Of course, you don’t want a pup like the one your friend has; you want one bigger or smaller, darker or lighter with softer fur or a curlier tail. Or maybe you’re smitten for a kitten, or goofy over guinea pigs.

It’s no surprise that your favorite stars love their pets, too, as evidenced by paparazzi shots of pampered pooches and mollycoddled moggies. In the new book “Kinky’s Celebrity Pet Files” by Kinky Friedman, you’ll read about celebrities, politicos, history-makers and their furred, feathered and finned treasures.

Fans of the Kinkster (and those who remember him from his run for the office of the Governor of Texas) know that Friedman is a man in love with animals. He’s such a “pet person” that he started his own shelter, Utopia Animal Rescue Ranch, where homeless, elderly and unwanted critters are very much wanted.

As it always happens, people who share their lives with pets love to share their stories with other people who share their lives with pets. Friedman collects tales and animal-loving friends like some people collect stamps. In this book, he gathers some of his favorites.

Actor and singer Jim Nabors, for instance, loves dogs. Nabors lives in Hawaii, and has been known to fly his pooches to another island on Independence Day, via private plane, to keep them from becoming too upset by fireworks.

The late comedian Richard Pryor, who grew up in poverty, famously had a miniature horse named Ginger whose escapades became a part of his comedy routine. But what most people don’t know is that Pryor loved to eat oranges with his mini-pony.

Willie Nelson and Ruth Buzzi both share a love of horses. Johnny Cash had a pet pig. Mark Twain loved cats and Winston Churchill was rarely without his dog. Billy Bob Thornton and Dom DeLuise are bird lovers.

And the Kinkster? He sleeps “with a shotgun under my bed and a cat on my head,” four dogs on the mattress beside him, and a pet armadillo outside.

Funny, sassy, irreverent, a little offbeat and very loving (surprise!), “Kinky’s Celebrity Pet Files” is one of the best animal books I’ve read in a long time. But beware — this is not a book for everybody.

Friedman doesn’t hold anything back, saying exactly what he thinks needs saying. That means this book, though packed with humor and warmth, is also loaded with potential insults and more than a few words you wouldn’t want to say aloud in polite company.

Fortunately, Friedman never said he was “polite company.” Still, his stories are endearingly mushy and a genuine pleasure to read.

Anyone who relishes a sense of mischief mixed with an affectionate animal story or three will love this book. For them, “Kinky’s Celebrity Pet Files” is a book they’ll want fur-ever.

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