September 2, 2011
"Biggest Bitch in this Relationship" Celebrates Dogs, Benefits The HSUS
It's the last weekend of summer: read this book, and soak it all in
Wade Rouse glanced down at his dog, Marge, the escape artist. For the umpteenth time, his hairy Houdini had made her break from a boarding kennel, and with just a bit of frustration, Rouse said to her, “I’m not the biggest bitch in this relationship!”
Roughly a decade later, the memorable statement became the title of his latest book, an anthology of original stories about dogs written by Rouse and some of America’s other best humorists.
To Rouse, the title sums up so many of our relationships with our dogs—funny, frustrating, a little vexing, and always a loving two-way street. Those are also the themes of most of the stories in the book, released September 6, 2011.
Rouse says the book is a celebration of the dogs in our lives, in particular dogs who have been rescued. “I volunteer at a couple of shelters in Michigan,” he said. “The flow of animals into the shelters just never seems to stop. I want people to read this book, then be moved to go to a shelter or rescue group and find their next best friend.”
For a good cause
The book will also generate funds to help animals. Rouse is donating 50 percent of his royalties to The HSUS, and the contributors can use their honorarium to support an animal group of their choice.
Contributors include Rita Mae Brown, W. Bruce Cameron, Jen Lancaster, and 16 other comics and authors. The book’s foreword also offers the canine point of view of human/dog relationships via comedian Chelsea Handler’s dog, Chunk.
Close to home
According to Rouse, the book was inspired by his closest loved ones. “This is really an ode to my mother,” he said. “She was a nurse and an animal advocate. I grew up in a rural area, and dogs were always being dumped. So my mother rescued nearly every pet that crossed her path, many of whom would end up in our home."
Then there’s Marge, the 80-pound-who-was-supposed-to-only-be-40-pound Heinz 57, Rottweiler-Huskie-Shepherd mix who "looked a bit like Scooby-Doo" and was rescued from a shelter in St. Louis. She passed away in April at nearly 14. Like all the dogs in Rouse’s life, he notes “Marge helped get me through tragedy and triumph.”
Rouse and his partner, Gary Edwards, live in Michigan with Mabel, a four-year-old rescued Labradoodle-Beagle mix "with more hair than Cher." They expect to adopt another dog in the months to come.