When we were a lad, in the days long long ago, decades before audiobooks – what Mrs. Wolfe calls earbooks – our older brother read aloud to us. His choice always. But we liked being read to. He was big on Albert Payson Terhune, who wrote Collie novels, books that shoved us into the pro-dog column for life. Terhune’s haunts seemed to be rich New Jersey suburbs or exurbs, and he went in for bare floors and pianos inside and unspoilt countryside outside. That’s still our aesthetic. We remember more than is maybe good for us of those clever collies. We’ve been thinking of them recently as we have the care and feeding of a sweet boxer bitch for a month. Our new-urbanist-approved townhouse has the bare floors and the piano of our childhood fake memories, but the nearest pristine countryside would be in Fleming County, Kentucky. And the boxer doesn’t seem to have the same lifesaving instinct that those New Jersey collies did. We suspect that instead of racing to District One for help when we are clinging to the icy edge of one of the many slush lakes that have formed thanks to Cincinnati’s scofflaw attitude about shoveling the damned sidewalk, the boxer bitch will sit there shivering as she watches us drown.