What if dogs could dictate their memoirs? As he approaches old age, Kieko Pasquale Ceder, an opinionated Chow/Labrador mix, decides to dictate his memoirs to his owner. One scoundrel act after another, he ponders. All in all a life well spent. As he admits at the beginning of his "as told to" memoirs, Kieko vaguely remembers his beginnings. Abandoned at the pound by his first owners, he survives this dark phase thanks to his unbeatable enthusiasm and sense of humor. He's upgraded to an adoption agency where he goes to school and loses all respect for the canine educational system. Due to his rambunctious and rebellious ways, Kieko blows many opportunities for adoption. Eventually, two liberal suckers inadvertently walk into the adoption agency and end up taking him home. It's the beginning of his new life as a scoundrel dog. Despite numerous infractions, rogue behaviors and criminal actions, Kieko manages to shape an exciting life for himself and his owners. From ingenious escapes, and cat chases to theft, to acquiring his favorite foods, Kieko's existence is punctuated by his upbeat spirit, independent mind and sarcastic wit. Not only do his monologues recount his many adventures, but they are also an expression of his perspectives on life. Built around a central idea, each chapter evolves through associations of thought and of body sensations. Kieko imparts his wit and wisdom with a quirky and unapologetic voice. He discusses such topics as: The terrifying power of toasters and the mysterious origin of such terror. Peace marches and why not all dogs should participate. The canine educational system and the dictators who run it. Feminine charm, both canine and human, and the neutered dog. New Age and why dogs are not canines living a spiritual experience but spiritual beings living a canine experience, or something like that. The nutritional value of dog poop and why sometimes it just hits the spot. Why capital punishment hurts both canines and humans and why it so rewarding to protest it at the local Farmers' Market. The inherent malevolence of all cats and in particular the cat who lives in his house-a lazybones fur ball!!! Thunder and why it is even more terrifying than trucks and toasters. Farts and why dogs get unjustly accused of farting. Carrot cake and why it is all right to steal the entire thing and eat it all up. The art of stealing-the faster the better. The art of running away and kicking cats' asses all over the neighborhood. The Santa Barbara itch and self-mutilation. (It's not as cool as it sounds). Why scoundrel dogs never say: "I'm sorry." All in all, Kieko is a control freak. Nothing goes unnoticed in his household. The problem is that his household is the entire world. He'll go to extreme measures to make sure that his perception is validated. Even though his actions may seem reprehensible to some, his views awaken both the rascal and the inner puppy in his readers. His narrative appeals to dog lovers with a sense of humor, and to people who don't mind to have their lives disrupted by a scoundrel dog-or at the very least, don't mind reading about it."
Maria Marotti is a retired academic, a hypnotherapist and an animal lover/communicator, who lives in Santa Barbara, California. She has had several scholarly books published as well as a novel, A Question of Class (2006) and short stories. Memoirs of a Scoundrel Dog is based on her own life with an entertaining rascal of a dog.