One of the best-selling graphic novels in Japan, Takashi Murakami’s Stargazing Dog has already won the hearts of over 600,000 readers and has been adapted to a live-action film. This book would be great for anyone, ranging from the die-hard animal lover to someone considering their first pet.
It was the “stargazing” face that first attracted me to this book. The cover depicts the cutest little puppy in a bright sea of sunflowers. The term “stargazing dog” is meant to describe that face that we all know and love. It’s that love-sick look that melts your heart every time. It is that expression that is blank yet all knowing, full of love despite any hardship, and always filled with hope and happiness.
But after years of working at animal shelters, I needed more than a pretty face to truly be impressed. In fact, I was inclined to dismiss it as just another comic book. To my surprise, I was immediately drawn in by the intriguing storytelling, smitten by the characters, and moved by the overall theme.
The novel is broken into two stories:
The first section tells the story of a spunky pup named Happie and his owner, Daddy. Told from Happie’s perspective, the story starts when Happie is first brought home to a loving family. Times change, however, and Daddy is left alone with only his dog by his side.The duo embark on a quirky adventure, find solace in each other’s company along the way, and remind us of the absolute and unwavering devotion dogs have for their owners.
In the second section, Mr. Okutsu, a social worker, researches a curious case related to two unidentified dead bodies. The more he learns about this deceased duo, the more he reflects on his past experiences and on how people (including himself) often fail to appreciate the faithful companionship of man’s best friend.
I have pets and I work for Found Animals, but even I sometimes forget to appreciate pets for all their worth. These short stories laid it out plan for me: pets are our everything – our shoulder to cry on, our exercise buddy, our cutest accessory, and our best friends. Stargazing Dog reminded me that pets live their lives to love us and we owe it to them to do our best to help them any way we can.
This book will hook your interest in an instant, make you more teary eyed than you’d ever admit, and leave you with a deeper respect for companion animals.
Looking for a copy for yourself? Check with your local comic book store or order it from Found Animals Amazon Store