Thursday, July 19, 2007

A book report.

“Celebrating Staffordshire Bull Terriers” by Steve Stone (and others)

I’ve had a very hard time reading Steve’s new book and viewing the companion CD included inside the back cover; very hard indeed. You are probably asking why.

Simple; the Stafford is part of our lives, my wife Carolyn and I. We have so many anecdotes that support all the points that Steve and others write about in this book. We have also lost all but one of our Staffords in the last few months and miss them terribly. Each section reminds us of some event in our life with Staffords.

But putting my personal stuff aside I find the book and CD a mixed bag of good and bad.


Pictures: lots and lots of pictures (photographs). The ones in the book pages are black and white but this does not detract from their unique value to Stafford fans. The CD has hundreds more photos in color. And unlike most other Staffords books; you haven’t ever seen most of these photos. Worth the price of the book just for the unique photos.

This is a book that, to me at least, puts everything together in one place. The contents span from the breeds founders, the type of people and environment that propelled such a unique strain as the Stafford, to the present day, and the truly all purpose dog that has blossomed forth into so many diverse activities and accomplishments.

The historical context running throughout every chapter. The fact that different people wrote chapters in the book and CD so you are not getting “one man’s opinion” like most other Stafford books.

Early showing, the war years, post-war years, Steve’s experiences founding the breed first in Finland and then in the USA. All is there. Breeding, showing, and health issues and then spanning to all the present activities that the Stafford is involved in such as flyball, obedience, coursing, weight pull and so on.


The chapters on rescue and breed specific legislation are experiences I do not wish to be reminded of; but both must be covered. But they are bad subjects for me personally.

But the BADDEST part of Steve’s creation; “Celebrating Staffordshire Bull Terriers” is:

 This book covers everything except how to raise your pup and potty train them.
 This book spans together all generations of Stafford fanciers; past, present and future. Living or not. This is bad for one book to cover it all.
 This book is the only Stafford book anyone will ever need in his or her library.
 Steve has ruined it for all future would-be writers of a book on the Staffordshire Bull Terrier. Period.


Okay. These aren’t really bad things as in rotten or no good.

So actually, it isn’t a good or a bad book. It is a great book.

All the best,

Terry G. Stewart

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