Training day

An alcoholic and his wife adopt a Bernese mountain dog. The pup flunks obedience class and becomes unmanageable. The alcoholic’s life also becomes unmanageable, his wife leaves, and he’s stuck with a dog that’s almost as crazy as her master. Nothing left but to get sober and train the dog. Most writers would be stretching it for a long essay on this premise, but Martin Kihn covers the “man gets saved by the love of a good dog” ground with a fresh eye, some honest reflection on his own bad behavior and a lot of humor. Yeah, it’s a little cutesy at times (mix Drinking: A Love Story with Marley & Me); Kihn can’t resist anthropomorphizing the dog, Hola, and offering up “her” point of view. But even that wears well, given that he keeps his snarky sense of humor. Yes, the dog gets trained. So does the man.