First, there’s a book. Shaggy Muses: The Dogs Who Inspired Virginia Woolf, Emily Dickinson, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Edith Wharton and Emily Bronte features a photo of Woolf and one of her beloved cocker spaniels on the cover.
In the book, Adams, a psychologist and former English professor, tells the story of five exceptional women writers — including Woolf — who obtained emotional support from their canine pets. In Woolf’s case, Adams suggests that her depiction of a dog’s trauma in her biography Flush dealt with her own childhood molestation.
Adams’s argument may be skewed by its limited focus. But the tome, which Publisher’s Weekly calls a “sweet, quirky book” is still worth a look. Read a review.
A quote posted at the top of the Portland, Oregon, doggie daycare’s Web site leaves us no doubt about the Woof establishment’s intentional connection to Woolf. The quote from the author reads: “Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole.”