Review: Downward Dog: Very Serious Haiku from a Very Serious Dog by Samm Hodges and Phinheas Hodges


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Published: 16 May 2017

Publisher: Animal Media Group LLC

Category: Poetry/Animals/Young Adult

A book of haiku and illustrations from the mind of Martin, the talking, angst-ridden, introspective dog from the ABC TV series, Downward Dog.

Sam Hodges is part of the writing and creative team of the ABC TV sitcom Downward Dog and he provides the distinct voice for Martin on the show. Hodges is also an accomplished director, having won numerous awards for his commercial work for Animal Inc.

Phinheas Hodges is part of the writing staff on the ABC TV sitcom Downward Dog. He is also a freelance writer, director, and editor.

Rating: 2 Stars

I requested this book because I remember seeing the trailer for the television show and subsequently hearing it had been cancelled. That was a bit sad because as much of a cat person as I am, dogs are amazing. I’d love to see more shows about them in a comedic setting rather than as set dressing for human actors.

When I started reading this, I felt like there were brief glimpses into deeper meaning, but that overall the style of poetry chosen (haiku) was perhaps not the best choice. A format that was even a little bit longer might have made more of an impact. A couple of the pieces I got the underlying emotion, but a majority were so brief and understated that I felt nothing in them.

I wish the book overall had been longer because it took less than five minutes to finish it cover to cover. What did I get out of it in the end? Did I enjoy it? The overwhelming answer is “meh”. I didn’t find humor, I didn’t find engagement, I just…didn’t. If the show is based on this book alone, on the authors’ humor alone, than I can see why it was cancelled. A lack of substance makes me glad this was a review rather than a purchase.






I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

All media (pictures, quotes, etc.) belong to the respective owners and are used here solely for the purpose of review and commentary.

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