Speck is not an average family pet. He came into Rick Bragg’s life as a scrawny, starving, disobedient animal prepared to wreak havoc. Bragg’s ode to Speck is both lighthearted and melancholy, but the bond between dog and owner is clear.
I listened to the audiobook of The Speckled Beauty after getting the recommendation from a literary podcast. I can’t imagine the printed book conveys the story as fully. Bragg has a charming Southern accent and drawl that results in a moving, sincere tale. I felt as though I knew Speck. I appreciated him despite his penchant for digging up graves, rolling in manure and howling at the moon.
I highly recommend listening to The Speckled Beauty if you’re in the mood for a playful and honest narrative of man’s best friend.
Margaret Gardner is the senior library manager at R.H. Stafford Library. Find more to read at washcolib.org.