ForeWord Reviews

great books independent voices

Chewy Louie

Foreword Review — July / Aug 2000

Schneider, acclaimed creator of the nationally syndicated Eek & Meek comic strip, writes and illustrates this hilarious tale about his family’s dog Louie. Given the tremendous damage levied against the household furniture and property, Chewy Louie is appropriately named after Louie when he was a rambunctious puppy.

The storyline unfolds when a typical family brings a rather typical and cute-looking puppy home to care for as one of their own; and because he was always hungry, they decided to name him Chewy Louie. Chewy Louie was a great little puppy—he always ate his food and raced through the house with the zest and zeal that typifies young puppies. Matters took a drastic turn, however, when one day after finishing his food, Louie proceeded to eat the bowl. In fact, Louie chewed through a couple of “puppy food” bowls, as well as a few of the family’s area carpets, an expensive model train set, priceless porcelain dishes, and treasured furniture. “‘Something’s wrong with him,’ said Mother, ‘he’ll be sick.’” Father, however, refused to believe that there was anything out-of-sorts with Louie, “he’s just a puppy,” he said.

Some puppy—Chewy Louie’s love for non-edible and indigestible cuisine eventually led to the destruction of the family’s backyard porch. “‘Something’s wrong with him,’ said Mother, ‘he’ll be sick.’” This time father agreed and the family took Chewy Louie to the local veterinarian for a physical and a logical explanation of Louie’s feeding frenzy. After the typical probing, the veterinarian’s examination only illuminated the obvious, “he’s just a growing puppy…give him more to eat,” he said.

The family had started to wonder if the house and their belongings would survive Chewy Louie’s puppyhood. Every item within puppy reach had been marked by Chewy Louie. It was time to seek alternative forms of assistance, so the family hired a puppy trainer. The first trainer was stern, rigid, and made absolutely no progress with tempering Chewy Louie’s munching habits. The second trainer attempted to sing the “chewy” out of Louie—the family couldn’t tell, however, if Louie actually liked the trainer’s voice or her guitar case. Chewy Louie continued to munch through the house and the property and just when the family had decided that they could no longer financially afford to feed Chewy Louie, he outgrew his need to chew.

Chewy Louie is a humorous story marking the struggles and joys of puppy-parenting. Schneider’s illustrations are cheerful, colorful, and very funny.

Veronica L. C. Stevenson-Moudamane