When something or someone we love is under attack, we rise to their defense.
In her celebrated breed bible, The Official Book of the Neapolitan Mastiff (which until now has been out of print and drawing stratospheric bids on eBay, if you can find it at all – though there’s some good news about that in a bit), veterinarian Sherilyn Allen wrote this about a gathering of dog people where she gave a presentation:
After my address, the host, a very distinguished gentleman and avid dog lover, came up to me and said, “You are an educated and well-spoken person; why would you have those messy, dumb Neapolitan Mastiffs? They are hard headed, unattractive, and they slobber. Why do you like them? What do they do for you?”
“Why do you have that Dali painting on your wall?” I asked. To me, Neapolitan Mastiffs are awesome. There is no other dog in the world like them. They are an art form, a relic from the past, a primitive incongruity in today’s world. Not only do they as a breed look different from other dogs, they as individuals each look different from one another. Each Neo is a “one of a kind.” For the breeder who is engaged in the creation of a living art form, each Neapolitan puppy has the possibility of being that one chef-d’oeuvre.
“Your Dali and your Rodin just sit there,” I told him. “My Neo sits there next to me when I want, but he also loves me back incredibly. It is born into them to love and protect that which is theirs, and they do those things better than any other dog I know. They are not stupid,” I continued. “They simply have their own mind. If you were lying on the couch watching a football game, and your wife told you to get up and take the garbage out – now – would you necessarily do it immediately? If you did not, would you then be classified as ‘hard headed’ or ‘dumb’?”
When I read those opening words to The Official Book of the Neapolitan Mastiff, I knew this was a treasure for anyone who loves – or wants to get to know – this ancient, majestic Molosser. And Sherilyn’s beautiful writing style and deep breed knowledge made it even more disappointing to know that this book has been out of print for years.
That is, until now! I’m delighted to announce that The Official Book of the Neapolitan Mastiff is back in print, with all its original content, plus a new foreword and an additional chapter written by Sherilyn – a whopping 342 pages in a new, larger-sized, hard-back edition.
This must-have book discusses the Neapolitan Mastiff’s history, conformation, temperament, standard, rearing, feeding, grooming, showing, breeding and more — all illustrated with more than 400 photographs of great Neos from around the world.
And I’m not the only one who’s delighted about this book’s reappearance: Some of the world’s most respected Mastino Napoletano experts are, too.
“You want to understand the Mastino Napoletano? The story behind this ancient breed? Its charisma and myth as much as its conformation, health and rearing? Then Sherilyn Allen’s exquisite book is an absolute must-read for any Mastinaro, as nothing more educational has ever been written about the Neapolitan Mastiff,” writes Christofer Habig, the internationally respected FCI judge and Mastino breed specialist from Germany. “It will open the doors for readers to all that has been previously published in the Mastino’s native land.”
“I am very pleased that Dr. Sherilyn Allen’s important book is being republished, and I hope it will be read by many new Mastinari,” says Giuseppe Alessandra of Italy, an equally well known FCI judge and breed specialist who is president of the Italian Mastino Napoletano club, the ATIMANA. “It gave me the opportunity to remember just how much Sherilyn has done for the Mastino, and not just in the United States.”
Preorders of The Official Book of the Neapolitan Mastiff are now available for a limited time at https://revodanapublishing.com/books/official-neapolitan-mastiff/. The special price is $10 off what the book will sell for on Amazon when it is available in a couple of weeks, and there is free shipping in the U.S.
“To me, the serene majesty of the ancient, wise face of the Neo lying on the porch surveying his domain makes him among the most elegant of dogs,” Sherilyn told her critic at that long-ago dinner party. “It is just a matter of how you look at him.”
And after you read The Official Book of the Neapolitan Mastiff, you’ll never look at him the same way again.