Both canine “memoir” and cautionary tale, this sprightly account of the further adventures of Boy, Mayle’s real-life dog introduced in Toujours Provence, is a gem of its kind. As animated by Mayle, Boy is a clever chap given to literary allusions, urbane observations and stinging bon mots. With many an arch and insightful comment, Boy celebrates his life after he escapes from his first owner, a brutish farmer, and is adopted by a kindly woman (thereafter called madame) and her “other half,” a rather dim-witted soul who is of course Mayle himself. Boy’s encounters with wrathful butchers and irate owners of dogs in heat and of treed cats are the high points of this picaresque tale, balanced by his admonitions on how to acquire social polish and communicate effectively with insensitive humans. From his spot under the dining-room table, Boy receives “a wide ranging, eclectic education,” learning chiefly that “the management,” as he calls his owners, are incorrigible and bibulous party givers.