This book traces the likely story of the Kelb tal-Fenek and its appearance on the Island of Malta. The author goes back to when the evolution of mammals started. He provides many interesting illustrations of ancient art work depicting early dogs and provides a sound and very interesting discussion of the likely ancestor of the domestic dog. A lot of information is given on the early dogs of Egypt and the supposed Egyptian origin of the Kelb tal-Fenek. In fact this book starts with a details historical background of the Kelb tal-Fenek. The author points out, after an archaeological and historical study on the dog’s ancestors that: “It is important not to conclude that the Kelb tal-Fenek is an Egyptian breed.” Through all the changes that occurred during the years of evolution the dog’s role in man’s life changed from a hunting animal to a hunting companion; then to a working animal and finally an item of beauty.
A considerable part of the book is devoted to basic principles of anatomy and physiology which are useful information for the dog owner to keep il-Kelb tal-Fenek in peak condition. The concluding section of this study is devoted to a man’s love for a beautiful, noble dog and a beautiful, proud country, Malta, which is the home of both dog and the author. With the information compiled in this book, any reader, but especially the Maltese reader, will be in a position to better understand both the Kelb tal-Fenek and the history of the dog’s development.
It is interesting that this book is written by a Maltese person. Up to a certain extent we have not usually found people who were prepared to research and publish books about specific “News” of our Maltese origin. This was more the case for the subjects related to agriculture. One could argue that the Kelb tal-Fenek is not related to agriculture. However, on the other hand, when agriculture was not as developed as it is today the Kelb tal-Fenek’s relationship with agriculture was much more significant. Agriculture provides a very large variety of topics which could prove interesting to research. Well done for the research.