By Matt Carey
SANTA BARBARA, California (CNN) -- Berkeley Breathed answers the door to his Santa Barbara home, a tall, slender figure in suede cowboy boots.
But before he can extend a hand in greeting, he's nudged aside by a canine companion eager to introduce herself.
"Pickles" offers a hearty welcome, vigorously shaking a tail that seems powerful enough to whack a lamp from an end table.
The pit bull is one of a number of dogs that Breathed and his wife, Jody, have rescued over the years.
His affection and concern for dogs form the heart of "Flawed Dogs: The Shocking Raid on Westminster" (Philomel Books), Breathed's new illustrated novel, whose hero is a resilient dachshund with a soup ladle for a leg.
It's the latest children's work from Breathed, the Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist behind "Bloom County" and "Opus," who's had great success with the genre. The earlier "Mars Needs Moms!" is set to be made into a movie produced by Robert Zemeckis..." More / Pictures / Video
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