But not every dog is having its day. Mrs. Butcher reports that "Books on poodles, boxers and Boston terriers do not move," probably because so many books have been written about these breeds, and Lyon notes a swift decline of interest in books about the golden retriever, with President Ford out of office.
The most costly books are English. A very fine copy of Vero Shaw's Illustrated Book of the Dog, published in London in 1881, goes for about $400. Ten years ago a similar copy would have sold for $150. Edward Ash's two-volume study, Dogs: Their History and Development, London, 1927, brings $175 to $275 depending on condition, and Hutchinson's Dog Encyclopedia, three volumes, London, 1935-37, goes for between $350 and $400. Don't be fooled by Frank Forester's The Dog, first published in the U.S. in 1857. Unless it is a superb copy of the first edition, which may be of interest to a Forester fan, the book is worth $12.50 at best. It is, well, a dog.
Every morning a U.S. Postal Service truck drops off hundreds of old tennis shoes at a building in San Jose, Calif. The building is not a Salvation Army depot but the headquarters of Tred 2, an unusual company that started with an investment of $37 in 1972 and now grosses $6 million annually.
Tred 2 is the brainchild of Rory Fuerst, who was thinking of going into the fast-food business until he happened to notice how many people were wearing tennis shoes in need of new soles. He gathered up some old tennis shoes and used his mother's oven to heat the soles to 375� so he could remove them. When the odor permeated the substantial family residence, Fuerst took over a guesthouse and used infrared lamps to loosen the soles from the shoes, which he had hung on ski poles. When he ran an ad in a tennis magazine, 1,900 old shoes poured in, and he founded Tred 2.
Today, the privately held company, which also makes its own line of footwear, is prepared to resole any brand of tennis or athletic shoes at a cost of $13 a pair. More than 100 employees work a four-day week on a computer-controlled assembly line handling up to 600 pairs of resoles daily. The computer keeps track of a customer's shoes from the moment they arrive until they are repacked fully repaired several weeks later. A first-time customer gets a new pair of socks free. There is a big repeat business because people just love their old tennis shoes. So far, one customer has had his resoled nine times.