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Is it merely coincidence that dogs who write poetry live with humans who are accomplished writers?

In a new book, "Unleashed: Poems by Writers' Dogs" (Crown), co-editors and contributors Amy Hempel and the aptly named Jim Shephard have collected poetry "written" by the canine companions of famous writers.There's a poem in which Max, Ron Carlson's Australian shepherd, tells how he chased and captured a 1960 Ford Fairlane; an autobiographical poem by Maxine Kumin's Dalmatian; and an untitled prose piece written "posthumously" by Marrow, John Irving's dog.

Others among the book's 64 contributors include the "best friends" of Arthur Miller, Roy Blount Jr. and Merrill Markoe.

The hardcover book retails for $19. Half the royalties from its sale are earmarked for the Company of Animals Fund, which distributes funds to several animal charities.