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Follow My Lead: What Training My Dogs Taught Me about Life, Love, and Happiness

3.68  ·  Rating Details ·  60 Ratings  ·  17 Reviews
Follow My Lead is the story of how two rambunctious dogs and a tough Eastern European dog trainer named Irina taught Carol Quinn everything she needed to know about life, love, and happiness. It all begins when the author—unhappy with her failing love affair, her career, and even herself—decides to enroll her two Rhodesian ridgebacks into dog agility training. She's hoping ...more
Paperback, 256 pages
Published July 26th 2011 by Seal Press
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It was okay. I couldn't help but feel that the author was a bit of a doormat, which was particularly surprising in a woman who could successfully train two hounds (notoriously difficult to train) so effectively. I am glad she found some closure in her life, but I have to say that I was more interested in her process of training her two ridgebacks to perform in agility. I have considered doing agility with my dog, but have been resistant as she (like most Ridgebacks) is not all that reliably obed ...more
Sep 23, 2011 Trish rated it really liked it
If you love dogs, you will enjoy this book. Gave me more insight to my dogs and I also realized the truth of the similarity between dogs and people. I had not thought of this perspective before and enjoyed making the connections. Food for thought -- Remember the treats (rewards) needed for happy relationships.
Aug 11, 2011 Kim rated it really liked it
Really terrific memoir, which blends the sport of dog agility with the author's growing self-awareness. She does a masterful job of writing a memoir and talking about how agility plays into her life (and her dogs' life) so well.
May 03, 2012 Zann rated it liked it
Shelves: biographical
I have a Rhodesian of my own, so I loved all the photos as well as the descriptions of the dogs and their personalities. I did find a contradiction within the text though. I would imagine if you're recounting events which actually happened, then you wouldn't offer two completely different versions of a particular event. For example...on page 52, the author describes the events which led up to her acquiring her dog, Zoe. (The condensed version is that she found this dog on the street, wandering i ...more
Oct 30, 2011 Jen rated it it was amazing
Shelves: dog-books
Great book! What a well-written, thought-provoking, insightful work linking learning life's lessons and relating them to understanding and training one's dogs (and one's self)! Full of quotable wisdom, as well as entertaining, anecdotal asides. I thoroughly enjoyed it and will be keeping it close at hand for reference!
Mark Mccarragher
Sep 12, 2011 Mark Mccarragher rated it it was amazing
This was a wonderful book. Was very inspirational and well written. I will defiantly be keeping my eyes out for further books written by Carol Quinn, and will also be checking out her other titles.
Lis Carey
Aug 21, 2011 Lis Carey rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, dogs
Carol Quinn has two large, energetic, complicated dogs, a difficult boyfriend, and The Dog Trainer From Heck. That last is my opinion, not hers. This book is her memoir of how training her Ridgebacks, Nairobi and, eventually, Sheila, helps her to get to know herself better. She learns to appreciate her own good qualities, value her successes, respect her own way of working, and forgive herself for her imperfections.

Quinn was a divorced mother of two children when she got her first Rhodesian Ridg
A cute, quick read. The structure of the chapters was kind of jarring at first; each chapter has lots of little sub-chapters that didn't always flow smoothly. I felt like it was part memoir, part animal behavior discussion, and part dog agility 101. Each was interesting, but I think they could have been combined more seamlessly.

Quinn is immensely likeable, though, and that shone through every page. She's one of those people who is so devoted to her dogs, leans on them in hard times, works her b
Krysten Kruger
Feb 06, 2013 Krysten Kruger rated it did not like it
i had high hopes for this book. i guess.... too high. i didn't feel that it was well written. she seemed like such a doormat it was very off putting. and her trainer was all over the place. I liked her in the very beginning but I couldn't handle all her (the trainer's) freak outs and melt downs. I ended up giving up and putting it down about 2/3rds of the way in. I had other books lined up and couldn't be bothered finishing this one!
Mar 13, 2015 Marcela rated it liked it
Shelves: dogs
I laughed more than a few times while reading this book. I liked it, but I would have preferred if the author, Carol, would have talked less about Henry,although as I continued reading I realized that this was a path she needed to travel, explore, and of course, talk about. Carol does make you think about life and the way we, as individuals, deal with loved ones, death, self-confidence, etc. I totally agree with her about dogs being our teachers. Yes, dogs truly are amazing teachers!
Feb 04, 2012 Helena rated it it was ok
I was expecting more info on dog training, but the only thing she says about that specifically is to discuss how one must give a dog a reward--usually treats--to train it to do something. She talks a lot about her dog agility class/training, but mostly in terms of how it also applies to her own life. It's an okay read, just lots of introspection--if you'd like information on training methods, look elsewhere.
Susan Shepard
Nov 26, 2012 Susan Shepard rated it it was amazing
I *loved* this book! She's frank and honest about her life with her dogs - warts and all are shared with us. I learned a lot about how to approach life and that I'm not alone with having a dog with quirks. I'm now even more interested in trying agility with my dogs. Give this book a read, you might learn something too!
Dec 29, 2011 Jen rated it really liked it
Shelves: animal-books
I could relate to so much of it. How my anxiety tends to undermine my training attempts, how he reflects my energy for better or worse, and how my life perspective is permanently altered for the better because of loving a dog.
Apr 24, 2016 Thurston rated it it was amazing
Such a wonderful examination of life and how dogs can help refocus us.
Lesley Ross
Mar 04, 2016 Lesley Ross rated it it was amazing
Two ridgebacks and one excellent author make for an engaging read...
Jun 22, 2012 Christine rated it did not like it
Rather boring writing style. I will keep reading because I believe we can learn much from our dogs. maybe this author will improve as the story continues. (By mid July, I have given up.)
Aug 22, 2011 Marg rated it it was ok
I was expecting more of an agility tie in, and less about the author's boyfriend.
Monica Franks
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“It’s intelligent to bond. Belonging makes you strong. Relying on others creates connections. And maneuvering through life with a pack is a whole lot more interesting than trying to go it alone.” 1 likes
“Pay attention to the good stuff, deal with the bad. It’s an unsigned contract we’re bound by; if you want to live, you have to accept life’s terms. It seems simple; it is when everything is going well. When we’re shocked out of complacency, that’s when faith and determination are tested. For those of us who vacillate, who have an unsure relationship with our place in life, every test is an opportunity to believe. Every traumatic event, big or small, is just another chance to take an option on the “life deal,” to assert a contextual framework that declares: This is all worth it.” 0 likes
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