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Dog Medicine

4.22  ·  Rating details ·  3,541 ratings  ·  513 reviews
At twenty-two, Julie Barton collapsed on her kitchen floor in Manhattan. She was one year out of college and severely depressed. Summoned by Julie's incoherent phone call, her mother raced from Ohio to New York and took her home.

Psychiatrists, therapists and family tried to intervene, but nothing reached her until the day she decided to do one hopeful thing: adopt a Golden
Paperback, First, 222 pages
Published November 10th 2015 by Think Piece Publishing
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Average rating 4.22  · 
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 ·  3,541 ratings  ·  513 reviews

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Pam Daghlian
Aug 11, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Dog Medicine is a story of returning from the brink.

Julie’s book wrecked me in the best way. Her writing sings when she writes about Bunker and you want her to do anything for him. For those of us who love dogs, we know what a wag of the tail, a poke of the nose, a crawling into a lap can do for the spirit. A dog saves us without knowing he is doing so. He’s just being a dog, the rest is a kind of magic, which Julie captures so amazingly in Dog Medicine.

I have never sobbed while reading a book
Oct 09, 2016 rated it liked it
I was previewing this for my daughter, who burdened with chronic illness has a special and healing bond with her animals ( especially her rescued Pit Bull Luna) and will totally be able to relate here. This is Julie Landon's ( 2015) memoir about Bunker Hill the lovable, oafish, Golden Retriever who though partially broken himself , helps her recover from clinical depression. Landon has a MFA in writing , so along with being inspirational it's nicely written too. 3.5 stars

Thanks to everyone who r
Adam Wahlberg
Jun 26, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was greatly moved by Julie's story of resiliency in the face of severe depression, and thrilled to be introduced to the dog who helped restore her to life, the unforgettable and irresistible Bunker. A glorious memoir, one I highly recommend for anyone who struggles with moods, loves dogs, or just is up for a great read. I feel extraordinarily grateful to have read an advance copy of this book, which I feel is destined to become a classic in the annals of wellness literature. ...more
Producervan in Cornville, AZ from New Orleans & L.A.
Dog Medicine how a Dog Saved Me From Myself, A Memoir by Julie Barton. Softcover edition. ©2016. Penguin books. Nonfiction. 238 pages.

Wonderful must-read book about the soulful love and loyalty between a woman and her golden retriever, and their healing relationship. Picked this up at the thrift. Highly recommend.
Mar 15, 2016 rated it liked it
Dog Medicine is more a journal than a novel. Therein lies my problem with it. The author describes her experiences growing up, her journey through clinical depression with suicidal ideation, and her eventual attachment to her dog. Depressed people can be self centered, it's one of the characteristics of the disorder. It is difficult to get outside your own head if what is in your head is terrifying, dangerous and chaotic. That singular point of view doesn't really make for a great book. The auth ...more
Kevin Krein
Jul 23, 2016 rated it it was ok
oh julie barton.
what happened to your rabbit? i guess that's what i'd like to know. i know the book isn't called 'rabbit medicine,' but living in new york, before your mental breakdown, you had a rabbit you kept in a small cage. you carted it back to ohio with you. then you never mentioned it again.
i guess that mistreatment of an animal is what impacted me the most about this book.
i work at a bookstore on weekends and staring at me from the 'new release' table was a copy of 'dog medicine.' i sa
Jul 04, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Julie Barton’s Dog Medicine taps into a universal truth that those of us who survive our lowest low (clinical depression, trauma, emotional pain, a challenging transition, etc) know to be true. We make it because we have a Bunker in our lives – a beautiful golden retriever, a friend, a landscape, an idea, a book. Something bright. My Bunker was a person – a new friend who tossed me the lifeline of sharing, swearing, and laughter. I am eternally grateful to my friend in an inexpressibly deep way, ...more
If this rating was just for Bunker, I give him five stars - I loved stories about him and what a good boy he is (oh yes he is! Who's a good boy? Who is? You are, Bunker!!) However, we don't really get to meet Bunker until about 100 pages into the book. This is Julie's story, and how the pup changed her life. I won this book in a Goodreads giveaway and I will admit to signing up for the giveaway after seeing the cover. I was a sucker for Bunker before the book was in my hand.

Julie's story begins
Margot Rose
Jul 19, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I'm halfway through; it's a wide open hearteded & spiritual read. If you believe in the mystical connection we share with the animal world, if you like authentic literary voices, read this lovely book.
On finishing Julie's book, not only did I weep like a baby, I was enriched. The reader walks away not only with having read a wonderful memoir, but also with an extra shot of faith in the possibility for healing the soul with connection, wherever it's found.

Feb 12, 2017 rated it it was ok
I hesitated to even review this book, because I didn't like the main character, who is, because this is a memoir, the author. Maybe I wasn't as sympathetic to her depression as I should be, granted. But her savior, the most important being in her life, didn't even SHOW UP until almost halfway into the book. For the first half of the book, I had to read, over and over again, about her abuse, her desire to commit suicide, all the problems and issues that she endured. Then, and this is the part tha ...more
Jan 05, 2017 rated it did not like it
I wanted to love this book but hated it. The writing style and unlikeability of the narrator, I could live with...but I got halfway through and had to stop because I was so bothered by the inconsistencies in the writer's attitudes towards animals (see: her childhood dogs, her bunny, her rescue dog in NYC...) And reading the last chapter, her selfishness in the face of Bunker's end of life suffering made me furious. I am glad some people have connected with this story and found it helpful, but I ...more
Aug 22, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Heartfelt. Made me laugh, made me cry. This story really touched me. I highly recommend this book. Won courtesy of Goodreads Giveaway.
Aug 26, 2016 rated it really liked it
Childhood trauma left author Julie Barton with crippling negative self-talk and a major depressive breakdown. Leaving behind her New York City job and unhealthy love affair she returned to her Ohio family. With help from her parents, doctors, and therapists she underwent treatment. But it was the love for a dog, Bunker Hill, that ultimately gave Barton purpose and the unconditional love she desperately needed.

Barton audaciously takes a chance on life again, with Bunker at her side. When Bunker i
Aug 13, 2015 rated it really liked it
I have some experience with depression and what it can do to people, so I opened this book with caution bordering on skepticism. What could Dog Medicine tell me that I didn't already know? What I discovered was not new truth about clinical depression. Instead, Barton gives us a lesson in mercy. Sometimes in life (on the internet, in self-help, in therapy) we are reminded to be merciful to ourselves. But here, what got me crying late at night was a demonstration of the unbounded mercy and mystery ...more
Jul 23, 2016 rated it it was ok
Oddly for a memoir about a relationship for an animal, the dog's personality doesn't come through very clearly; he never truly features as a well-rounded character. The book may be of greater appeal to those who are interested in the mental health aspects of the story. There were quite a few moments where the author's choices seemed to be primarily about what she wanted rather than putting the needs of the animal first (disappointment that a petrified rabbit wouldn't go for a walk on the busy st ...more
Aug 22, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I received an ARC through Goodreads.
Wow! That was an intense and inspirational read. Depression is no joke, and it is becoming widely acknowledged.

I love how Julie wove her story and her struggle with that of Bunker. It was like them coming together was meant to be, they were clearly made to be there for each other. You can feel the unconditional love and support between the two, especially during the rough, dark and ugly times. Depression is not easily understood, but Julie somehow managed
Oct 04, 2016 rated it really liked it
"It was hard to comprehend, but our meeting felt like two magnets clacking together, two universes colliding, two hands clasping. I was absolutely sure that this was my dog and that I was meant to find him...the way Bunker loved me, so fully, clearly, and without exception, helped me remember every day to try to bring that kind of love to myself and others in my life."

As somebody who has been lucky enough to love two extraordinary (and extraordinarily different) dogs, this book was like a jolt o
Feb 19, 2017 rated it liked it
As someone whose dog has also helped her cope with clinical depression, I wanted to like this book a lot more than I did. But like others have noted, I was turned off by her dismissive attitude to her other pets (what happened to that rabbit?!) and wish more time in the book would have been spent on Bunker stories rather than her dating life and other dramas. Bunker didn't seem like a fully developed character in the book, he was more like a prop. ...more
Aug 26, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-and-enjoyed
A sweet, and sometimes dark, book about the creeping evil of depression, and the tender way that the animal-human bond can heal.
Mar 04, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
**I received a copy of this book from the publishers via Goodreads Giveaways.**

I just finished the book and I am a sobbing mess. This book touched me greatly, but surprisingly not in the ways that the author probably anticipated. The moments that I really connected with weren't actually heavily related to her relationship with her dog (except at the end). Throughout my life, I have dealt with depression and anxiety and I am completely familiar with those all-consuming feelings of self-hate and c
May 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I never knew i was a dog person, until i met my Homer. Just like Bunker, Homer came into my life at just the right time. When I met him, I knew immediately that he was supposed to be my dog. It was really one of the strangest experiences of my life.
Traci Ahlbrandt
Mar 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book was painful, yet beautiful for
Me. I lost my Bella 6 months ago and my relationship with mirrored Julie’s relationship with Bunker. She’s the only other person I’ve ever met who loved her dog like I loved Bella.
Heather Fineisen
I liked Bunker the dog more than the author. Despite the author's bout with depression, she presents herself as selfish in her decision-making. This is a sad story for both. ...more
Oct 17, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love dogs. And I love books. So naturally I love books about dogs. Dogs save us in so many countless ways. I totally get it. This book makes me want to give my dogs a hundred hugs. each.
Mar 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I connected with this book on so many levels. For one, it put words to depression and anxiety - something I've struggled with my whole life. Like Julie, I found coping mechanisms and prescription drugs to turn my life around in ways I never thought possible. Julie's detailed descriptions of mental darkness so clearly made me remember how I felt before I understood depression and what was happening in my body. I felt deeply for the characters and was elated that Julie wrote about a topic that is ...more
Aug 02, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: memoir
In Julie Barton’s memoir, Dog Medicine, love and healing come full circle. Bunker saves Julie. Julie saves Bunker. And in the case of this particular reader, Julie and Bunker saved both me and my dog, Tommy.

In a voice that is unflinchingly candid and gracefully honest, Julie Barton held me spellbound with the story of her battle with depression. By its very nature, depression causes a person to feel profoundly alone. However, with rare authenticity and descriptions that render the experience e
Mar 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
I'm not kidding when I say this book saved me.
My aunt sent this to me in the mail and I was so surprised because she never even told me she was sending something. She knew I was really struggling badly with my depression lately and that I love dogs so after she read this book, she felt the need to pass it to me. And I'm grateful beyond words that she did.
I read this book during my week long stay at a psychiatric hospital, although I practically devoured it in just one day (there's not much else
Aug 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I was lucky enough to get an advanced reading copy of “Dog Medicine”, a beautifully crafted work about the powerful and important roles animals play in our lives. Author Julie Barton shares with us an extremely difficult time in her life in a way that is raw and deeply honest, yet never begs for sympathy. She moves us through her story, painting for us every critical element and emotion in both a lyrical and efficient fashion. This kept me hungrily turning pages, anxious to travel the next mile ...more
Nov 14, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Dog Medicine is an endearing memoir delving into dark territory, but told with light and love. Barton takes us on a journey with her through a childhood shadowed by darkness, severe clinical depression, and her life changing connection with a golden retriever, named Bunker. Barton does this deftly without wallowing or hyperbole. She draws you in with warmth and humor. I felt as if I was sitting with a friend who was opening up about their challenging past.

Dog Medicine offers comfort to those who
Aug 04, 2016 rated it liked it
I listened to the audio version of this book and it might not have helped me any. The first 100 pages had very little to do with her dog Bunker and everything to do (in minutiae) about her depression. I get that depressed people are self centered in regards to that it's hard to get out of your own head because you're so wrapped up in you. But this was sort of like a self indulgent journal...which journals SHOULD be self indulgent, it's just that they don't necessarily make for good reading by an ...more
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Julie Barton's memoir, Dog Medicine, will be published July 19, 2016.

Pam Houston calls Dog Medicine, "honest, gloriously unselfconscious and compelling." Steve Almond says, "Julie Barton’s prose is lyrical and unflinching, a gorgeous howl in the darkness that leads the reader into the light." David Jauss says, "Dog Medicine is the most heartbreaking and heartwarming book I’ve read in years."


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