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Pack of Two: The Intricate Bond Between People and Dogs

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At the age of 36, Caroline Knapp, author of the acclaimed bestseller Drinking: A Love Story, found herself confronted with a monumental task: redefining her world.

She had faced the loss of both her parents, given up a twenty-year relationship with alcohol, and, as she writes, "I was wandering around in a haze of uncertainty, blinking up at the biggest questions: Who am I without parents and without alcohol? How to form attachments, and where to find comfort, in the face of such daunting vulnerability?" An answer materialized in the most unlikely form: that of a dog. Eighteen months to the day after she quit drinking, Knapp stumbled upon an eight-week-old puppy at a local animal shelter, took her home, and named her Lucille. Now two years old, Lucille has become a central force in Knapp's life: "In her," she writes, "I have found solace, joy, a bridge to the world."

Caroline Knapp has been celebrated as much for her fresh insight into emotional and psychological issues as she has been for her gifts as a writer. In Pack of Two, she brings the same perception and talent to bear on the rich, complicated terrain of human-animal relationships. In addition to mining her own experience with Lucille, Knapp speaks to a wide variety of dog people--from animal behaviorists and psychologists to other owners whose dogs have deeply affected their lives--about this emotionally complex, sometimes daunting, often profoundly healing alliance. Throughout, she explores the shift in canine roles from working partners to intimate companions and looks, too, at how this new kinship, this wordless bond, becomes a template for what we most desire ourselves.

272 pages, Paperback

First published January 1, 1998

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About the author

Caroline Knapp

22 books233 followers
Caroline Knapp was an American writer and columnist whose candid best-selling memoir Drinking: A Love Story recounted her 20-year battle with alcoholism.

From 1988-95, she was a columnist for the Boston Phoenix, where her column "Out There" often featured the fictional "Alice K." In 1994, those columns were collected in her first book, Alice K's Guide to Life: One Woman's Quest for Survival, Sanity, and the Perfect New Shoes.

Knapp won wide acclaim for Drinking: A Love Story (1996), which described her life as a "high-functioning alcoholic" and remained on the New York Times best-seller list for several weeks. She followed Drinking with Pack of Two, also a best-seller, which recounted her relationship with her dog Lucille and humans' relationships with dogs in general.

(from Wikipedia)

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 262 reviews
Profile Image for Thomas.
1,520 reviews8,994 followers
April 10, 2022
Anyone who knows me knows I love Caroline Knapp’s writing, and this book served as no exception. One of the things I cherish most about Knapp’s voice is that it’s self-searching and ruthlessly vulnerable without ever feeling overly sentimental or mawkish. In Pack of Two, she writes about her journey with her dog Lucille, whom she adopted shortly after she ended a 20-year relationship with alcohol, also soon after both of her parents died. Knapp details the beginning and development of her relationship with Lucille and what she learns about discipline and connection along the way. She interweaves her and Lucille’s narrative with research, interviews with dog professionals, and conversations with friends. Though I am not really interested in dogs at all, for the most part this book sustained my interest given the quality and depth of Knapp’s writing. Two central themes I found interesting: the extent to which we project onto dogs as well as what dogs can teach us about our connections with ourselves and others.

I actually got teary-eyed in the last chapter and epilogue of this book just because of how clearly Knapp’s love for Lucille shone through and how much Knapp herself derived from her relationship with Lucille. Across her books Knapp describes herself as someone weary of connection and often insecure or anxious around others – which is so interesting given the self-awareness and rawness of her writing – and it brings me such joy and contentment to know that she found solace and a sense of home with Lucille. I also loved Knapp’s writing about her friendship with Grace (a pseudonym for Gail Caldwell, who wrote the masterful memoir Let’s Take the Long Way Home after Knapp’s death) and the snippets we saw of Michael (Knapp’s long-term boyfriend Mark Morelli, who we know she got a happy ending with through Knapp’s excellent memoir Appetites ). Morelli wrote a blog post after Lucille’s death which is such a bittersweet addendum to Knapp’s life given how she writes about grief in Pack of Two. It warms my heart to know that despite her many struggles, Knapp cultivated many deep and loving relationships that sustained her up until her tragic passing.

Though I obviously love Knapp, I do want to point out the use of the r word once in this book, as well as an odd (and probably racist?) comparison to a dog’s physical features and Ho Chi Minh. I was like Caroline, girl you can do better than that. Despite these missteps, I’d still recommend this book to dog-lovers and fans of Knapp’s work.
Profile Image for Laurie  (barksbooks).
1,752 reviews697 followers
September 3, 2013
I found this book all too easy to put down, I'm afraid. I'm not sure why, I guess the reason is the fact that I wasn't a fan of the writing style or the author's extremely neurotic personality. The book, for all of its love of everything dog related, is rather a dreary read and somewhere around the midway mark becomes more of a collection of vignettes about dogs who become neurotic because their owners make them so. It almost makes one feel that to love a dog too much makes one incapable of having a healthy relationship with a human. Many of these people are using dogs as an excuse to distance themselves from human relationships. I'm sure it's true but it's not always the norm as presented in this book, and reading about it was a sad and exhausting experience.

In the end, there were a few heart-tugging moments but for the most part I pitied the author who seemed depressed and isolated and, dare I say, a wee bit too attached to her dog and too dependent on her dog for love. I love my dogs but they're not a substitute for a real relationship.
Profile Image for Meave.
789 reviews60 followers
January 21, 2008
I want my Hoover back. This stupid book is so emotionally affecting, it's all giggles and fond memories and a thousand tissues remembering your life with your first dog. Seriously, I am crying now just typing this and it has been two years since I read the book and 12 years since the dog in question went to puppy heaven.

Living on your own is never as good as you want it to be without a dog.
Profile Image for Michelle.
49 reviews12 followers
March 9, 2009
I wasn't quite sure what to make of the book at first. I thought it was going to be along the lines of the McConnell books I've read: trained animal behaviorist giving anecdotes and scientific fact to back up her claims. That turned out to be far from the truth. The book is more about the journey one woman takes after getting her dog, a journey into a discovery of what being a "dog person" is all about. She does explore the bonds between humans and dogs, but from an entirely personal way. It's all done through her careful observations of her own emotions and thoughts and through looking at other people's relationships with their dogs. The book, ultimately, does a lot to debunk the whole "dogs as unconditional love" thing many people are fond of reciting. It doesn't do this in a harsh way, but rather gently reminds the reader that dogs are living creatures, with their own wants and emotions.

While it wasn't what I expected, I thought it was ultimately a wonderful book.
Profile Image for B.
261 reviews18 followers
November 20, 2009
This is the creed one must take whenever one begins to read a dog book, The I’m-beginning-to-read-a-dog-book Creed:

I realize that the lifespan of dogs is significantly less than the lifespan of humans. I accept that when reading a dog book, the chances of me falling in love with the dog and the author then documenting the dog’s death are very high. I affirm that this dog book will make me cry while riding the T. Thus concludes the I’m-beginning-to-read-a-dog-book Creed.

Surprisingly, the dog didn't die in this book, so that was nice. It still made me almost cry a few times. My issue with this book, and I did like it, I did, but... OK, I own a dog. I love my dog. My dog is my best friend. I like thinking about my dog and talking about my dog and talking to my dog and walking my dog. I'm not obsessed with my dog though. I don't know when her birthday is and don't buy her special doggy ice cream treats on such occasions. Caroline Knapp got her dog shortly after she quit drinking. As when most alcoholics quit drinking, they end up filling that void with another obsession. Most of the time, this is their "higher power", they become super Christian and religious and annoying. I much prefer her route, become obsessed with a dog. I got the sense reading this book though that I was peering inside this intensely aggressive obsession.

There were parts of it that were really nice though regarding the psychology behind our relationships with dogs. I found myself going home and looking at my dog in a different way, our relationship in a different light. I don't know that I agree with all of her ideas about our own psychosis being projected on our dogs though. I think dogs are dogs and sometimes are weird in ways that they are weird, not because we train them to be that way.

Knapp used to write for the Phoenix and lived in Cambridge, so it was cool hearing her talk about all the places she took her dog knowing that I've taken my dog to those same places. The real sad part of the story is not in the story. She died of cancer not too long ago. I wonder if her dog out lived her. I bet she was sad if she did.
Profile Image for Sue.
426 reviews8 followers
April 12, 2011
i can see now, why my dear friend in California sent me this book (to ensure that I wouldn't flit off to another book on my long list), and has been bugging me for a long time, to just READ IT!! I called her the day after I finished her, to thank her. There are only a certain group of people who would really "get" this book. Yes, it's well-written, and the only reason I've put it off is because SO many people thrust animal books upon me.
But this one is different. It's about the closeness that some of us feel with our dogs. It's not about fringe, crazy-people. But, it's also not about folks who just pat the dog's head, are glad it is around, and maybe shed a tear or two when it is gone. It's for those of us who understand the dog's innate center as a wild animal, but also know how damn close we can be to them, every waking hour of the day.
The book talks to us, the ones who will always feel knives through our chests after we've lost a dog. Those holes that never heal, even with a new dog. And we really don't talk to people about it, because we look a little off-center to those who have never experienced "a pack of two."
I was sad to learn that the author has passed away, too young. But I hope to read the book written by her best friend, who kept the author's dog when she passed away.
Profile Image for Reese.
163 reviews64 followers
September 29, 2016
Well, it's not what I expected. And I don't mean that in a good way. While Caroline Knapp chose the title Pack of Two, she presents maybe (I didn't count) 200 packs of two packed with study results. I wasn't prepared for tidbits about one dog-person relationship after another plus analysis reinforced by study after study. I should have paid more attention to the subtitle: The Intricate Bond Between People and Dogs.

About one-third of the way through the book, I'm "Hamlet," asking, "to finish or not to finish?" Skimming -- which I almost never do -- was my answer. Turned out to be a good choice. Honestly, if you're not a grandparent, how many photos of other people's grandchildren can you stand to look at closely? (Forget "closely.") I AM glad, though, that I didn't miss the Epilogue. Although Knapp's work is not what I would call "touching," it did revive the pain of our dog's absence and made me long for another pet. A dog. Or a cat. Not fish -- even if they're beautiful and someone else keeps the tank clean.
Profile Image for Kelly Zazeckis.
13 reviews1 follower
December 16, 2021
This book explores the intricate bond between a newly sober adult woman and her adopted pup. It’s especially enjoyable for dog lovers and anyone looking to define in some way their relationship with their dog. Never underestimate the healing and restorative powers of owning a dog, or two… or maybe even three. 🤷🏼‍♀️
Profile Image for Liesl.
359 reviews15 followers
February 5, 2015
I wanted to like this book--the premise of a single-woman whose closest confidante and relationship was with a dog and struggles with confidence/self-esteem mirrors my own life. However, despite the book being only around 250 pages, it seemed to drag on and on and repeat the same comments. She constantly worries about what her dog is thinking about her and what others think about her based on her dog's training. She is so worked up over the idea of being the pack leader and showing her dominance over the dog that I feel she misses out just enjoying the time spent with her dog. I suppose in a way it was therapy for me since I sometimes worry over the same things and now reading someone else I realize how inconsequential those concerns are. I have not read Knapp's memoir about dealing with her alcoholism, but based on this book and reviews I would say she moved her obsession from alcohol to her dog, and I found this book to be more distressing than uplifting.
Profile Image for Catherine.
19 reviews
July 23, 2013
What can I say, I am loving these memoirs by middle-aged women from Cambridge. I've been walking a golden retriever at one of my jobs, and it's made me want to get a dog as soon as I don't live in a studio and have a steadier income. It was also interesting and moving to read this right after finishing "Let's Take the Long Way Home," a memoir by Knapp's friend Gail Caldwell about their friendship before Knapp's untimely death.
Profile Image for Kelly.
107 reviews30 followers
March 13, 2012
GREAT book about the relationship between a woman and her dog. The writing is candid and introspective, but there's a lot I identified with. For anybody living with a dog, but primarily women, this is definitely a recommended read.
Profile Image for Wolf Ostheeren.
147 reviews13 followers
August 5, 2020
What a powerful book! Probably really weird and incomprehensible if you're not a dog person, but I am and it touched me deeply. Parts of it are very emotional and moving and others really scared me and made me think intensely about my relationship with animals, as the book made very clear how unsound they CAN be, how many ways there are to abuse animals (even without hurting them in any way) by involving them in our own personal dramas, using them as substitutes for human beings, expecting things from them they can't deliver, etc. Knapp cites examples that give me goosebumps and is startlingly open about instances where she might be crossing some of these lines herself. By the end though (I don't think there are spoilers for books that don't build suspense, but if you're doubtful, stop reading here) she had me mostly calmed down again when she seems to have found some peace of mind and expresses the notion that everyone has to decide for themselves what's healthy for them, whatever other people might say. Sounds trite, but it's actually not that easy if you hear things like "But... it's just a dog!" (uttered in complete bewilderment) about a relationship you consider one of the most important ones in your life.
Profile Image for Jamie.
1,286 reviews9 followers
November 22, 2020
(3.5) This was a lovely memoir and exploration of bonding with a dog, and it does show the positives and negatives to such relationships, especially when we humans treat our dogs more like a human than the species they actually are.

Eventually the repetitive style of Knapp got on my nerves, but overall this is a great book for dog people or anyone wanting to better understand them!
Profile Image for Jane.
3 reviews
June 3, 2012
The first few pages made me wonder whether I hadn't written it myself, so accurately did it describe my relationship with my own sweet one. But her writing is far more beautiful than I could have managed. I still remember the day a friend loaned me this book and at the end of the first paragraph of the prologue I cried. It was that intense and cathartic crying that happens with grief. I really could not stop. It had touched a very deep and solemn corner of my psyche. And later I cried at regular intervals, every few pages. I had to re-read the book later without tears to enjoy it at a less emotional level.

I didn't think anyone in the world felt as I did or had the type of relationship I did with my dog (and had had previously with my horse). Not only had she encapsulated it in a lovely phrase, "pack of two," but she had also described moments I had cherished such as the way my dog used to stand and stare into my eyes if he wanted to wake me up: so discrete, but so intimate. Like a good and dutiful dog, he would never look me in the eyes unless to request something. He would not be so bold as to stare for no good reason. And although he didn't curl up against my stomach, as another girl dog was later to do, because he would have been too hot and anyway, he was male and not at all sentimental, he did sleep in my bed, just as Lucille did with Caroline. We were not the only ones!

There were so many parallels with our lives: the simultaneous sigh as we drift into sleep, my hypnotic gaze that grows heartstrings to every limb and strand of fur; the pictures – I loved the chance to show 'baby photos' of my darling, knowing it was silly but revelling in both the similarity to more normal familial relationships and the dissonance of this ironic ritual. And she knew the way I had given up on attempting a normal human social life: I once shocked a fellow-dog-lover by telling her I had not even been to the cinema since I had found my dog, which then was around 6 years (now it's 13).

The first chapter is called, "The colour of joy." Do you get that? I used to think that my horse had taught me love and my dog had taught me joy. And she said it!

I could go on for a long time, but I don't want to spoil the book for you. Read it, for your soul.
Profile Image for Jessica.
21 reviews
September 17, 2019
This book was written in blood from my own heart. I don't even know how to review it. It is the swan song of introverts in intensely-enmeshed relationships with their dogs. Caroline Knapp is my spirit animal.
Profile Image for Patricia.
274 reviews2 followers
May 7, 2019
A delightful meditation on the discovered and revered relationship between people and their dogs. This is the follow-up to Knapps' recovery from alcoholism story and much like that one, it's told in a voice of curiosity and insights along the way with a fair amount of what others have observed about this relationship. Lucile, the beloved dog in the story, remains clearly a dog by her side throughout. Even though Knapp is careful to not project her human needs onto the animal, she is able to discuss how Lucile fills her up so that she "continues to pick up that leash and go forward." The many examples of the "gaze" made me miss medha and yoda and look forward to a new canine companion in my life.
Profile Image for Susan.
2,839 reviews
September 11, 2017
This was a sweet look at the relationship between people and there pets. I could see myself in many of the anecdotes and could sympathize with many of the situations. The book also helped me rationalize that I am not as crazy a pet parent as I thought I was!
Profile Image for Lis Carey.
2,190 reviews100 followers
May 6, 2019
Caroline Knapp was a writer and columnist who wrote a best-selling memoir about her struggle with alcoholism--Drinking: A Love Story. This is a different but related story. After losing her father to cancer, her mother to cancer, and quitting drinking in the space of eighteen months, Knapp had some large holes in her life, and needed something to refocus her life.

She got a dog, a ten-week-old mixed breed shelter dog she named Lucille.

Knapp had grown up with dogs in the home, but had never been the responsible dog owner. She and Lucille both had a lot to learn, and a lot to teach each other.

Knapp lived in the Greater Boston area, and her story covers familiar geographic area along with the experience of becoming a dog person, learning what our dogs can give us and what they can't, and what we need to give our dogs so they can be happy, healthy, and a positive part of our lives. Dogs don't speak English, and they're not equipped to fully understand the complexities of human society. We have to supply that for them, and give them rules and structure they can understand, so that they can do for us what they do best. Knapp recounts how she unintentionally taught Lucille separation anxiety, and then had to help her recover from it. A friend of hers who wanted a big, strong dog to keep her safe, unintentionally allowed her dog to take charge of deciding who the threats were--and had to fix that dangerous error.

But part of the point here is that yes, you can train your dog, and if you make mistakes, usually you can fix those mistakes, if you take responsibility and take the necessary steps. Breed traits matter, but so does human responsibility.

Another recurring theme in the book is the weird and judgmental way people who don't have pets react to people who recognize their pets as genuine sentient beings, not humans, but real beings with their own personalities and gifts. Yes, I love my dog, as I have loved previous dogs and cats, and each has made a meaningful contribution to my life--contributions that humans couldn't have made, because humans, dogs, cats, horses, all bring different things to the table in our relationships with them.

So, yes, I have loved them all, and mourned the loss of each and every one, and yes, if you roll your eyes at my grief, or at my joy when a new pet joins my life, or delight at what they do, I am noting and judging your lack of empathy, and the gaping hole in your life from not being able to relate to a non-human who has a fundamentally different view of the world than you do. Or, indeed, a fellow human, with a slightly different view of the world than you.

My current dog is my service dog, and makes it possible for me to leave the house and interact somewhat normally with the world. You not only aren't doing that, but couldn't do that, not in the easy, unpressured way that she does. Nor do humans have the same attentiveness to body language that dogs do; she knows when I need help when, for the humans around me, I'm keeping the lid on.

The "pack of two" isn't like other relationships we have, and it's not a substitute for those other relationships. It's its own thing, valuable in its own right, and plays a vital role for many of us, in being stable, happy, and healthy.

I bought this audiobook.
Profile Image for Kelley.
891 reviews3 followers
February 12, 2021
This book was published 20+ years ago, and like many books about dogs, that's a lifetime of new information out there. But one thing remains the same, there is a bond between a person and their dog. There are crazy, over the top dog owners out there, there are "sane" dog owners out there, and there are many, many more dog owners somewhere in the middle of this.

One theme I noticed was the guilt of leaving your dog home alone. Yes, been there, done that, got a 2nd dog for that problem, best decision in the world, seeing as how I grew up with 3 dogs. I know the author was speaking in terms of 1 human and 1 dog many times, but the pack mentality and letting your dog have a canine companion in the mix changes things immensely, plus dogs have a way of sorting out their order, playing with each other, etc. that us humans can appreciate if we do that for them.

There's a lot to be said on this subject, just from my experiences alone. Dog agility wasn't really quite the popular thing when she wrote this book, but that's my thing, well it was, until they retired, and they do Nosework, which is our thing now, but the bond when training and competing with your dog, and making sure you are always having fun, they are always having fun is the balance for me. My Aussies especially, I can read them, they can read me, and I feel like partners with both of them, the amount of times I have stepped up to the line, to just trust the bond and their training and know when to appreciate the fact that things don't always go right, but they are still your amazing partner.
She hits the nail on the head, dogs are a type of support that even if you have close human relationships, you still wouldn't like the amount of affection and constant closeness you get with your dog, from your human partner.
Profile Image for Janet Elsbach.
Author 1 book9 followers
February 12, 2017
I will read just about anything with dogs in it, and when there's good writing involved, I ought to be doubly engaged. I appreciated the parts where she delved into the particulars of her self and her story and her dog. I got weary of the writing about other people and their dogs and their neuroses, and of what felt like general hypercogitation about ARE THE DOGS TRULY HAPPY WHAT ARE THEY THINKING OH MY OH MY. I am a legit dog maniac, but I could think only of the scary statistics about how much money we spend in the USA on pets' toys and entertainment and clothing and portraits and therapy and pawdicures while the world is full of unmet suffering.
Profile Image for Kari.
Author 2 books11 followers
September 7, 2012
I was drawn to this book because the cover featured a view of the back of a woman beside a pointy-eared shepherd mix. Author Caroline Knapp had written a memoir about her battle with alcoholism, called Drinking: A Love Story, and this purported to be a love story about her dog.

I was hoping for a narrative telling the story of her life with this dog, Lucille. Instead, I felt like I was reading a dog version of the early episodes of Sex and the City, when various women and men on the street addressed the camera and told their personal stories.

In Pack of Two, Knapp shares dozens of anecdotes about people’s close bonds with their dogs. Thrown in are a few comments from people who have the attitude of "Come on, it's just a dog." Knapp did plenty of research and this is a pretty good book, but nothing I haven’t heard before.

My biggest complaint is that the pictures of Lucille at the beginning of each chapter are black and white and hard to see.
Profile Image for A .
273 reviews3 followers
November 29, 2020
"Neurotic pet-owner, know thyself"
I'm really glad I read this book before getting a dog. People are kuh-razy!!! And I could have so easily been one of them. If I'm ever lucky enough to get a dog of my own it's Monks of New Skeete and Ceasar Milan the whole way! This book helped me see how it actually damages the dog to project your own ideas/beliefs/feelings/moods/thoughts etc. onto an animal. And also, that the way you love a dog can actually be a detriment to their mental health. I'm on board with crate training, feeding AFTER you have eaten, basic obedience training, etc. The only thing I would have a really hard time enforcing is not letting them sleep with me. Evidently it can make them view you as an equal rather than a pack leader. But cuddles!
Profile Image for Christine.
199 reviews
February 3, 2009
Okay, animal guardians with abnormally close relationship with their pets - read on! This is a lovely book about a woman and her dog. It's loosely based on the woman's life, with some dog trivia sprinkled throughout. Her dialogue regarding preferring the company of her pet versus some people in her life was refreshing.

I read this when I just adopted Ares. I was living with a guy who said Ares had to go after we just adopted him. I chose the dog over the man and we left that day. This book reinforced my conviction that even though I knew my dog for 12 hours he was WAY better than that dumb guy I lived with! To this day I still like my dogs better than many people.
43 reviews1 follower
July 29, 2009
If Oprah picked a book club book on dogs this would be it! I found this book difficult to read at times--it's really a memoir about a emotionally troubled, recovering alcoholic who adopts a dog and discovers inner peace... But her evaluation of what it is to live with a dog as a single city-dweller is amazing. I just adopted my first dog two months ago and her explanation of how we bond and you become interconnected with your dog definitely resonate me. (I'm not sure they would have if I read the book before I adopted Shelby.) Glad someone has taken the time to thoughtfully analyze what it is to own a dog and how that it transforms your life without relying on cliches.
23 reviews1 follower
September 16, 2011
On the brink of getting my own first dog, this was a sentimental look at the bond between dogs and owners. Knapp explored the meaning of the bond between herself and her dog Lucille, as well as the bonds of some dog owners around her. She talks about how the relationship with her dog has helped her to work through the issues with her own past relationships. I don't think this book will be for everyone, as a lengthy discussion of relationships isn't everyone's cup of tea. If you're looking for a feel-good story about a dog-lover and maybe some insight into the relationship between people and their dogs it is a pleasant read.
Profile Image for Lindsey.
326 reviews39 followers
February 8, 2013
This is a moving look at all the ways dogs enrich and complicate our lives, how we project onto them, anthropomorphize them, use them to cope with our lives and justify the decisions we make. The author found herself using the dog as an excuse to cut off contact with people, though she did actually end up building some relationships because of her shepard mix, Lucille. There are a lot of anecdotes about how maladjusted owners create unhealthy lives for themselves with the help of their dog. Since I already philosophize quite a bit about my relationship with my two pups, Piper and Stewie, this book didn't surprise me with its insight, though I did enjoy it.
48 reviews
July 22, 2016
exactly the opposite of the book i read immediately following this: 'merle's door' which was essentially a biography of a dog with a balanced (read - canine) life.

the first chapter was tough for me but i wanted to give the book a chance and pushed on. ultimately ended up skimming whole chapters just to see if the tone of the book changed, or a plot appeared, to no avail.

this is a narrative of a new dog-owner's neuroses and the evolving (obsessive) relationship between herself and the dog that plays these out.

this seems to be a popular book, but i couldn't relate to anything she spoke about, and found her actions and behaviors contemptible even.
Profile Image for Leslie.
197 reviews22 followers
June 12, 2013
I love dogs, and stories with, and about, dogs. This book, however, is not about dogs. It is the endless ruminating of an ex-alcoholic who has not come to terms with her adulthood, her parents' death, her romantic relationships, her own identity, or how to conduct herself when she chooses on impulse to get a dog. I was embarrassed for her as she went on and on. It was pathetic, and repetitive, utterly self-indulgent. The book needed serious editing. Her obsession about her interaction with the dog was alarming and pitiful. By the end I was so sorry for the dog.
11 reviews
February 16, 2013
I trudged through this book just so I could say that I didn't give up on it, but it was excruciating. I love dogs and have read many books on the bonds between humans and their canine companions that were pure delights. This book, on the other hand, made me want to reach through the book and slap the author. Having trouble training your dog made you feel like you were being rejected as a person? Seriously? Stop projecting your massive emotional baggage on a dog. Get a therapist, and for heavens' sake don't charge people to read your whining.
Profile Image for Thomas.
Author 1 book52 followers
December 12, 2013
Not sure what to say about this book. Parts of it were great, parts of it made me want to groan. The author was clearly dealing with some serious neuroses (she did write a best-seller about her 20 year battle with alcoholism) and these come through loud and clear -- often projecting onto the dogs, people, and the relationships between them that she describes. I'm not sure I'd recommend this to people really trying to understand the relationship between people and dogs, unless you already have enough experience to filter out the more "colored" bits.
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