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Dog Is My Co-Pilot: Great Writers on the World's Oldest Friendship [Kindle Edition]

Bark Editors
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $14.99
Kindle Price: $9.99
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Sold by: Random House LLC

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Book Description

Dogs have been our muses, our mentors, and our playful and noble co-pilots. They’ve had a profound influence on us as healers and spiritual guides, and also as co-workers, helping to guide, hunt, herd, search, and rescue. Our bond with dogs is deep and unbreakable, and there’s no better source a reader can turn to for a richer understanding of that complex and wonderful relationship than The Bark.

The Bark began as a newsletter in Berkeley, California, that advocated for an off-leash area where dogs could cavort and play. Within a few years it had become a full-fledged, award-winning glossy magazine that published work by some of the best writers in America today. And as it grew, the magazine embraced a much larger canvas: to cover the emerging phenomenon of “dog culture” that has been developing over the past decade, as dogs have moved out of the backyard and into our homes, communities, and, indeed, the very center of our lives. As editor Claudia Kawczynska writes, “The implications of integrating another species into society’s daily fabric go well beyond how we nurture our dogs. It calls for a revamping of the standard etiquette—respecting the concerns and interests of society at large. This new relationship, along with an appreciation for our rich and unbounded future, comprises what we call dog culture. This is what The Bark set out to chronicle.”

Dog Is My Co-Pilot is an anthology of essays, short stories, and expert commentaries that explores every aspect of our life with dogs. Fifty percent of the material here has never been published before. The book is divided into four sections: Beginnings explores that first meeting, “the initial murmurings when a dog-human relationship is formed.” Pack investigates the theme of “togetherness” and pays tribute to the dynamic of multiple personalities in the canine-human relationship. Lessons examines what dogs teach us, from love to enlightenment. The final section, Passages, reflects on the themes of true friendship, transformation, and loss.

Included are pieces by Lynda Barry, Rick Bass, Maeve Brennan, Margaret Cho, Carolyn Chute, Alice Elliott Dark, Lama Surya Das, Pam Houston, Erica Jong, Tom Junod, Caroline Knapp, Donald McCaig, Nasdijj, Ann Patchett, Michael Paterniti, Charles Siebert, Alexandra Styron, Elizabeth Marshall Thomas, and Alice Walker. In selections that are humorous, poignant, truthful, sometimes surprising, and frequently uplifting, Dog Is My Co-Pilot embraces the full experience of the world’s oldest friendship. For people who love great writing and, yes, great dogs, it’s a book to be both shared and treasured.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

This anthology by the editors of the Bark, a hip, literate dog quarterly, defines the parameters of this genre with sensibility and force. Such writers as Elizabeth Marshall Thomas, Mark Doty, Caroline Knapp, Thom Jones, Mark Derr, Rick Bass, Tom Junod and Erica Jong assure dog lovers that they aren't crazy or neurotic for having intense feelings for their dogs or for buying a separation anxiety CD for a terrier-beagle mix, as Charles Siebert does with not a little bemusement. Patricia B. McConnell, an animal behaviorist, says, "There's something much bigger and better than neediness that drives our love of dogs." For her, that something is silence: her dog Cool Hand Luke's nonverbal attentiveness teaches that "dogs keep us firmly rooted in the here and now." For others, like Stephen Kuusisto, freedom comes in the form of a seeing-eye dog named Corky, who proves her worthiness by steering the author through an obstacle course of doughnuts and pizza slices. The dogs written about here all have something to teach, whether it's about trust, bigotry, loving, mortality or spirituality: Lama Surya Das, echoing the playful title of the book, writes, "Scratch a dog and you'll find God." The high quality, humor (with a comic by Lynda Barry) and delight here leave the reader wanting more.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From School Library Journal

Adult/High School-The editors of Berkeley's popular Bark magazine have compiled this appealing collection of essays and short stories exploring every aspect of the dog/owner relationship. Some of the selections are light and humorous, but most are serious attempts to explain the important role a dog plays in one's life. Well-known writers such as Rick Bass, Erica Jong, Alice Walker, and Ann Patchett are contributors and cartoonist Lynda Barry offers a sweet graphic story. Animal-loving teens will be delighted with this collection.-Penny Stevens, Andover College, Portland, ME
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Product Details

  • File Size: 950 KB
  • Print Length: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Crown (February 4, 2009)
  • Sold by: Random House LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B001RLBX3Y
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #678,319 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
41 of 42 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Food for the soul of every dog lover September 18, 2003
This fresh and inspirational compilation is food for the soul of every dog lover. Every page serves to confirm the strength of the human-canine bond, and the degree of unconditional love shared between mankind and dogs. I loved every word, even those that brought tears to my eyes and put a lump in my throat. The talented writings are simply heartwarming. An ideal gift book for the holidays, or any occasion.
Arlene Millman
(The tale of a remarkable Boston Terrier)
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36 of 37 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Recommended Even for Non-Dog People December 13, 2003
I am not a dog person, have never owned a dog, have never even been close to a dog. In fact, my only qualification for having read this book may be that I cried when I read Old Yeller and that was a LONG time ago.
But I loved this book. Most of the stories are only a few pages long, so if one doesn't click, you can be on a brand new story in no time. My favorite stories were Lynda Barry's graphic short, Stephen Kuusisto's description of meeting his new guide dog and how they come to trust one another, and Lee Forgotson's thoughts on how dogs helped her come to terms with the aftermath of September 11.
Most of the stories were funny or touching, but there were several eulogies to old friends, as well. The drawings by Mark Ulriksen are eye-catching, a little off-kilter. Two paws up for this one.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dog is good June 9, 2004
This has been one of the most enjoyable books of the year. I recommend it to any dog-lover. It is a literate, touching, funny book that rings true. The reader can enjoy it on many levels - it informs about dog (and people) behaviour, and if it taught me anything about dogs, it taught me more about myself.
This is a colleection of essays and stories by writers urban and rural, old and young, male and female. There's something for everyone who loves dogs (or a dog) and every reader will find his/her own treasures in it. I found that it was a book to savor slowly. I usually read a book every day or two - this one took me most of a week because it was not a book to be rushed.
I'm going to buy a copy of the magazine "Bark" to see if I like it as much as the book.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brings Me to Tears February 16, 2004
I know how and what I feel about my dogs and all dogs. I know how I evolved to this direction. I owned a Doberman at a very bad time in my life and she, (Peggy) got me through. The way the authors of some of the stories in Dog Is My Co-Pilot explains and describes my emotions to a T, much better than I ever could, along with the things they do for and with their canines. There is only one thing I disagree with, you will find on page 55 near the bottom. I will quote the sentence: Even vicious dogs such as Dobermans and Pit Bulls have no guile. I beg to differ, Dobermans and Pit Bulls are NOT vicious unless TAUGHT TO BE. I would like society to turn this opinion about these dogs around to the correct thinking. I would also like to add that Rottweilers are also considered vicious but again they are not born that way they are TRAINED to be that way. Thank you
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars WONDERFUL, BEAUTIFULLY WRITTEN! September 20, 2005
I loved the book, from start to finish. I did not want read it in one sitting, so I slowly read each chapter here and there. I really enjoyed reading peoples different views of their relationship with their dogs, yet all the authors lifes have been deeply touched by loving and being loved by their dogs. I have had dogs as family since I was born, and I will never be without but I see them differently now. Like, we were meant to share our lives together. Thank you Bark, and Thank You Gracie and Jack for the unconditional love we have always shared.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Wonderful Read, Every Time August 29, 2005
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I have read every story in this book at least once, and several of them two or three times. If you love dogs, you will love this book. If you have never quite been able to understand why people love dogs, this book will bring you closer than you ever thought you could be.

That said, this is not really a book about dogs. It's a very well-written book about close friends, innate trust, survival, and the strength a person can gain from respecting, believing in, and exchanging affection with someone outside yourself.

Buy it. Read it. You'll love it.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Touching...a great gift. December 17, 2004
This is a great book, and makes an excellent gift for dog owners or for people that just like dogs or touching stories. One especially good thing about it is that you can pick it up at any time and enjoy pieces of it. What I like most is all the different ways that people discover to communicate their connection with dogs. If you have had a dog, many of these stories will really resonate. Highly recommended.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Literary Dog Lover's Book January 20, 2004
If you like good writing or love dogs, this book is a treasure. Since most of the stories are by accomplished literary authors who are also smitten by dogs, the quality of writing is spectacular. These are not fiction, but personal accounts of the writer's relationship with a dog, or dogs. One writer has 10 stray dogs ranging in age from 8 months to 12 years, and describes the chess-like complexity of the feeding ritual. Another wrote a book about her adopted stray, and writes about taking said dog on a book tour. This is not a book about obedience, purebreads, or perfect pets. When a mildly eccentric human is teamed with a real dog (all of whom are eccentric!) and that human can write, this collection is what you get. I read it in bed at night, with my two beagles curled up next to me and my other three mutts sprawled around the bedroom, but even if you don't have a dog to read it with, it is well worth your time.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars beautiful
Wonderful writing. But soooooo sad. I was glad to finish the last story because I was tired of weeping. All of us who have had beloved pets have been there.
Published 2 months ago by barbara rondon
5.0 out of 5 stars Friend delighted by gift
My husband and I bought this for another dog-loving friend, and he loves it. I read it long ago when I received it with my subscription to Bark Magazine, a terrific publication. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Deborah Morse
5.0 out of 5 stars Great dog book!
Loved every essay! Some are playing on your heart strings, so have some tissue ready. All dog-lovers should read this book.
Published 7 months ago by Maria Ujvari
5.0 out of 5 stars A privilege to own
When I've looked at Dog Fancy magazine, I yawn. It's puerile, meant for the sub-100 IQ set. Not The Bark Magazine, let alone this best-of The Bark anthology. Buy it.
Published 8 months ago by Marty Nemko
4.0 out of 5 stars Good book
My husband is a pilot. I bought it for him, Our dog does go flying with us. He let othe friends read it. So it has brought a lot of enjoyment to all.
Published 14 months ago by Terry Kuhlmey
4.0 out of 5 stars Love those dogs
This is a very nice collection of differing relationships with dogs. Some are better written than others but all offer insights to how humans view their dogs and how they relate... Read more
Published on November 6, 2011 by M. P. Wallace
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Reminder of What's Important
Awesome escape from the everyday world of people! A great reminder of how love given freely and consistently is what we "Higher beings" should be striving for. Read more
Published on August 28, 2011 by JHale
5.0 out of 5 stars Recommended Even for Non-Dog People
I am not a dog person, have never owned a dog, have never even been close to a dog. In fact, my only qualification for having read this book may be that I cried when I read Old... Read more
Published on December 19, 2008 by takingadayoff
1.0 out of 5 stars not intended for dog lovers
This book was given to me as a gift by a well-meaning friend who knows I am a lover of dogs. Had she known the sadness between the covers I'm sure she would have chosen another... Read more
Published on November 22, 2008 by quirky book lover
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful, thoughtful read
If you love dogs, this is a must read. If you don't love dogs, you might by the end of this book. There are so many heartfelt stories. My favorite is the one about Bloodlines. Read more
Published on February 8, 2008 by J. Robinson
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