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Dog Is My Co-Pilot: Great Writers on the World's Oldest Friendship Paperback – October 26, 2004

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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. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Crown Archetype (October 26, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1400050537
  • ISBN-13: 978-1400050536
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.6 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #667,508 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

41 of 42 people found the following review helpful By Arlene Millman on September 18, 2003
Format: Hardcover
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
author of BOOMERANG - A MIRACLE TRILOGY
(The tale of a remarkable Boston Terrier)
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36 of 37 people found the following review helpful By takingadayoff TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on December 13, 2003
Format: Hardcover
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 By Valerie Fletcher Adolph on June 9, 2004
Format: Hardcover
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 By Merrianne Reimann on February 16, 2004
Format: Hardcover
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 By RNluvspups on September 20, 2005
Format: Paperback
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 By Greg Robertson VINE VOICE on 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 By W. R. Pursche on December 17, 2004
Format: Hardcover
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 By Gary P. Olson on January 20, 2004
Format: Hardcover
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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