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Follow My Lead: What Training My Dogs Taught Me about Life, Love, and Happiness Paperback – July 26, 2011

4.5 out of 5 stars 42 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"In this beautifully written story of a woman in transition, Carol Quinn embarks on a journey of self-discovery and imparts hard-won life lessons with insight and humor." - Bas Bleu

Any experienced dog trainer-especially the ones who teach the beginner and puppy classes-will tell you that the real secret of teaching dog obedience classes lies in training the owners.
Although this concept lies at the heart of Carol Quinn's Follow My Lead, don't think for a minute that the book is just about that. The simple-sounding premise (woman at a crossroads in her personal life takes up training her dogs and learns some valuable lessons in the process) unfolds into a love letter to the human/animal bond that's multi-layered, funny, sad, and philosophical.-Shaggy Dog Stories 


"Follow My Lead is so much more than a book about dog training—it’s a book about life and all the glorious ways in which we can learn from our interactions with our best friends. Through melding the stories of training her two spunky Rhodesian Ridgebacks in the agility ring with tales from her everyday life, author Carol Quinn delivers a compelling narrative that evidences the transformational power of the bond between a human and their canine companions. Taking a step back to see what dogs can teach us about our own lives opens the door to truly fulfilling a happy existence, and Quinn’s reminder couldn’t be timelier in our connected world."—LIFE + DOG Magazine

"[T]his uplifting memoir encourages reflection and goal–setting, all within the ever–popular narrative framework of the human–dog bond."—Kirkus Reviews

“Two Rhodesian ridgebacks rescue the Venice–based writer from a midlife funk in this warm–hearted confirmation of what most pet owners already know: Dogs really are man’s—or woman’s—best friend.”—Los Angeles Magazinex

“Quinn’s conversational tone, evident affection for her dogs, and willingness to examine her mistakes endear her as a narrator…”—Publisher's Weekly

From the Author

"My heart goes out to every man and woman who has walked away from the
wrong thing without a clear picture of where to go next. My advice? Get a dog." Carol Quinn
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Seal Press (July 26, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 158005370X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1580053709
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.7 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,291,001 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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A deeply moving, beautifully written story of a woman in transition and how her dogs help her to frame her own struggles. The Ridgebacks are fully realized characters (who can forget Sheila's neuroses or Nairobi's goofy sense of humor?) in this compelling story, as are the humans who inhabit and complicate Quinn's world. I learned a lot about dogs and agility training as well as resolving difficult relationships, and am still rereading and underlining passages that speak to my own life. I'm guessing that every woman or man who reads this book will also find important guidance. A delightful mix of self-help, romantic adventure, dog training advice and memoir, the book has something for almost everyone. Highly recommended.
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This is an excellent read for any dog lover, dog owner, and even people who never owned dogs. The lessons you can take away about life, love, inter-acting with loved ones, and the way we approach life situations is all priceless. The way Carol relays her experiences training the dogs and what she began to learn about her life are valuable as well as honest accounts.

Her honesty is the most refreshing part of the experience. Whether she was right or wrong in any given situation, we can all relate to it. From the relationship with the dogs to the relationship with the dog trainer, everything connected to her own personal relationships.

I don't think you could find anyone that wouldn't take something away from reading through the various lessons and trials.

I would urge you to purchase the book, add it to your kindles, iPads, etc. It will be a reference point for all sorts of life experiences.

It is like having coffee and great conversation with a friend!
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In this heartfelt memoir filled with wisdom, humor and love, author Carol Quinn takes the reader on her journey of self-discovery, and along the way imparts hard-won life lessons with sensitivity, wit and feeling. Reeling professionally from the economic downturn, and immersed in a rocky but compelling relationship with her on-again, off-again fiance Henry, Quinn seeks another path, a new approach to life that will lead her to happiness and self-fulfillment. She finds it, unexpectedly, in the figures of her two high-spirited, fun-loving and totally delightful Rhodesian Ridgebacks, Nairobi and Sheila. Quinn enrolls the dogs in an agility training class--a sport that demands discipline and precision, but also recognizes the spontaneous, joyful nature of dogs and channels it into a beautiful, synchronized dance with their human handlers. (As a side note, the book's clear and informative descriptions of dog agility training and the resource information provided is essential for anyone interested in this fascinating sport.) On the field Quinn meets Irina, a world-class dog agility trainer--part zen master, part taskmaster--who deeply understands the ways of both dogs and humans. Quinn's friendship with Irina evolves through moments that are sometimes stormy, sometimes tender, but always illuminating. In time, the relationship with Henry is brought dramatically to a head by a life-changing event. Still, Quinn manages to navigate the passages of her life (and those of her beloved Ridgebacks), keeping her mind and heart open. In observing how her dogs can be trained both to follow and restrain their natural instincts, Quinn discovers how to trust and lead with her own, with surprising and positive results.Read more ›
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Format: Paperback
I found a gift...in this book...

It is complex yet simple...and it leaves a mark deep in the annals of your heart and soul! And if you love life and animals...and you believe in "can't live without you" love...the mark left is intensified and unforgettable!

But the best review is yet to come...from you...for the words you will read will embed in your heart...and you will find your own insistence to share what you'll receive from "Follow My Lead!"

Cuddle up and happy reading!
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I really enjoyed this book. Carol Quinn have a unique voice in this book. I was really able to engulf myself in her story because I can relate to some of the struggles that she has gone through and I to have found a savior in my dogs. I highly recommond this book to those finding a way to deal with love struggles, life struggles or struggles finding onself.
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Don't let the title fool you. I am not generally a fan of animal books--they tug at my heartstrings and make me sad at the end. Instead, Carol Quinn uses her dogs as a metaphor for her life, sharing with us what owning and training them reveals to her about her own inner demons and problems. Reading this book was like sitting in on Carol in therapy sessions. Often I thought, "Yes, yes, I have that same issue!" My only unhappiness in reading this book came from the unhappiness that Carol's dog trainer, Irina, inflicted upon her during the course of their association. But Irina was the lynchpin of Carol's development of her own inner resolve and strength of character. An enjoyable and very insightful read!
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Follow My Lead is an exceptionally good story about a woman's personal growth through her relationship with her beloved dogs. I found it fascinating how Carol, the author, used the agility training to apply the skills she was teaching her dogs to navigate her own life more successfully. The book is funny, touching, and full of tips on how to organize one's day and subsequently one's life. It was very inspiring for me to read how Carol learns to stand up for herself, feel comfortable with herself, and extract herself from a negative relationship. Buy this book and share it with your friends! I loved it.
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