Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Other Sellers on Amazon
+ $3.99 shipping
+ $3.99 shipping
+ $3.99 shipping
Pack of Two: The Intricate Bond Between People and Dogs Paperback – June 8, 1999
|New from||Used from|
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
Caroline Knapp is head over heels in love--not with a human being, but with her mixed-breed dog, Lucille. From the moment Lucille first locked eyes with Knapp through the bars of an animal shelter cage, the intelligent, pointy-eared mutt began to transform Knapp's life. Reeling from the deaths of both her parents, a breakup with a long-term boyfriend, and her newly won sobriety after a 20-year battle with the bottle (which was skillfully chronicled in a previous memoir, Drinking: A Love Story), Knapp found in Lucille not only companionship, but "consistency, continuity, connection. In a word, love." Although she doesn't regard Lucille as a replacement for alcohol and lost loved ones, Knapp does believe "that in loving her I have had that sense of being filled anew and essentially redirected, an old identity shattered and a new one emerging in its stead." In Pack of Two Knapp, with the help of dog psychiatrists, trainers, breeders, and owners, explores the partnership between human and dog and the mysteries of the canine mind--how dogs love, how they think, and how they see human beings. And despite her findings that the dog will remain essentially "mysterious ... unknowable," Knapp is ultimately at peace with this, still devouring the moments when dog and human can "transcend the language barrier" to "understand what the other wants and feels." This book pays homage to the wonderful and complex relationship between one woman and her dog. --Naomi Gesinger --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Publishers Weekly
Following her bestselling memoir, Drinking: A Love Story, Knapp's account of her "mutual and unambiguous and exceptionally private" relationship with Lucille, a small German shepherd mix, illuminates beautifully how the dog's unconditional love filled the gaping hole in Knapp's emotional life after her parents died and she quit drinking. Drawing on charming but alpha-tough anecdotes from her own experience and those of her dog-loving friends (primarily single and female), Knapp describes with affectionate amusement the great, often expensive lengths to which owners go to insure that their pets are well trained and well balanced. As a pup, Lucille goes with Knapp to obedience school for education, to day care for baby-sitting and to play dates with other dogs for recreation. They visit dog psychics and therapists to explain mysterious, troubled behavior, and a canine behaviorist for a few weeks of discipline. Throughout, Knapp has a canny nose for emotional detail: "Living with a dog is like being followed around 24 hours a day by a mute psychoanalyst," Knapp writes. "Feelings float up from inside and attach themselves to the dog, who will not question their validity, or hold up your behavior to scrutiny, or challenge your perceptions." Lucille's arrival is followed by boyfriend Michael's departure, and Knapp intelligently plumbs criticism from outside the dog world that she and others "use their pets as surrogates, to retreat into the world of animals in order to bypass more problematic and complex human relationships." Anyone who loves dogs, and particularly prospective first-time owners, will delight in this exploration of man's (or in this case, woman's) best friend and of the "significant other" role a dog often plays in a one-person household. First serial to Glamour.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Browse award-winning titles. See more
Top customer reviews
Positive dog training was just emerging as a powerful force and I was still poo-pooing the idea, focused on the outdated notion of dominance. Then I met a very patient motivational dog trainer, who allowed for in depth and non-judgemental discussion of the topic. Thank you, Jeannie Collins! I began to realize that partnership and communication was the answer, not force and domination.
Sometime later, I picked up this book and it completely changed my life as a trainer. I realized the error of my ways with great guilt. This spoke to me of the intelligence, cooperative nature and under-acknowledged mental and emotional capacity of dogs. This is not a training book, but it touched me so profoundly that I trashed my old-school training books, threw out the choke collars and began anew. Guess what happened? My dogs and I started having a lot more fun, training became easier, and we started raking in the trial ribbons and titles! Without force, my dogs were far more cooperative. We understood each other instead of being anxious about each other's actions.
The story of Knapp's relationship with her dog is nothing spectacular, a great many books have been written about a certain author's certain life-changing dog. After working in the veterinary and dog rescue field for 25 years, I am somewhat immune to this type of memoir's emotional effects. But Knapp's writing is not overwrought, and her description of what this relationship meant is powerful without being melodramatic. It focuses on her growth as a person. It made me realize I was missing something, even though my life already revolved around my dogs.
Other than my love of dogs and the beauty of her writing, I can't exactly say why it touched me so deeply. Sometimes these memoirs get on my last nerve because of bad writing, ovbious lack of knowledge about dogs, or extraneous information. Not so with Pack of Two.If you have read Knapp's other books, you know she is one hell of a writer, a real pro with a lot of style. Something about her gritty humor combined with honest emotion is so relatable. Whatever it was, it sealed the deal for me and I went on to forge a much deeper, more satisfying and more effective way of relating to my dogs. As a dominance oriented owner, my dog was, on some level, viewed as an adversary looking for a coup. I missed out on so much amazing communication, so much "dogness". Knapp has a knack for describing this realtionship vividly.
I will always be grateful that this book appeared in my life just when I needed it. I feel a pang just seeing it on my bookshelf, because it confirmed so much about dogs that I had kept out of my life for so long. Donald McCaig, another great dog writer, has said something like, "Dog training is all about regret". So true for me! But, since Pack of Two, so many years ago, I have communicated with my dogs better than most people in my life, and for that, I thank you, Caroline. I mourn your passing from this planet.