Dog-ma the Zen of Slobber by Barbara Boswell Brunner
Welcome to the first DogBreedz Book Review - the first of many, I am hoping! If you are a dog lover (and if you are here, you most likely are ...) then this is a book you'll want to take the time to read - and enjoy. And just in case you aren't sure if my taste in books runs parallel to yours: at the bottom of the review there is a list of participating blogs on this Book Tour. You can not only read what other bloggers think about the book, but on March 26th you can follow the link to enter the giveaway of FIVE signed copies of the book!
When I was offered the chance to review this book for the Virtual Book Tour, I jumped at the chance. As a child I was a voracious reader, but now "Life" seems to get in the way of the simple pleasures of reading. Dog-Ma the Zen of Slobber seemed like just the title to indulge in and Barbara Boswell Brunner doesn't disappoint. From beginning to end (cover-to-cover just doesn't seem appropriate for an e-book) you'll enjoy each of the stories and appreciate the learning curve of the dog owners. From bringing their first puppy home at five weeks (FIVE WEEKS?!? I was ready to hate the book, just for that start! I'm a confirmed preacher of not separating a pup from its litter until ten - or better yet twelve - weeks, but that's for another post) to learning how to home-cook their food to help a dog avoid seizure symptoms, Barbara and Ray evolved in their dog knowledge and care. The writing style is deceptively simple: it's easy to feel like you are sitting across a cafe table from them and sharing dog stories. But the humor and yes, the heart-wrenching reality as the dogs pass on, is infused within the stories and the book becomes hard to put down. Keep a few tissues nearby, your eyes will get a bit teary in places, as only a true dog-lover can understand. You'll finish the book feeling like Barb and Ray are old friends of your own.
When Barbara meets her future husband, Ray, it is love-and dog-at first sight. Over the course of thirty-two years, seventeen relocations and nine dogs, their mutual love of dogs guides them on their unconventional path. The love that Barbara and Ray get in return is literally lifesaving, with one dog attacking a lethal intruder and another discovering Barbara’s cancer. Her own survival story underscores the story of how her dogs become survivors themselves.
Each new dog adds its own dynamic to the family, sometimes upending it. From Turbo (whose Spock-like ears may have provided super powers), Barbara learns about the will to live; Lexington demonstrates incredible patience and an inexplicable love of golf; Madison teaches that laughter is truly the best medicine and that the whole “nine lives thing” is not reserved just for cats; Morgan should be sainted for tolerating Izzy, who is as cute as she is bad. Barbara is certain that somewhere in doggie heaven there is a poster that says “If you are sick, injured or in need of really expensive medical care, FIND THESE HUMANS!”
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About Barbara Boswell Brunner
Barbara grew up in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania with her parents, sister and always a dog, or two or three. She graduated Summa Cum Laude from a small women's college in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania. Meeting her husband in Washington, DC, they continued together on a journey as self-proclaimed dog addicts. In the ensuing years, she founded three successful businesses in the Pacific Northwest and is a prolific fundraiser for breast cancer research. She and her husband are retired and now reside in Southwest Florida with two dogs and copious amounts of dog fur. She is currently working on indulging her well known flip flop addiction.
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