Book Description

Amazon.com Review 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. Read more 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. Read more See all Editorial Reviews

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