Dog Medicine: How My Dog Saved Me From Myself
Penguin Random House
"I believe that when I was suffering most
dearly, the universe sent me a healer in the form of a dog," Julie Barton
writes in the prologue of her moving canine love tale. In her early twenties,
Barton seemed like any twenty-something woman working in New
York—until the depression building up under the surface engulfed her.
In childhood, her older brother had bullied her incessantly; more recently, her
boyfriend had cheated. But nothing was harsher than her own internalized
judgments: "Ugly, Weird, Stupid, Fat, Unlikable." Paralyzed with
despair, in the throes of a breakdown, she called her mother, who drove from
Ohio to bring her home. Therapy and medication helped, but it was the
unconditional love of a puppy named Bunker that made the biggest difference.
"He didn't judge me; he simply saw me. So I told myself: Bunker understands. But this was a whole new kind of
understanding," she writes. "It was wordless, and it let me be sad
until an amazing thing happened: the sadness began to dissolve."
— Dawn Raffel