Whether you’re an optimist or a pessimist, we could all use some help now and then, reminding ourselves what’s important and not to sweat the small stuff. But, instead of talking to a girlfriend, boyfriend or your mom when feeling low, sometimes we don’t need to look further than our dogs! They’re at the ready with unconditional love, and bounce back from adversity with enthusiasm for life. A fresh, new book has tapped into dog wisdom, offering easily digestible tips on life from our best friends.
Spoiler Alert! There’s an awesome giveaway at the end, so follow your nose through my review until you find the treat! 🙂
Life’s A Bark: What Dogs Teach Us About Life and Love, written by award-winning pet writer, Larry Kay, is a bound credo of how to live life well, like our canine friends. Chock full of rollicking and heartwarming pictures, accompanied by short, easy-to-read life lessons, this is a great gift for dog lovers and a perfect book for those of us on the go, who want the info but don’t have lots of time.
Life’s A Bark comes wrapped in a warm and fuzzy package (and it is warm and fuzzy), but it tackles tough stuff topics, too, like improving our self image, our self respect, the fear of letting go, even the fear of intimacy. But, instead of getting heavy handed, where we feel like we’re on the couch, Kay’s approach is light, even whimsical. He still manages to make the point that life is about taking big, juicy bites out of it with abandon…like our furry friends.
Life’s A Bark is also a family book. I can see it being read with your children, and eliciting important conversation between parents and their kids. Toys Don’t Last Forever; Don’t Judge Me; Communicate Clearly; Follow The Right Leader and Keep Me Safe And Secure are just a few of the vignette headings Kay includes. For each, we get a take away message and exercise to help us get in touch with that aspect of ourselves or our feelings. Some take aways are funny, like acting like a dog by wagging our “tails,” running in circles, hopping, barking, panting to give ourselves an instant attitude adjustment from a bad day. Some are really insightful, like the one for self respect. He advises looking at ourselves in the mirror and pretending we’re a dog. “Smile like a dog, and say three things you respect yourself for. Say the same three things again until you begin to believe them.”
We didn’t need scientists to confirm what we already knew. A dog’s EQ (emotional intelligence quotient) is equal to, if not higher than, human EQ. They show the highest levels of empathy, compassion, care, trust and distrust. And, like us, a bark can signify many things, just by its sound. We can tell the difference when our best friends are making happy barks, sad barks, barks of fear, anger, anxiety, pain and more. Our pups thrive when treated with respect, given love, praise, encouragement and guidance. We do, too. So, it’s not far-fetched that we can learn a trick or two from our wise companions. The ultimate take away?
Since Life’s A Bark, make a joyful noise!!
A short and very fun video trailer about this book!
Happy woofs if you’re excited about a giveaway!
Larry Kay, who also co-authored the award-winning Training the Best Dog Ever with Bo Obama’s dog trainer, the late Dawn Sylvia-Stasiewicz, is generously offering two lucky Bark and Swagger readers a free copy of Life’s A Bark. The giveaway will run from 7am EST, Wednesday, June 25 to 11pm EST July 1.
To enter the giveaway, you must:
* be 18 years or older
* live in the United States
* not be a relative
* join the Bark and Swagger Community via our email list
There are ways to garner extra points, and you can come back as often as you’d like to participate.
If you just can’t wait and want to order Life’s A Bark right now, go here.
What has your dog taught you about life and love? Tell me in the Comments below!
(Disclaimer: affiliate links included)