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“The life of a good dog is like the life of a good person, only shorter and more compressed,” writes Pulitzer Prize-winning author Anna Quindlen about her beloved black Labrador retriever, Beau. With her trademark wisdom and humor, Quindlen reflects on how her life has unfolded in tandem with Beau’s, and on the lessons she’s learned by watching him: to roll with the punches, to take things as they come, to measure herself not in terms of the past or the future but of the present, to raise her nose in the air from time to time and, at least metaphorically, holler, “I smell bacon!”
Of the dog that once possessed a catcher’s mitt of a mouth, Quindlen reminisces, “there came a time when a scrap thrown in his direction usually bounced unseen off his head. Yet put a pork roast in the oven, and the guy still breathed as audibly as an obscene caller. The eyes and ears may have gone, but the nose was eternal. And the tail. The tail still wagged, albeit at half-staff. When it stops, I thought more than once, then we’ll know.”
Heartening and bittersweet, Good Dog. Stay. honors the life of a cherished and loyal friend and offers us a valuable lesson on our four-legged family members: Sometimes an old dog can teach us new tricks.
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ANNA QUINDLEN is the author of five bestselling novels (Rise and Shine, Blessings, Object Lessons, One True Thing, Black and Blue), and six nonfiction books (Being Perfect, Loud & Clear, A Short Guide to a Happy Life, Living Out Loud, Thinking Out Loud, How Reading Changed My Life). She has also written two children's books (The Tree That Came to Stay, Happily Ever After). Her New York Times column "Public and Private" won the Pulitzer Prize in 1992. Her column now appears every other week in Newsweek.From Publishers Weekly:
Pulitzer Prize–winning columnist and novelist Quindlen has recently met with tremendous success in the realm of short nonfiction with an inspirational and motivational bent. Recounting the life and death of her beloved Labrador retriever, Beau, she follows the same pattern. Quindlen masters a calm, thoughtful radio-essay style of delivery that nicely fits the introspective nature of her material, which includes some powerful ruminations on aging and mortality. Yet as a 45-minute stand-alone offering, the recording lacks the weight of a dramatic center, since Quindlen devotes such a large chunk of the fleeting allotment of time to setting the stage on the front end and offering reflection in conclusion. Somehow, it seems as though a two-for-one arrangement similar to the 2005 audiobook release pairing Quindlen's Being Perfect and A Short Guide to a Happy Life might have allowed for a broader and more fully realized sense of her unique gift for deeply personalized narrative.
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