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A Three Dog Life: A Memoir


As dog people, we will take delight in Thomas’s descriptions of introducing her first dog to her second dog, and then introducing those two to the third. We will appreciate that her essay “How to Banish Melancholy” starts with the sentence, “You will need three dogs, one of whom….” And we will appreciate “Carolina’s in Heat and I’m Not” for the title alone. (This essay, incidentally, made its debut in Bark.)

I’d call this deftly written book a work of art. It's infused with humor and feminine wisdom. The essays are spare, non-linear and satisfying in the way the music of Miles Davis is satisfying: There is as much resonance in the silences as in what is actually written on the page.

Of life with three dogs, Thomas sums it up beautifully: “The past is not as interesting to me as it was when I was young … There’s nothing I want to relive—certainly not youth—and as for what’s to come, I’m in no hurry. I watch my dogs. They throw themselves into everything they do; even their sleeping is wholehearted. They aren’t waiting for a better tomorrow, or looking back at their glory days. Following their example, I’m trying to stick to the present.”




Lee Harrington is the author of the best-selling memoir, Rex and the City: A Woman, a Man, and a Dysfunctional Dog (Random House, 2006), and of the forthcoming novel, Nothing Keeps a Frenchman from His Lunch. emharrington.com

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