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Dog Medicine: How My Dog Saved Me from…
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Dog Medicine: How My Dog Saved Me from Myself

by Julie Barton

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A touching memoir about a woman with severe depression and the dog that saved her from the darkness. From the book cover: "Dog medicine captures the anguish of depression, the slow path to recovery, the beauty of forgiveness, and the astonishing ways animals can help heal even the most broken hearts and minds." This book really got to me and I am not going to lie, I sobbed uncontrollably while reading. :) ( )
  dawnlovesbooks | Jan 4, 2017 |
At 23, Julie Barton, suffering from clinical depression, is rescued from the floor of her NYC apartment by her mother and brought home to Ohio to recover. Therapists and drugs helped, but it was the love of a golden retriever puppy that allowed her to finally live her life. It’s not the type of memoir I typically read, but I was drawn in by the cover and blurbs by Pam Houston and Cheryl Strayed, and then immediately hooked by the narrative. Depression is a dark and difficult subject to read about but it is Barton’s recovery from the depth that brings light to the narrative. This is truly a memoir of hope, healing, and recovery. Julie’s candid story was often difficult to read and I cried through the final chapter and epilogue – from both joy and sorrow. ( )
3 vote coppers | Sep 21, 2016 |
“Too much pain too early in life could change this beautiful animal”.
What a powerful, poignant statement. While speaking of her beloved dog, Bunker, Julie Barton may not have realized this is a truth relevant to humans as well as animals.
In Dog Medicine, Barton chronicles the story of her childhood – a story that isn’t all bike rides and ice cream cones and sprinklers on long, hot days – and how it leads into an adulthood that threatens to shatter her, physically and emotionally. With a brother who clung to violent tendencies toward her, a physically absent father and an emotionally absent mother, Barton’s struggle to gain a sense of self-worth lasted well into her early adulthood. So, when she spoke of Bunker feeling too much pain at such a young age, it’s easy to wonder how well she saw that in herself – how abuse and neglect can forever alter a human as well as an animal.
After a debilitating breakdown and a heroic (possibly life-saving) rescue from her mother, Barton – literally – scrapes herself off her kitchen floor in New York City and allows herself to be whisked back to Ohio to her childhood home. Days turn into months as she struggles with, well, everything. Spending most days on the couch, in and out of consciousness, without any reason to go on, Barton really questioned whether the world was a better (but probably worse) place with her in it.
Then one day, the idea of a puppy is mentioned and while she brushes it off at first (seeing it as truly impossible to care for another being when she can’t even care for herself), it quickly becomes the greatest idea.
And in romps Bunker – this clumsy, sweet little golden retriever that ends up being the missing piece to Barton’s soul. Through weeks of training, playtime and snuggles, the two come to understand and greatly love one another. Bunker quickly becomes Barton’s best friend, teacher, and savior. Barton begins to truly find herself with Bunker by her side – she moves out of her parents’ house, gains employment, makes friends and just becomes generally good at life – like she never imagined she would.
When faced with, possibly, the toughest decision (yet somehow, I’m sure, the easiest), painful memories come back and she is forced to deal with them. But with grace and a kindness in her heart, she discovers the beauty in forgiveness. And once she forgives those who wronged her, her tormentor and finally, herself – life opens up in a way she probably never imagined.
Dog Medicine has heartbreak, love, a little bit of angst and a whole lot of dog fur – the ingredients for a superb story.
“What if I could forgive myself…? What if I just decided that all of those mistakes were teachings? Maybe all of those choices I’d made were so that I could learn that what I wanted wasn’t drama and sorrow, just love: love in the way Bunker gave love. Unconditional. No expectations. No strings. Just love, because what is more beautiful than that?”
Ask yourself, what if? ( )
  celticlady53 | Apr 20, 2016 |
I received an ARC through Goodreads.
---
Wow! That was an intense and inspirational read. Depression is no joke, and it is becoming widely acknowledged.

I love how Julie wove her story and her struggle with that of Bunker. It was like them coming together was meant to be, they were clearly made to be there for each other. You can feel the unconditional love and support between the two, especially during the rough, dark and ugly times. Depression is not easily understood, but Julie somehow managed to give us a glimpse of it and allows us the readers to peek into the mind of someone suffering from depression.

It is amazing how a pet (more like a friend) can be your lifeline and help push away those demons and provide unlimited comfort and love. Bunker certainly loved a very happy life, even through his painful surgeries (which I teared up and winced every step of the way as Julie describes everything).

Thank you Julie, for sharing your story of your battle with depression and how Bunker lighted your way to taming those bad thoughts and finding happiness. ( )
  Dream24 | Jan 6, 2016 |
This is a gorgeous book about redemption and recovery from clinical depression and how our healers can sometimes come from unlikely and adorable faces. I'll never forget Julie's story or Bunker's face. Love this book. It's for anyone who's struggled with mental health or just life itself and who loves dogs. It's for all of us, really. ( )
  ThinkPiecePub | Oct 5, 2015 |
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Listen with the soul-hearing now, for that is the mission of story.
Clarissa Pinkola Estes
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For Greg,, Mom and Dad, and forever and always, for Bunker.
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The walk from the subway to my apartment was six blocks, but I wasn't sure I would make it.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0986360783, Paperback)

At twenty-two, Julie Barton collapsed on her kitchen floor in Manhattan. She was one year out of college and severely depressed. Summoned by Julie's incoherent phone call, her mother raced from Ohio to New York and took her home.

Psychiatrists, therapists and family tried to intervene, but nothing reached her until the day she decided to do one hopeful thing: adopt a Golden Retriever puppy she named Bunker.

Dog Medicine captures in beautiful, elegiac language the anguish of depression, the slow path to recovery, and the astonishing way animals can heal even the most broken hearts and minds.

(retrieved from Amazon Wed, 29 Jul 2015 09:35:57 -0400)

"A poignant first memoir of how the author's relationship with her dog saved her from suicidal depression describes her unsuccessful work with therapists and loved ones before she adopted a Golden Retriever puppy who became a loyal companion throughout her difficult recovery,"--NoveList.… (more)

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