October 2000

Gone to the dogs

By Louise Bernikow
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Can a totally self-contained, dry-clean-only-clothed woman living in New York City actually transform into a fur-hugging, slobber-tolerant dog lover? Well, yes and no. Louise Bernikow morphs right before your eyes albeit reluctantly in Bark If You Love Me, from a woman who has never had a pet to a (gasp!) "dog person."

Just as amazing in this tale—subtitled A Woman-Meets-Dog Story—is the whole new world that opens up to Louise after a very unplanned adoption of Libro, a skinny, limping Boxer found abandoned in New York's Riverside Park. Suddenly, all those things that once annoyed this city girl on her daily jogs in the park (you know, things like icky dog owners and their furballs who skitter all over her path, not to mention the dog mess problem!) are rapidly transforming into consultants, advisors, and even her closest friends. And outside the parks and dog runs, Louise notices that when she's with Libro all kinds of people who would never otherwise speak to her are friendly and curious, acting almost . . . well, human.
Libro's good fortune of finding a good home, mixed in with Louise's canine conversion, makes a delightful formula for adventures, laughs, heart-swellings, and a few tear jerks in this way too short book. After reading this story full of twists and turns, you realize who really leashes whom. Bark if you'll love this book? This reviewer says, "Woof, Woof!"

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