Aug 27, 2007

Bark If You Love Me

by Louise Bernikow

Bark if You Love Me is the story of a sophisticated New Yorker who adopts a dog, apparently on a whim. A journalist and lecturer on women's history, Louise had never owned a pooch before and was in fact was full of allergies and aversions to dogs. She was jogging in the park one day and came across a crowd around a police car, where an emaciated and injured boxer was sitting in the back seat. She took him home and slowly, unwittingly, began a conversion into "a dog person." Her new pet shifts Lousie's circle of friends and acquaintances to those who own or at least like dogs, and leads her to talk to many of the city's people she never would have paused to notice before. She becomes a frequenter of dog parks, dog-friendly shops and even a bar that hands out biscuits.

Although this story had lots of potential, I found myself becoming bored with it. Perhaps it was the banal sentimentality that kept cropping up between spots of humor. It is a decent book, but there's nothing outstanding about it. By the time I got to page 137 I was ready to quit reading. Just to know the ending (which disappointed me) I skimmed the last few chapters, read the last five pages, and felt I didn't miss much.

Abandoned                    206 pages, 2000

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