No one who has ever had a dog as a companion will be able to read The Book of Barkley: Love and Life through the Eyes of a Labrador Retriever by L. B. Johnson with dry eyes.
Johnson tells the story of her life, from childhood to adulthood, from the perspective of her relationship with Barkley, a Lab that she got when he was just a stubborn ball of fur who ‘selected’ her when she viewed the litter of which he was a part. Her descriptions of adjusting to Barkley’s presence in her life, and how this helped her come to terms with and understand her past and learn to take life a day at a time on her own terms will resonate profoundly with anyone who has fallen in love with a dog and had to learn to live with its loss.
This is a story of unconditional love and acceptance, the kind that asks nothing but love in return. As Johnson and Barkley forge bonds of trust and understanding, she also strengthens her human relationships.
This is much more than a mere memoir – it is a story of life and how to live it, and how we humans can learn to live our lives better if we’d only learn to live it like a dog does. The author uses language well, with descriptions of animals, people, and places so vivid you feel that you can feel the textures, smell the odors (pleasant and otherwise) and hear the whining of a puppy needing to go out to do its business. Life can be sad or happy, and the author takes us through it all – a trip that you won’t regret taking.
A five-star book that definitely merits the Awesome Indie Seal of Excellence.