Dreaming in Libro: How A Good Dog Tamed A Bad Woman by Louise Bernikow
Da Capo Life Long Books; 2007 (ARE)
Nonfiction; 217 pgs (Hardback copy is listed at 244 pgs)
First Sentence: My mother always told me I would grow into my feet and my nose.
Where Book Came From: This novel was a Curled Up With a Good Book selection that I chose to review.
Reason for Reading: I was attracted to this book because of the title. As a booklover I was instantly drawn to the word "libro" and as a dog lover, knew this book and I would be a perfect match.
Comments: Louise Bernikow is the author of Bark If You Love Me, which features some of Libro's and her exploits. Dreaming In Libro: How a Good Dog Tamed a Bad Woman takes hers and Libro's life a little further as she writes about their eight years together, as she adjusted to having a dog in her life, how it opened new doors to her and the impact Libro himself had on her as a person.
Louise is not someone who ever wanted a dog, nor had she ever considered having one before she met Libro. It was quite by accident that she came upon him in a park where he sat in a police car attracting a crowd. Louise to this day is not sure what possessed her to take the dog home with her, but she never regretted that decision. The dog with the amber eyes that had peered at her from the window in the back seat of that squad car would soon be named Libro, a fitting name given that Louise is a journalist and author.
Before Libro, she had lived life in the fast lane, traveling at the drop of a hat, flirting with the men that came in and out of her life, enjoying the clubs and nightlife with friends, as well as building a career for herself. As she settled in with Libro, she had to give up some of her independence, settling down to life with a dog. And not just any dog. Libro proved to be very adaptable and became the star when she took him on tour for her book, which was written about Libro. His introduction into Louise’s life opened many doors for Louise. She was welcomed into a community of dog lovers, including people off the street, other professionals, her neighbors and her readers. He loved meeting new people and did not mind the attention, the cameras or the traveling; although it was obvious he was most content at home, walking the streets of New York or visiting the neighbors in his apartment building.
As time went on, Libro and Louise learned to recognize each other's body language and moods. Libro seemed to anticipate when Louise needed him to be calm rather than playful. They helped each other through various illnesses and injuries, supported each other as only human and dog can do.
While not a deeply insightful memoir, it is almost impossible not to fall in love with Libro from the very first encounter and understand how Louise Bernikow could so easily fall under his charm and take in his life lessons. Libro opened her heart in ways she could not imagine possible. His unconditional love and trust in her, as well as his protectiveness over her, made him the perfect companion. Louise likened him to being the man in her life, her significant other, and the way she described it, Libro certainly was. Full of humor and a bit of anthropomorphism as to the motives and thoughts of her dog, the author has written an entertaining and heartwarming book that will be welcomed my dog lovers everywhere. Originally published on Curled Up With a Good Book at www.curledup.com. © Wendy Runyon, 2007
Favorite Part: I have two parts in particular that I count among my favorites. The first being when Louise puts off of Libro’s toys away and does a little housekeeping. Libro watches the door for company for surely someone must becoming. When no company comes, Libro carefully extracts his toys from the basket and returns them to their rightful places on the floor of the apartment.
The second part that I enjoyed was at a book signing and discussion when Louise mentions Libro’s name and he stands up, barks, and then all of the other dogs who had been brought to the signing begin to bark back. This happened several times during that same event, which made it even more hilarious—and special.