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From Barnes & NobleOur Review
It's a classic girl-meets-boy tale. Girl -- urban, successful, independent -- doesn't want or need anyone else in her life. Then she meets boy and something in his deep brown eyes inexplicably compels her to bring him back to her place. Soon, they fall madly in love and the rest, as they say, is history.
But this girl-meets-boy story has an unconventional twist, for "boy" is not exactly a tall, dark, and handsome Prince Charming. Well, on second thought, he may be dark and handsome, but he's actually rather short. And four-legged. You see, "boy" is a dog. A brown boxer, in fact, who is about a year old when "girl," a writer and women's history scholar named Louise Bernikow, happens upon him one sunny afternoon in Manhattan's Riverside Park. Like most relationships, their first year together was alternately blissful and rocky, as they struggled to trust each other and adapt to different lifestyles. Bernikow has recounted that first year in the charming little book Bark if You Love Me.
Even before the "little brown dog" (who is soon named Libro, the Spanish word for "book") panted his way into her life, Bernikow always saw people as belonging to one of two groups: dog people or antidog people. The division between the two camps is especially notable in New York, her home city, where people live on top of one another and fight daily for precious inches of sidewalk space. So, petless until Libro, Bernikow was decidedly antidog, irritated by unleashed mongrels who nearly tripped her and by the unpleasant traces they left on the sidewalk. Libro's arrival changed her attitude completely.
Bark if You Love Me is wonderfully entertaining as Bernikow details her defection to the ranks of the dog people. Suddenly, strange new parameters define her life: early morning dog-walking gatherings in the park, dog food brand comparison, vet talk. As the book progresses, Bernikow embarks on a journey to uncover Libro's past, before their fateful park encounter, and, in the process, she begins to gain some new perspective on her own life. The resulting tale is amusing as she recounts parental anxiety when she first leaves Libro for an extended period of time; thoughtful as she analyzes her place in the world as a modern woman and reexamines her notions about family; delightful as she and Libro develop friendships with people in the neighborhood, especially fellow dogs and their owners. (Including a human Prince Charming? Perhaps.)
Ultimately, Bark if You Love Me is a fun, quick, lighthearted read -- perfect as you sit in the waiting room at the vet's office. And, as in any classic love story, Bernikow and Libro live happily ever after.