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Publishers WeeklyOne look at the cover of this book and most readers, enchanted by the sweet photo of a border collie mutt, will say "I'll take it." And that would be a mistake. Psychotherapist and substance abuse treatment specialist Johnston's concept is creative and solid: use a cute cuddly pet to compare and contrast codependent behaviors. Johnston declares, "codependence... I think both Daisy the dog and I have got it." Her daughter, when vexed, complains, "You are such a border collie." Certainly, many of Johnston's observations are useful: herding is a key characteristic of codependency, except that "people cannot be herded. Like dogs, Codependents tend to be big-hearted, but, Johnston says, this can go wrong when we believe we can "fix and control others." Unfortunately, Johnston's comparisons throughout most of the book are lifeless, relying on good for dog/bad for human examples that can seem contrived. On the positive side, Johnston uses "Lessons Learned" sections in each chapter to help clarify her message. It's a book perhaps only a codependent or border collie owner might love. And like most good dog stories, it has an uplifting if bittersweet conclusion.
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