The Boy Who Talked to Dogs: A Memoir

Overview


When Martin McKenna was growing up in Garryowen, Ireland, in the 1970s, he felt the whole world knew him as just “that stupid boy.” Badly misunderstood by his family and teachers, Martin escaped from endless bullying by running away from home and eventually adopting—or being adopted by—six street dogs. Camping out in barns, escaping from farmers, and learning to fend for himself by caring for his new friends, Martin discovered a different kind of language, strict laws of behavior, and strange customs that ...
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The Boy Who Talked to Dogs: A Memoir

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Overview


When Martin McKenna was growing up in Garryowen, Ireland, in the 1970s, he felt the whole world knew him as just “that stupid boy.” Badly misunderstood by his family and teachers, Martin escaped from endless bullying by running away from home and eventually adopting—or being adopted by—six street dogs. Camping out in barns, escaping from farmers, and learning to fend for himself by caring for his new friends, Martin discovered a different kind of language, strict laws of behavior, and strange customs that defined the world of dogs. More importantly, his canine companions helped him understand the vital importance of family, courage, and self-respect—and that he wasn’t stupid after all. Their lessons helped Martin make a name for himself as the “Dog Man” in Australia, where he now lives and dispenses his hard-earned wisdom to dog owners who are sometimes baffled by what their four-legged friends are trying to tell them.

An emotional and poignant story seasoned with plenty of Frank McCourt–style humor, The Boy Who Talked to Dogs is an inspiration to anyone who’s ever been told he or she won’t amount to anything. It’s also a unique, fascinating look into canine behavior. In these pages, Martin shows how modern life has conditioned dogs to act around humans, in some ways helpful, but in other ways unnatural to their true instincts, and how he has benefited enormously from learning to “talk dog.”

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“Martin leaves a dysfunctional home at the age of thirteen. Bullied, beaten, and humiliated, he establishes his own family composed entirely of dogs. He learns their language and finds the way of the dog to be his path to self-knowledge. This is an astonishing, well-told story filled with humor and pathos that gives us humans a rare insight into the workings of the canine mind. I will not look down on a dog ever again after reading this book.” —Malachy McCourt, author of A Monk Swimming

". . . those looking for a well-told tale of personal struggle and inspiration will be very satisfied." —Booklist

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781629144337
  • Publisher: Skyhorse Publishing
  • Publication date: 10/14/2014
  • Pages: 240
  • Sales rank: 196,654
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author


Martin McKenna is known in Australia as the “Dog Man.” He has been a guest on more than 450 radio shows and is the author of What’s Your Dog Telling You? and What’s Your Dog Teaching You? published by HarperCollins Australia. He lives in Nimbin, Australia.
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